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Mock Career Fair Prepares Smeal Students for Recruiter Interactions

Nearly 800 Penn State Smeal College of Business students attended a mock career fair on Tuesday, Sept. 10, to gain additional preparation for the month’s upcoming career fairs.
September 16, 2013

2013 Penn State Smeal Mock Career Fair
Students who attended the Smeal College of Business mock career fair got tips on interviewing, resumes, and how to dress for success from business school alumni.

Nearly 800 Penn State Smeal College of Business students attended a mock career fair on Tuesday, Sept. 10, to gain additional preparation for the month’s upcoming career fairs.

Hosted by Smeal’s Career and Corporate Connections, in partnership with Smeal’s Alumni Relations office, the mock career fair provided student interactions with recruiters and alumni to learn new tips for interviewing and appropriate attire, have their resumes reviewed, and practice their 30-second pitches.

“We saw some great preparation from students on making their 30-second pitch, and they were eager to learn more about the company,” said PNC's Tim Ballas.

According to alumna Jacqueline Corcoran ’04 Economics, who works for Vanguard as a project manager, “The 30-second pitch is an opportunity to wow potential employers with a great first impression.”

Corcoran, along with a dozen other Smeal alumni, staffed tables in the Business Building Atrium to better prepare students for interactions with recruiters.

“I hope we were able to help them boost their confidence and bounce ideas off of some experienced recruiters,” said Corcoran.

The companies in attendance included Altria, Dick’s Sporting Goods, EY, Macy’s, PNC, PPG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Procter & Gamble. After getting some advice from the alumni, students visited company recruiters for feedback on their 30-second pitches and communication skills.

“I think the mock career fair was a tremendous success,” said PNC’s Tim Ballas. “We saw some great preparation from students on making their 30-second pitch, and they were eager to learn more about the company.”

He continued, “For us, it was an opportunity to get to know the students and get them acclimated to who we are as a company. This allows us to keep them on our radar as recruiters.”

In addition, more than 200 students took advantage of the opportunity to have a professional headshot taken for use on their LinkedIn profiles. Photos were taken by Smeal’s Research, Instruction, and Information Technology Group.

New events like the mock career fair are an effort to continually develop students professionally, supplementing the quality education in the classroom—both of which are important aspects in bringing recruiters back to Smeal year after year for high-quality graduates who do well in the work force.

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