February 02, 2012
Five Quick Tips for Spring ICE
Beta Theta Pi
It is often said that finding a job is a full-time job in itself, and that networking is the most important aspect of getting into the business community. Miami works very hard to give you a one-stop-shop for your networking needs to give you a jumpstart on your competition. With Spring ICE (short for Internship and Career Expo) just around the corner, here are a few key tips and tricks to maximize your time at the fair.
Where: Millett Hall
When: 2-6 p.m. on Feb. 8
Tip #1: Do Your Homework
With dozens of companies that you could apply for and tons of students pining for corporate attention, you can’t just go in without knowing who to talk to. Look through the participants on CareerLink and find your top five companies. You probably will be able to visit others, but you cannot prepare well enough for all of them. Customize your resume directly toward your favorite employers.
Tip #2: Prepare Questions
Look through your top companies’ Annual Reports and key financials so that you are knowledgeable about their financial situation, area of work, recent developments and key initiatives. Prepare three to five questions related to your research as well as some generic questions for awkward situations (i.e. What is the company culture? or What exciting opportunities do you have for new hires/ interns?)
Tip #3: Use Your Professors
Chances are, your professors within your major are already networked with the employers that are coming. Whether it is a bank, a logistics firm, an accounting firm, or engineering company, your professors have contacts. You can get recruiter information and find out about pre or post-Spring ICE events. Many of these are often more helpful than the Spring ICE itself – I made contacts for my summer internship at an hour-long lunch before Career Fair this year. It is often a more relaxed experience with good chances for 1 on 1 interaction.
Tip #4: Practice
You want to be conversational, to have a story, to leave a lasting impression in a recruiter’s head. Don’t go to your top company first, because you may be pretty rusty. You’re going to say some stupid things, but you get better and better with practice. If you’re an underclassman who is not necessarily looking for an internship or job, come anyway. It never hurts to get practice when it doesn’t matter so you can perform at crunch time.
Tip #5: Be Professional!
Dress Conservatively - you’re not going out to Brick Street, so don’t dress like it. Wear a suit or other “business formal” attire. Shine your shoes. Print your resume on nice, thick, watermarked paper. These types of things will not set you apart from the crowd by any means, but they will prevent you from making a bad first impression.
All in all, remember that Spring ICE is not the be-all-end-all of career and internship recruitment. Often, conversations, networking and a good resume give you a foot in the door, but strong interviewing skills get you the job. Miami’s academic prestige makes the companies want you as much as you want to be part of them, so don’t be nervous, and get a job – or decide you want to spend another year at school and do a victory lap!
Charles is a senior studying supply chain management. You may contact him at email@example.com.