On Oct 3, approximately 1,700 students had the opportunity to talk to over 200 employers at the Career Expo. Prior to the event, Career Services prepares students with programs and services. This year, they implemented a new initiative at the expo by hosting a “Ready Room.” It provided students an opportunity to get immediate feedback and coaching prior to meeting with employers.

The Ready Room consisted of four stations:

1. How Do I Look? – Students stood in front of a mirror and were able to get their business suits critiqued. Scissors, safety pins and bobby pins were all on hand for last minute fixes. Students were very appreciative for the helpful suggestions on how to dress to impress at future expos and interviews. It was great to see how open students were to getting feedback; some students were literally dashing through the turn-style and asking “How do I look?”
2. Picture Perfect – Students were dressed and looking sharp for their LinkedIn profile photograph. They were very excited to be able to replace their casual photo for a professional one. It was also a great opportunity to educate students on “LinkedIn” as a powerful networking tool. This was such a popular station that students who were not able to take their photo before the career expo but made sure to return after the expo to have their photo taken.
3. Google Employers –Some students are often unaware of the importance of researching employers prior to attending a career expo. Students were offered a work station with laptops and practical guidance on how to research employers. Having knowledge of the companies they were interested in meeting was valued by both students and employers.
4. Practice Run – This station was definitely a hit. Students were able to practice maintaining eye contact, a firm handshake, a smile and a strong introduction. Students had the chance to work one-on-one with a career professional to try out their pitch. Not only was this great practice but also a great confidence booster.

The office staff was excited about this new initiative; the turnout exceeded their expectations. They had almost 500 students come through the Ready Room and the student feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

One student commented, “I’m so glad this was available. It is such a valuable resource and made me feel more confident in myself and ready for the career fair.” Another said, “This was a great addition to the job fair. It allowed students to not only prep, but release nervous energy before meeting with employers. Very satisfying.”

After visiting the Ready Room, students were asked to complete feed-back evaluations. Over 200 evaluations were collected and 100 percent of students indicated they would recommend the Ready Room to other students.

 Career Services is a department in the Division of Student Development and Enrollment Services.