The 7 Best U.S. College Career Fairs
This post is part of an ongoing series, How to Hire Interns. Watch this space for frequent updates!
Ah, career fairs. It’s a familiar landscape: the chirp of students meeting recruiters, bags of schwag from different booths, upbeat music blasting over the sound system. Not all career fairs are created equal, however; you’ll be hard-pressed to find an intern at a university with disengaged or unmotivated students. We’ve compiled a list of the best college career fairs out there based on the strength of the university career center and the quality of the students.
If there’s one university that “gets it,” it’s Boston College, whose career fair received its own hashtag last year: #BCFAIR2012. The use of infographics and social media to notify and prepare students for the job bonanza is pretty slick. Not only that, but Boston College places special emphasis on helping employers recruit African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American students.
California Institute of Technology
CalTech is known as a world leader in science and engineering, and its students are talented and job-hunt savvy. The Career Development Center orchestrates two career fairs that are the perfect opportunity to send technical representatives or researchers—these employees will connect with students best.
Student Affairs at Duke University aims to create less formal and innovative settings for students and employers to connect. TechConnect, for example, sponsors company-specific chat sessions with computer science students, and the “Just-In-Time” Career fair matches graduating seniors with immediate openings.
University of Florida
With a variety of fairs ranging from the gargantuan Career Showcase to the more modest part-time job fair, the University of Florida allows employers to find the best fit. You can also divvy up your efforts into finding students from non-technical fields (accounting, human services, sales) or technical fields (computer science, construction, IT).
University of Michigan in Ann Arbor
Not only does the University of Michigan supply its students with a mobile app to navigate its Career Expo, but it also provides freshmen with a special orientation to encourage younger students to participate. This helps employers connect with interns early, which increases the likelihood of full-time hires down the line.
University of Texas in Austin
Career services at UT Austin outfit students with the resources of 17 different offices. Conversely, the distinct offices connect employers to students of different disciplines and host fairs that range from 50 to 200 companies. That these events happen throughout the academic year means that students who show up are refreshed, focused, and optimistic.
Rutgers prepares its students for interviews with InterviewStream, a service that allows students to record and re-play themselves answering common questions. This makes them polished candidates for the many Career Days that target employers from different fields, from business and liberal arts to math and actuarial.
Career fairs can be a hit-and-miss venue for hiring interns, but that doesn’t mean they should be written off entirely. Research career fairs for ones that are well-organized, well-attended, and well worth it.
Image provided by EU Social under the Creative Commons license