On April 17, UC Davis hosted its quarterly career fair in the ARC Pavilion. The Internship and Career Center (ICC) put together this event by inviting businesses to advertise and recruit students to join their companies.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., over 130 companies from a variety of industries provided information to students who hoped to gain knowledge and make positive impressions.
According to ICC Project Manager Marcie Holland, the fair is a chance to get students thinking about where they stand entering the professional world.
“Coming out to the career fair, you get to practice being in the professional mode,” Holland said. “At the fair, you get to see what other people’s professional styles are, and where you might fit. It’s developing a part of yourself you haven’t had to yet.”
Even though there is a fair each quarter, students can experience something new each time that they attend.
“I have worked here a long time, but every fair feels new to me,” Holland said. “There is a mix of different companies and students. If someone has been to a fair once, and it wasn’t a positive experience, they need to come again. Students have such a wide variety of interests, so we want to make sure there’s something for everybody.”
Janelle Auyeng, a UC Davis alumna and current CalRecycle employee, has a different perspective on the fair now that she has returned as one of the recruiters.
“When I was a student at UC Davis, I remember I was so clueless and didn’t know what I wanted,” Auyeng said. “I just knew that I needed a job. The best part of this event is that there are so many businesses in one place. You can see so many different potential employers and get information.”
Larisa Arambula, Human Resources coordinator of J.G. Boswell Tomato Company, believes networking to be an essential part of participating in the fair.
“Networking is the best thing students can take away from the career fair,” Arambula said. “Telling the companies what they’re interested in, getting to know the different companies because there are a bunch of companies that you might not know about. Students need to get out of their shell. I know it’s hard because I’ve been there too.”
According to Josh Diedesch, a CalSters employee and UC Davis alumnus, much preparation goes into making the fair happen.
“As a recruiter, we spend time getting together materials because we know that we have a limited amount of time with each student. We also spend some time thinking about the messages we want to give them and what materials to help to reinforce that, and how quickly and clearly we can communicate to them what it is that we do,” Diedesch said.
Expressing interest and following up afterwards are key ways for students to make the most out of the experience.
“I think that the best thing is to come up and be as confident as you can in introducing yourself and why you have an interest in that company,” Diedesch said. “It’s always a good idea to send a note and email to say thank you. If students have questions, they can follow up to reach out with the questions they have to find out more.”
JASMINE MANGABAY can be reached at email@example.com.
Photo by Kenneth Cunningham.