By: Michelle Semler
The end is nearing for me to find my 1st “big kid” job as my graduation date approaches in May. When many of us student’s begin our college career we have this amazing job in mind and everything is within our grasp (at least that’s how I felt). Professors inform you of the job placement rate following graduation as well as the perks of having a good salary, company car, company phone, etc…However; I think many of them fail to mention the difficult process of actually finding a job.
On October 4th, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln held a career fair on their East Campus with roughly 60 companies recruiting for internships as well as full time employment. Now, just attending a career fair doesn’t sound like a big deal, but there is a lot of planning and work beforehand that must be completed. For myself, I nerd out while preparing to attend. The 1st thing on my list to complete is looking up which companies I am interesting in visiting with and researching what them in preparation for the dreaded “So what do you know about us?” question.
Next on the list is choosing the correct outfit. Do I wear business professional? Business casual? What color dress? How should I do my hair? And of course what kind of shoes? I tend to be clumsy so of course heels are out of the question. After I have researched all the companies I’m interested in, my outfit is picked out, and printing off my resume is completed I am finally prepared for the UNL career fair. But just my luck as I get dressed in my office inside the Animal Science Building (also on East Campus where I have limited clothing options) my dress zipper decides to break in the back of my dress. So I scurry down to borrow a secretary’s sweater to cover up my broken zipper and hope nobody notices my not so put together outfit.
Out of the 60 some companies in attendance I have cut down my list to roughly 5 I’m interested in, most of which are large meat companies that emphasize pork products. Of course I’ve worked on my elevator speech to introduce myself to the recruiter with. But before talking to anyone I do a few laps around the large hall to scope out where all of the companies’ booths are located. At large career fairs such as the one UNL is hosting has rows upon rows of booths where each company has at least a single recruiter working with some companies having up to a handful of recruiters.
Finally, I am prepared to take the next step; talking to recruiters. I brush the clamminess off of my hands 1st and proceed on ward for that handshake. After talking with all 5 companies I hear basically the same statement from all of them. “We currently aren’t looking to hire full-time positions for those graduating in May, but you can apply online at our website and check the site regularly to see when positions are available”. I expected to be told this by most of the companies I visited with but it still brings down your confidence a bit when are you’re hoping for is to be asked for an interview.
As I sit in my apartment contemplating the next step for finding a job within the red meat industry I realize that I have a long journey ahead of me. So all of the time I thought was wasted when I was preparing for the career fair, is actually pushing me toward the end goal of finding that 1st “Big Kid Job” in the near future. I just got to put my chin up, buckle down on work, and keep on truckin’. Then hopefully somebody will want to hire me and I will have those perks like that my professors informed me about when they were skipping over the difficulties of landing a job after college. Wish me luck!