There have been two career fairs this semester: one in Philadelphia and the other one right here in PBL. The National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) and The Association of Hispanic Professionals (PROSPANICA) hosted the 2017 Annual Conference & Exposition in the Pennsylvania Convention Center from September 26-30, 2017. This combined effort allowed for greater participation from many speakers and companies. It is a great opportunity for business graduate students to meet company representatives and make connections with peers from all over the nation. Next year’s event will take place in Detroit, Michigan on September 25-29, 2018. Mark your calendars now!
Weatherhead’s Fall Career Fair tends to target both Cleveland area companies and larger companies. Since the event is smaller it allows for students to talk to more companies and strategize on what companies to target. CMO interviewed a few students that attended either or both the NBMBAA/PROSPANICA fair and the Weatherhead Fall Fair to see their take on the two events.
What was your favorite part of the NBMBAAA/PROSPANICA fair? Favorite part about the Weatherhead Fall Fair?
My favorite part of the Weatherhead career fair was getting to participate in my first ever career fair. It gave me the opportunity to engage with companies outside my comfort zone, knowing the stakes are high as my interactions can make or break my future with them. Harsh Ranjan, MBA 2019
At the Weatherhead career fair I enjoyed getting a sense of what companies we have right here in Cleveland that are looking to hire. As an MD/MBA student, I also liked talking to MetroHealth, The Cleveland Clinic and US Endoscopy. Ian Drummond, MBA 2019 & MD 2019
What I really liked about NBMBAA/Prospanica to see what so many different companies look for in MBA students and also to understand the quality of all the students present, which helped me greatly develop my personal pitch and measure the gain instantly! It was my first experience at a career fair and I went through emotions in a very short period of time; it was quite an experience! Luiz Vieira, MBA 2019
What surprised you about each fair?
What I found surprising about my experience at the Weatherhead fair was how friendly, open and positive the representatives of the companies were. It enabled me to have a detailed conversation about the company's visions and how can I align myself with them more effectively. Harsh Ranjan, MBA 2019
I was surprised at how comfortable I felt talking to the recruiters. My expectation of career fairs was that it would be very short, generic conversations, but I found that it was the exact opposite. Many of the recruiters had personal connections to Weatherhead, and genuinely wanted to hear about my experiences. Many of my conversations were very natural. Lauren Tancer, MBA 2019
What new insights did you learn about (i.e. companies, positions)?
I learned that each company has a wide variety of positions for a variety of different backgrounds For example, I had initially expected that a software company would only be looking for more technical positions, but I learned that they were looking for things like finance and consulting positions, as well. Lauren Tancer, MBA 2019
I discovered how many companies are incorporating sustainability into their business model and are looking for professionals to fill related positions. Harsh Ranjan, MBA 2019
How did you prepare for the career fairs?
I printed resumes and had business cards at the ready. I rehearsed my story in my head. Then, before approaching a table, I tried to make sure I had at least one clear question I wanted to ask to get the conversation rolling. Ian Drummond, MBA 2019 & MD 2019
The first step of preparing for the career fair was looking at the list of companies that were attending. I narrowed down the list by seeing what companies were hiring for internships and for my field specifically. This helped me focus my search based on my qualifications. Then, I looked at the websites and positions for the companies I was interested in. I took notes, so that I could reference them between conversations during the fair. The notes were helpful, because I could get a quick refresher on things like values, areas of expertise and what they were looking for before talking to the recruiters. After each conversation, I updated my notes with who I talked to and a few bullet points of what we talked about. I used these notes later so that I could write more personal thank-you emails. Lauren Tancer, MBA 2019