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Career Center hosts fair, estimated 304 employers to attend

The dawn of any new school year typically generates a series of new possibilities for students—within their university experience, and also after they graduate.
Starting September 20th, Clemson University’s Center for Career and Professional Development will be hosting several campus-wide career fairs. 
Dr. Neil Burton, Executive Director of the Center for Career and Professional Development, says that these career fairs are all about “finding information about professional aspirations” for all students—no matter where they are in the 
career search.
“A [student should] want to be gathering information about potential employers, possibility narrowing down to what they want their career path should be…but they also want to make a good impression in case they talking to someone who really lines up with what they want to do after Clemson,” said Burton. 
The September 20th fair, an Engineering, Computing and Science Fair, pertains to students who have technical degrees. The second, which will take place the day after, is a Business, Non-Profit and Government Fair. The second fair will host students interested in non-technical professions. According to Clemson Joblink, a total of 304 employers will be attending the events. 
Both fairs will be held in the Fike Recreation Center. 
Burton said the first things students should do to prepare for the fair is to find out what companies will be attending. Students can look up which companies will be in attendance on Clemson JobLink—a network in which Clemson students can connect with employers specifically seeking Clemson students. 
The second thing the students should do, Burton said, is to do their homework. 
“My advice is to pick maybe 3 to 5 that are [top choices] and dive deep into those…then [the student] will have a second tier options—8 to 10—and just getting a general overlook of those companies. Just enough so [they] can have enough information to generate a conversation if you walk up to a representative.”
Burton added that the student should also have a larger list of companies that might be of interest to them. 
“That [homework involves] just knowing what they do…you never can 
tell when some of those other opportunities might turn out to be better than what you thought.”
For those students who are less prepared, the Center will be hosting a series of workshops focusing on prepping students for their time with employers. 
These workshops will include a “inside edition” where visiting companies will give students advice on making a good impression to a potential employer. There will also be a resume blitz, in which students can bring their resumes to employers and career counselors for scrutiny and edits before the big event. 
Lisa Bundrick, the Assistant Director of Events and Employers at the Michelin Career Center, said that the career center wants to be there for the students and give them the tools to be successful at the fair.
“Students feel a lot more confident when they go over there if they have heard from the employers ‘this is kind of what we are looking for,’ said Bundrick, “so 
the students that attend these workshops, actually end up feeling much more poised when the big day comes.” 
Bundrick also clarified that the fair is not only for upperclassmen.
“As a freshman or sophomore it makes perfect sense to come and see what the career fair is all about. So you can come in so much better prepared when it is your time.”
Junior and UPIC Events Intern for the Michelin Career Center Meghan Zieger said she first attended the career fair as a freshman—just to tell her parents that she did it. She said the experience was overwhelming.
“I think I only went to see what was going on, because I had no idea,” said Zieger. 
Ziegar added she is much more prepared for her junior year trial.
Burton said experiences like Zieger’s are common for students early on in their career paths.  But the more that a students has these conversations, he said, the better they get at them. 
“Some people think career fair, and don’t come until their senior year. But they don’t realize the importance, the benefits of going and making connections… the more students have these interactions, the better they will be at this [process]…You’re never going to have 300 employers in the same location looking for Clemson Students again [for a while].”
Burton’s advice?
“Take advantage of it.”

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