What is a career expo? We talk about them all the time and have several each year, but what exactly is a career expo? Expos are our office’s career fairs where recruiters and employers will come to campus to share information about their organization and potential internship/job opportunities. Here at UR, we host several industry specific expos as well as two more general Spider Career Expos each year.
These events are unstructured and allow students and alumni the opportunity to seek out specific employers of interests to have individual conversations. Each employer who is visiting will have a table and signage so that you can identify them; at the table they’ll also have some information about their organization and opportunities and usually also have some fun freebies to giveaway! While this unstructured environment can seem a bit overwhelming, it allows you to access who you’re interested in and work the room at your own pace.
One question I often get as an advisor is who should go to an expo and what exactly do you do there? Answering the first question is easy: any student of any class year and academic background is welcome at all of our expos. For our industry specific expos, typically the students who attend will either have already identified an interest in, or are exploring that industry. While there may be some employers seeking students with specific academic majors, there will always be organizations who are interested in students from all areas.
Answering the second question is a bit more complex. First, let’s think about why you’re attending an expo. Are you exploring an industry and want to gather information about what types of employers recruit Richmond students, what positions do they offer for students, etc.? If so, coming prepared with a list of questions to help you gather the information you’re seeking will be helpful. If you’re actively seeking an internship/job opportunity then doing more research on the specific positions offered and having more in-depth knowledge of the companies and industries is critical. Either way it’s important for all students to have a strong resume and wear business professional attire, you never know what kind of opportunities might present themselves! If you’d like more info on prepping for and navigating an expo, check out this video.
We hope that you’ll consider attending at least one of the expos that Career Services hosts or attends this year, for a full list see our website.