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Put your foot in the door

Rows upon rows of employers will line the Minneapolis Convention Center on Feb. 19, waiting for private college students to approach and tell them why they would qualify to work for their company.

At the Minnesota Job and Internship Fair, over 1,800 sophomores, juniors and seniors of all majors can promote themselves to potential employers for networking purposes, internship opportunities or possible permanent jobs.

Interested students can sign up on the Career Center’s website. The fair costs $20 to attend; registration and money are due by Feb. 14. Money can be turned in at the Career Center.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., students can meet and familiarize themselves with different employers. This allows students to practice networking skills by exemplifying the abilities they have and how they can contribute to the company. February 20 is solely for interviews.

Over 150 employers—Target, 3M, Apple, etc.—will be there. To find the complete list of attending employers, please see the Minnesota Private College Fair website.

Concordia College is offering a $5 lunch with an alumni from 12–1 p.m. where students can get tips on job searching and create connections for future possibilities.

Only private college students will be at the fair. Separate fairs are held for public universities later in the week. The fair for private college students has always had a higher amount of attending employers according to Sue Zurn, co-director of the Career Center.

According to the various employers on the Minnesota Private College Fair website, they look for a variety of things from the students. Even if the employer does not have an open position for that specific student at the time, they still like talking with them because they can either refer the student to a different department that has openings or keep in mind to contact them later when they do have an open position.

The main attributes employers look for are students who do their research ahead of time, communicate effectively, present themselves appropriately, are passionate and hardworking and can help their business grow.

Zurn also notes that, “employers look for initiative, trainable, optimistic, good fit for culture and long-term employees.”

Zurn suggests that students should bring 20-25 one-page résumés and plan to distribute them to potential employers.

To prepare, do the research. Make a list of what companies interest you then contact them beforehand, showing that you are proactive. At the fair, be open; walk around and practice speaking before going to the top employer. According to Zurn, the best way to present yourself with confidence, look the employer in the eye, tell your story and ask curious questions.

“Leave Mr. or Ms. Humble in the car, and bring in Mr. or Ms. Confident to the fair,” Zurn added.

For more information, contact Sue Zurn or check out the Career Center’s website. To register for the fair, go to the Career Center’s website to find the form, and complete it by Feb. 14.

“Going to the fair gives students experience of the hiring process, which can be used as a building block for future internships or jobs,” Zurn said.

This article was written by Sage Larson, contributing writer.

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