Wednesday, February 19, 2003

You Need Experience... Apply Online!

Monday night and all day Tuesday there was a job fair for all of Minnesota’s private college students. I, of course, was in attendance because I was urged to go by our career resources center here on campus. I can now say, that after attending, there was not a whole lot of value that I got out of the conference that I couldn’t have gotten elsewhere on my own. The $20 entry fee, $8 for parking, all of our gas money, the money for food, and the amount of time we spent in the cities was definitely not worth it. For some people it may have been very beneficial, but for me it was not.
There were definitely many factors that led to the lack of productivity for the two days, and one of those factors was definitely my December 2003 graduation date.

Almost all of the companies there were looking for people that would be working for them starting in the summer whereas I would be looking to get a job with them nine months down the road. Almost every company I talked to told me to contact them later when I was closer to graduation. If I knew that they wouldn’t want people that were not graduating later than May of this year, I wouldn’t have bothered with this trip.
The other factor that led to this being an uneventful trip was the fact that almost all of the companies I talked to about IT jobs told me to apply online. They were not doing many on the spot interviews because they wanted everyone to apply through their website so that they could keep track of everything easier. Why have a job fair when you are only going to tell people to apply online anyhow? The other thing is that most companies that were looking for IT people were also looking for those people to have 3-4 years of experience or more. If you want experienced people why are they looking to college kids? I don’t understand the logic behind their presence at the fair when they want experienced people.

Another thing is that whenever I talked to a company and told them that I was double majoring in both computer science and philosophy they instantly assumed I wanted an IT job, when, in fact, many of the companies I visited I did because I wanted to look for jobs outside of the IT realm. The only company that really tapped me into something that might fuel my writing urges was Federated. One of the representatives there said that I might be interested in underwriting, which is a type of assessing of insurance claims. If you’ve ever seen Fight Club, underwriting is what Ed Norton’s character is doing at the beginning of the movie. This sounded like an interesting job to do so I asked him to keep me updated. One other company that interested me was American Express Financial. Being a financial advisor seemed to be interesting, but again the representative told me to keep in touch and contact him closer to my graduation date.

There were a couple of small things that were good that came out of the fair, but not enough to make it worthwhile. I did get to see one of my good friends from last year who had graduated. Sara was there representing LSS, a medtech company from the cities. It was great to see her again. Hopefully she can help put in a good word or two for me at LSS because I would be interested in working for them down the line as Sara works there and so do two of my other good friends. The other thing that was actually of some good was getting the couple of connections that I did. They may not lead me to a job, but at least they’ll help in getting me contacts as I need them down the road.

Anyhow, that was my trip for the most part. I would much rather have been back up here at college since both of my classes on Tuesday were canceled so I would have had the entire day to just hang out and take it easy. Oh well, what’s in the past is in the past. I’ll just have to look to tomorrow and hope it’ll turn out better.

No comments: