Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Career Fair from a Senior's Perspective

Peter Ryan
October 1st, 2014 saw hundreds of students and scores of companies in the Gordon Field House for the annual Fall Career Fair. I've previously written about my preparation process for the Career Fair but I've never shared my experiences or what I do after the fair ends.

This fall I went to the fair with the goal of networking and meeting professionals in my industry. I utilized Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education resources to find company interest sessions and to find RIT alumni from the companies represented. Attending the interest sessions is always useful to me as I can take more time to have conversations and talk with the company's representatives. After the interest sessions I take time to update my career spreadsheet with company and job specific information. The spreadsheet allows me to keep my information organized and track my relationships with various companies and organizations. I'll then usually connect with the individuals I met at the fair on LinkedIn or send an email to thank them for their time and advice.

Again this year I volunteered as a "Wireless Wizard" assisting companies get online. This gave me the opportunity to enter the fair more than an hour prior to the start which meant that I could scope out where I wanted to go in-person and even meet with some of the company reps that I wanted to speak with. Once the fair started I followed my list and map to visit the booths I had previously designated as being interested in. As expected there were long lines for some of the more prominent and well-known companies so I had visited as many of the other booths on my list with smaller lines as I could. Due to class and other commitments I wasn't able to stay as long as I wanted to but when I left I was satisfied that I had a way of connecting with the companies that I wanted to.

After the fair ended I was treated to a dinner by my co-op employer, Symantec. It was great to see and catch up with my team and enjoy a nice meal. I was happy to hear that the division was doing well and that the work that I contributed to the projects I was tasked with were adding value to the company. The fair culminated with me getting asked to visit Boston, MA for an interview for a summer co-op. I am excited to see where that discussion takes me and I am thankful for the Career Fair for providing the opportunity.


Look out for Peter and more seniors in an upcoming campaign which will feature multiple seniors and their experience trying to plan for their post-graduation plans and careers.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

5 Tips for Making the Most of Your Co-op

Before You Leave

Your co-op may be winding down or you may be gearing up for a second term. In either case you have the opportunity to make a positive lasting impression on your employer that can be impactful for your career. Here are five tips on how to make the most of your experience:

1. Make connections and stay connected through LinkedIn

Be very, very vigilant about connecting on LinkedIn after every new face-to-face interaction. A short thank you or kind note to co-workers and supervisors will help to build a robust social network on LinkedIn. Every time you get a business card—assuming you still get paper business cards—enter the person’s information into your contacts and reach out to that person on LinkedIn. Also, asking for recommendations on LinkedIn is a great way to get the most out of your connections on the job.

2. Complete all of your projects

Make sure anything you have outstanding is completed and that you have returned all materials and proprietary information to your employer. Tie up loose ends neatly and make sure projects are submitted in a polished, professional manner.

3. Ask for feedback

Ask for a brief face to face meeting with your supervisor to go over your co-op evaluation and receive feedback on how you performed on the job. Asking for feedback will help you to grow professionally and shows you have an interest in the work you did.

4. Don’t forget your co-op work report!

Make sure you complete your co-op work report. Don’t get an ‘F’ on your transcript because you put off completing the report. Get it done before you leave the co-op. Check with your career services coordinator or look on your department website to see if you need to complete a report and how to submit it, and to whom.

5. Ask about the evaluation

Follow up with your supervisor to make sure they have received, completed and submitted their evaluation. The evaluation is part of your grade so it is critical that it be done. Don’t leave without following up on this as it is sometimes difficult to track people down once you have left. If they have not received it or it may have gone to the wrong person just call us! We can resend it.

6. Update your resume

While it’s fresh in your mind update your resume. Use your job description to highlight the various things you did. Add any accomplishments or new skills you’ve acquired.            

7.  Say ‘Thank You’

Saying thanks goes a long way. End on a positive note by thanking your supervisor as well as your co-workers for taking time to train, mentor and answer your questions.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Career Fair Plus

Are you tired of fumbling with print outs, notes and a map at the Career Fair? Frustrated by clicking tons of links to try and find information about the Fair? Well do we have the thing for you! And no, it’s not some online or infomercial scam. The Career Fair Plus App. So what is it, and why should you download it? Let’s dive right in.

First of all, it’s free!

Go to or you can find it on the App Store or Google play, scroll until you find the one for RIT. It’s that simple!

Convenience of everything in one

This allows you to have all of your Career Fair needs in one place. We'll give you a little tour of each section 

Picture of Home Screen


Here you will find a list of all the companies attending the Career Fair right a the palm of your hand. Take a look at Apple's page for example. You can see their overview, where they'll be located, majors they're hiring, kinds of degrees and positions they're hiring for and then extra information at the bottom. You can also type your own personal note at the top. Maybe they're a company you want to check out, so write that, or maybe you have a more tailored 60 Second Commercial for them so you want to make note of specific information you want to tell them.

The best part about this section is the filter system. You don't have to sift through all these companies looking for your major. Just like in Job Zone, you can set filters. The picture to the left is how you would filter by major -- at the top do you see those other letters? D stands for degree, I for Industry, P for positions and WA for work authorization. All the info on the company page can be used as a specific filter. It will only display companies that are looking for the specific things you checked off on the filter. Want to start again? Hit "clear filter" and being a new search. Or back on the company page, hit "All" instead of filter to just see all the companies. 

Fair Map

Currently there is no map because we haven't released that yet, but this is where you would find it. Unlike the paper copy, there is way more interactivity. You can mark favorites and click on booths to see what company is there. This is WAY easier than checking it off on the paper copy. 


Here will be posting all of our office's events such as Info Sessions, Networking Events and Workshops leading up to the fair. Many of them will help you prep for the Fair. Any event that is usually on our Job Zone calendar will be here with all of the info you need at your convenience. The best part? You can add events to your phone's calendar (as long as you allow the app to access your calendar, which is encouraged). How easy is that?!


The Career Fair is hectic and you might miss some important updates (companies adding/dropping majors, moving booths, not coming, etc.). We always make it a priority to get that information to you as fast as possible through our Twitter account (@RITCareers, #RITCF), and posted on an announcement board on the field house floor, but you may miss it. Here we will try and post the same information. This is similar to how you can expect the announcements to look.

Career Fair 101

Do you get lost in our endless catalog of Career Fair Tips? We want to make it even easier for you to find when you're getting ready for the Fair. This is where they will be. Similar to our web page articles, these will be nice resources to go through before the Career Fair.

And that's the Career Fair Plus app! Download it, get familiar with it and dominate the Career Fair!