Classes may have just begun, but it’s never too soon to work on your career plans. Illinois State Redbirds interested in internships, full-time employment, or just wanting to explore careers are invited to attend the Career Center’s fall career fairs held over the next few weeks.

Fall Internship Fair

Students seeking internships or professional practice experiences are encouraged to save the date for the Fall Internship Fair on Tuesday, September 19. Held in the Bone Student Center, students connect with recruiters interested in Illinois State talent.

Over 75 organizations are attending. Employers represent a number of industries, including Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, local businesses, hospitals, and government agencies; most are interested in students from any major. American Family Insurance, the American Red Cross, Bloomington Thunder, CDW,  Jewel-Osco, Normal Police Department, and Palace Events are just a few of the organizations already registered.

According to Career Center Internship Manager Debbie Ungson-Walbert, internships are essential to a student’s career: “Most employers seek candidates who have gained some experience. Internships are an excellent way for students to do just that. They also allow students opportunities to develop their skills, apply what they learned in the classroom, and explore possible careers. Plus, many organizations use internships as a way to gain a firsthand look at possible candidates for their full-time openings. They are a win-win for students and employers.”

Accounting Career Fair

Students and alumni who are majoring in accounting are invited to attend the Accounting Career Fair on Friday, September 15, at the Bone Student Center. As of Labor Day, over 40 employers had registered with many more requests still coming in. Although most employers are from accounting firms, some are from other industries that are seeking to fill accounting positions, such as Caterpillar, ADM, Enterprise, and State Farm.

Career exploration

Career fairs not only allow students to identify organizations interested in hiring them, but also allow them to explore potential careers. “We invite recruiters from a variety of industries, particularly those who are seeking candidates from all majors,” said Career Center Director Pamela Cooper. “The career fairs give students opportunities to not only talk to employers about their open positions, but also to ask recruiters questions to explore careers and begin building their network of professional contacts.”

Fair preparation

Those attending the fair can review tips on how to prepare for career fairs, how to develop a 30-second pitch to an employer, and sample interview questions by visiting the Career Center online. Each fair has its own Web page with information on how to prepare specifically for each event. Students can also watch the Career Center’s career fair video. Those who prefer to get advice in-person can make an appointment with their career advisor, stop by the Career Center during drop-in hours, or stop by Milner Library to meet with a trained Career Center peer ambassador during the Late-night Resume Reviews held on September 12 and 13, from 9–11 p.m.

“Attendees should also review the list of employers attending our career fairs and research them before the event so they are familiar with the organizations and can answer employer questions effectively,” said Mike Minton, Career Center associate director for Student Relations. A complete list of employers attending the fairs and details about them are available on the Career Center website, through Hire-A-Redbird, and by downloading the Careers by Symplicity app available for free through the App Store or Google Play.

Students attending the fair need to bring their Redbird ID card and copies of their resume, and are encouraged to dress for an interview. Students can also order free business cards to distribute to employers and print out their resume on free resume paper through the Career Center.

The Career Center supports Illinois State University’s Educating Illinois by assisting students with developing, evaluating, and implementing career, education, and employment decisions.