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Hit the ground running with UMass Lowell’s career fairs

Vernon Gibbs 
Connector Staff

The process of looking for and getting a job after college is a subject that can be left neglected in the back of one’s mind until reality catches up to them. UMass Lowell hosts career fairs on an annual basis, giving students a head start in tackling the dread of finally looking at their career choices. Last Thursday, March 21, UMass Lowell hosted the spring career fair at the Tsongas Center, free of charge for all students.

The Tsongas Center was packed wall to wall with booths, hosting just under 200 businesses looking for student employment. Among small businesses were the likes of UPS, Raytheon, Liberty Mutual, the U.S. Army and even Walgreens.

Each booth can be described as a lightning round of interviews. Everything one would expect from a regular interview could be found at the fair, from the initial handshake to them frowning when students mention their major.

First impressions make the difference, and everyone made sure to wear their best – even if it did mean sweating through the stuffy heat, as several students professed. There were opportunities aplenty for whoever had the courage to brave the heat. And one cannot forget the free cookies. They are the unsung hero the fair.

It is good to understand what the businesses want out of you, as well. In this year’s fair, almost every last one of the potential employers were interested in anyone with a background in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math) or business. Liberal Arts majors were mentioned once every blue moon, with the specific function of marketing.

While some companies had opportunities such as internships and part-time positions, one would be hard pressed to find an employer there who was not offering a full-time position. Of course, such requirements may also be incorrect due to varying levels of specificity on the matter.

A distinct advantage of attending these fairs has to be the many opportunities available for getting used to the reality of finding a job. The booths and the follow-up contacts are very accessible at these fairs – risking nothing but one’s dignity to step forward and start talking. Even if the weight of responsibility is not bearing down on someone just yet, it would still be worth a shot to get used to the whole process.

For students majoring in the Liberal Arts, the Social Sciences or the Health Sciences, UMass Lowell is hosting another Career fair focusing on Non-profit and Government opportunities. The event will be held at O’Leary Library in room 220 on Wednesday, March 27 and promises to showcase experimental learning opportunities, fellowships, co-ops, and full-time positions.

A student’s years in colleges and universities are meant to prepare them for whatever the future may have in store for them. Fairs like these help students to hit the ground running after they graduate.

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