Have a Successful Experience at the Internship Fair

The Internship Fair will be Wednesday, October 3 on Front Campus from 10:00a.m. – 2:00p.m. Organizations such as the Disney College Program, the Atlanta Hawks & Phillips Arena, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, The Tubman Museum, Gwinnett Medical Center, Force Marketing, Enterprise Holdings, and many more will be at Georgia College to talk to students about their internship opportunities. Although the event will be held outdoors, you want to prepare for the fair as if you are preparing for a job interview. So, before you go to the Internship Fair, be sure you follow these helpful tips.

Before the Fair:

1. Research. Find out what organizations will be attending. You can see a list of participating organizations by logging in or registering in Career Connection at www.gcsu.edu/career.  Review the types of positions they are offering. Visit their company’s website and review their mission and vision statement, and any other pertinent information to help you develop a clear picture of what they are about. Use Google to search for additional information on your companies of interest.

2. Identify your skills. When reading job descriptions, be able to decipher your skills and qualifications, and how they match up with the skills needed for the position.

3. Develop open-ended questions to ask recruiters. Avoid asking “yes” or “no” questions. Sample questions you could ask:

What experience might I have as an intern in your organization?

What skills do you look for in an intern?

When is the best time to apply for an internship?

What should I be doing now to prepare myself for an internship in your organization?

Word of Advice:  Never ask them, “What do you have for my major?”  Instead, be able to tell the recruiter how the skills you have from your major will benefit the company.

4. Make copies of your resume using resume paper. Also, bring extra copies just in case there are companies who may have signed up to attend at the last minute. Visit the Career Center to have your resume reviewed by our friendly staff.

5. Develop your 30 second introduction speech. It should include identifiable information about yourself such as your name, major and/or career interests, and class year.  It should also include your knowledge of the company and how your skills and background matches the company’s needs. It might look like, “Hello, my name is Amy Dixon, a junior marketing major at Georgia College. I am looking for a summer internship and I read your website that your organization has an internship program in your marketing department. I’ve done some project work that I believe gave me skills related to the internship work.  What skills do you seek in a potential intern?”

6. Choose your professional attire and accessories. Here’s a guide in how to dress:

Business Dress: Business suit for men and women, almost always appropriate for an interview or other career related events. It’s always better to be over dressed than underdressed.

Semi Casual: A dress, skirt, or pants with blouse for women; jacket or sweater optional. Sport coat, dress slacks, and tie for men.

Casual Dress: For men, khakis or other similarly styled pants and collared shirt. For women, a dress or skirt and blouse and/or sweater.  Small heels or flats for women; loafers for men.

Professional accessories like a portfolio pad are good for carrying your resumes, notepad, and a pen.

During the Fair:

1. Gauge the area. The Internship Fair will be outside, but it can be a bit overwhelming and intimidating to see so many organizations; so, to ease your nerves, walk around the area before speaking to the representatives.

2. Watch your body language and mannerisms. When you approach the recruiter, give him/her a firm handshake and make direct eye contact. Stand up straight, speak up and speak clearly. Don’t forget to smile.

3. Inquire about the company’s recruitment process. Ask about open positions that you researched through their website, the anticipated time frame for the application process, and any other questions you have regarding internship. Feel free to ask any questions you have prepared regarding the organization. Ask the recruiter if you can contact him/her after the fair to follow up. Don’t forget to take notes!

4. Gather information, business cards, and promotional materials at each booth. Sometimes organizations have goodies such as pens and notepads.  However, be respectful and take materials once you have talked to the recruiter about opportunities.

5. Have an open mind. You may have your list of ten organizations you want to talk to at the fair, but talk to other recruiters who may not be busy. You may be surprised to learn about their opportunities. At the very least, you can continue practicing the art of initiating conversations.

6. Remember to network. Fairs such as the Internship Fair are all about networking. Naturally, you will connect with recruiters, but you can also network with fellow job seekers concerning internship leads and companies. The more you talk to others about your internship search, the bigger and stronger your network becomes.

After the Fair:

1. Reflect. Assess your experience. How well did you interact with the recruiters and what were the results? Is there anything you could have done differently? Make notes so you can be prepared for the next internship fair.

2. Send a thank you note. Within a week, send a thank you note via email or mail to the recruiter. Reiterate your interest in the company and state you will follow up with a phone call. You can also enclose a cover letter and a copy of your resume.

3. Check Career Connection at www.gcsu.edu/career about follow-up opportunities.  The company might post an internship on Career Connection or set-up a campus interview schedule.

For more information on internship/career fair preparation or other career development topics, schedule an appointment with a career advisor at the Career Center in 132 Lanier Hall or call 445-5384.


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