CAREER FAIRy tale

Daily inspiration and advice for the ambitious savvy young professional

CAREER FAIRy tale

This is a blog post by Heather E., the Campus Ambassador from the University of Notre Dame. Heather is currently an intern for the one and only Intern Queen! She is a Business Management and Psychology double major.

Notre Dame is big on careers, internships, and networking. Our career fair here took place the third week of school! That meant we all had to get to work on resumes and employer research early.  As a sophomore, this was my very first experience at a career fair and it was daunting! I have been waiting to write this blog so that I could give you all the full story, and now I have the results of all my hard work. As a direct result of the career fair, I had the most wonderful problem an internship junkie could ask for – two offers. Our career fair takes place in the Fieldhouse, a huge multipurpose area that used to lodge our ice hockey arena. Over 200 employers set up booths and hand out info, take resumes, and talk about the opportunities they have available. When I walked in, I was overwhelmed. There were massive lines of confident students in business suits shaking hands and taking business cards. Seniors were looking for jobs and juniors were looking for internships. Sophomores? Let’s just say employers weren’t looking for me. But I persevered. I talked to representatives at about 12 different companies. I had done research beforehand and knew that they had internships available, and that they were companies I was interested in. After making that face-to-face connection, I applied to each position through the Career Center’s website.

I ended up with invitations to six interviews. Saks Fifth Avenue, ALDI, Deloitte and Touche, Target, and more! Six interviews, despite being told by each company that they were really only looking for juniors as interns. I actually only ended up interviewing with Deloitte and Target. After three rounds of interviews with each company, I received internship offers with both!  I am happy to say that I accepted the internship with Deloitte and Touche in Chicago. This summer, I will be a Business Technology Analyst Summer Scholar, which is just Deloitte lingo for a Consulting intern. I will be helping big companies solve their biggest business problems! Deloitte has been listed by Newsweek as the #1 place to land an internship. I feel so honored and humbled that I was able to land one. The recruiter actually told me at my interview that they didn’t accept sophomores, but that if my interview went well, they would petition management to give me a chance. No pressure, right?

What do I want you to learn from this? Never let anyone else tell you what you can or cannot achieve. I left the career fair extremely frustrated and dejected because employer after employer had shut me down as soon as I mentioned my age. I had low hopes, but had incredible success that I never could have imagined! In the internship world, there are no hard and fast rules. Employers will make exceptions if you are exceptional. So keep your chin up, shine in those interviews, and don’t stop believin’!