Mock career fair prepares business students to meet with recruiters

Nearly 800 Penn State Smeal College of Business students attended a mock career fair on Tuesday, Sept. 10, to gain additional preparation for the month’s upcoming career fairs.

Hosted by Smeal’s Career and Corporate Connections, in partnership with Smeal’s Alumni Relations office, the mock career fair provided student interactions with recruiters and alumni to learn new tips for interviewing and appropriate attire, have their resumes reviewed, and practice their 30-second pitches.

According to alumna Jacqueline Corcoran, 2004 Penn State graduate in economics, who works for Vanguard as a project manager, “The 30-second pitch is an opportunity to wow potential employers with a great first impression.”

Corcoran, along with a dozen other Smeal alumni, staffed tables in the Business Building Atrium to better prepare students for interactions with recruiters.

“I think the mock career fair was a tremendous success. We saw some great preparation from students on making their 30-second pitch, and they were eager to learn more about the company.”

-- Tim Ballas, recruiter from PNC

“I hope we were able to help them boost their confidence and bounce ideas off of some experienced recruiters,” said Corcoran.

The companies in attendance included Altria, Dick’s Sporting Goods, EY, Macy’s, PNC, PPG, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Procter & Gamble. After getting some advice from the alumni, students visited company recruiters for feedback on their 30-second pitches and communication skills.

“I think the mock career fair was a tremendous success,” said PNC’s Tim Ballas. “We saw some great preparation from students on making their 30-second pitch, and they were eager to learn more about the company.”

He continued, “For us, it was an opportunity to get to know the students and get them acclimated to who we are as a company. This allows us to keep them on our radar as recruiters.”

In addition, more than 200 students took advantage of the opportunity to have a professional portrait taken for use on their LinkedIn profiles. Photos were taken by Smeal’s Research, Instruction and Information Technology Group.

New events like the mock career fair are an effort to continually develop students professionally, supplementing the quality education in the classroom—both of which are important aspects in bringing recruiters back to Smeal year after year for high-quality graduates who do well in the work force.

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Last Updated September 17, 2013