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Sept. 30 workshop offers tips for internship fair

September 23, 2010

NIU Internship FairSummer 2011 might seem like a long way off, but more than 800 NIU students will begin planning for it from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6, when they attend the Internship Fair at the NIU Convocation Center.

Those students will not only be thinking about summer but looking beyond it to their career hopes, said Diane Hart, employer relations specialist for NIU Career Services.

“Eighty percent of the internships are paid positions. The other 20 percent provide valuable experience that leads to jobs after graduation,” she said. “The fair has always been a great way to make initial contact with companies that traditionally hire NIU graduates.”

Abbot Laboratories, Archer Daniels Midland and the Illinois Department of Transportation are three of the 50 companies expected to have representatives at the fair.

The site also has a brief description of the firms and the intern positions available.

“I can’t stress enough how important it is for students to research the companies before they attend the fair,” Hart said. “They should also bring plenty of polished resumes and students should expect to give a 30-second presentation on why employers should hire them.”

Shined shoes and business attire will also help.

To further prepare students, Career Services counselors will conduct a workshop at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, in the Holmes Student Center’s Illinois Room. There, counselors will give tips on effectively writing and presenting resumes and coach students on interviewing skills.

“A PowerPoint will be shown at the Internship Fair telling students telling how to conduct their 30-second speech,” Hart said. “For many of these students, this will be their first experience in applying for jobs in the corporate world. The more prepared they are, the better.”

Chances for more preparation and observation will be offered the day of the fair. Students will have an opportunity to watch the fair from the center’s skybox.

“Watching from the skybox will allow students to see the number of employers that have attended, how long the lines are to speak with the employers and how the speeches are going,” she said. “The students will get a feel for the place without actually walking onto the floor.”

There will be plenty of competition among NIU students for the business, technical and service industry jobs that will be posted at the fair. Attendance by students from other universities is limited, Hart said.

“Another internship fair is held in spring,” Hart said. “Students who attend the fall fair are already thinking that far ahead.”

Additional opportunities are available through Victor eRecruiting.

by Gerard Dziuba