I followed the signs to UD’s first career fair held in College Park Center, the old NCR building. As I walked from St. Mary’s to Brown Street I noticed the increasing number of students in black suits walking in the same direction, portfolios in hand looking purposeful and perhaps slightly nervous. Entering the fair, we were greeted by career services staff who gave us last minute advice to put our nametags on the right side so that when shaking hands, employers could more easily see our names. As I walked away I was reminded to smile and make eye contact. Then I was on my own.
I walked down an entire aisle looking at all the booths before I got up the nerve to stop to talk to a recruiter. He smiled and read my name as I shook his hand. I was glad I had my nametag on the right side. Though he wasn’t sure his organization, St. Joseph Orpanage, had any openings in my field, he gladly took my resume to pass it along. Every employer I talked to was the same (though I certainly didn’t make it to all 80) —friendly and helpful, even if they didn’t have any positions that fit my background. The rows were crowded with UD and DECA students and maybe a few alumni.
At every booth students were engaged in conversations with employers, asking and answering questions and getting more than a few free ink pens, maybe a letter opener or even a chocolate bar. My favorite freebie was from Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital. They didn’t have a job for me, but at least I got a keychain Band-Aid dispenser.