Georgia Tech Career Fair overflows with student talent

A student speaks with a representative. The Career Fair provides students a chance to form connections with companies and recruiters. // Photo by Ethan Chen Student Publications

The Georgia Tech Career Center has put in months of  preparation towards the All-Majors Career Fair that took place on Sept. 11 and 12. On the first day alone, the event attracted over 4,000 students and hosted over 150 employers. Hundreds of students spoke with recruiters and representatives, gaining insight on potential career expansion opportunities and experiences.  

Kristie Hesse, Events Manager for the Career Center, explained the background work and planning that goes into this large-scale event.  

“We started out about a year in advance, booking an event space, setting up and reserving our vendors. We then open our registration  in July this year where employers go into our website and pay for the event and put in all the details for all the jobs they’re hiring for and the positions they’re looking for and how many people they’re going to have coming in — all sorts of details,” Hesse said.  

There have been many career fairs like this in the past, but James Barricelli, Executive Director of the Career Center, elaborated on why this one was unique.  

“I think this fair is different than other fairs because of its size, in terms of number of employers,” said Barricelli.

He continued, “I think we might be one of the biggest in the South in terms of number of companies and number of students that attend. We’ll average well over 6,000 students in two days. With company reps, you’re talking about an event that’s over ten thousand people in two days, and that’s a sizable undertaking.” 

Before the Career Fair, students took time to plan out how they would fit the event into their class schedules, carefully crafted their resumes and even practiced elevator pitches prior to attendeding the event. Every major and year had a different, yet valuable experience. Prince Muteteke,  first-year CE, recounted his experience at the Career Fair.  

“I came because I just wanted to get my foot in the door for different companies. I have attended a couple of career fairs before. I wanted to get a little more experience of what a Tech career fair would be like. I talked to a couple of people who gave me some more advice — like one [recruiter] gave me some specific advice on my resume, which I am going to take down and fix, but I found a lot of people that I am going to look back and reach out to,” said Muteteke.

Sharing the advice he was given, Muteteke explained that many of the recruiters are just there to provide useful advice and insight into opportunities students might find in the future. Talking to them to find out what exactly an application is lacking will help in seeking jobs in the future.  

 King Ladzekpo, a first-year AE student from Ghana, explained how he felt at the fair. “It was just about looking at opportunities. Chances are I wouldn’t get anything substantial now, but that’s okay. I’m just working on my pitch, working on what they need, once I get all the information that I need from this. I attended the Diversity Career Fair [Mixer] which was last week. It was a bit similar to this,” Ladzkepo said.  After speaking to a couple of different companies, like Lockheed Martin, the insight from the representatives gave Ladzekpo perspective on what to look into and what to add to his application in the future to stand out. 

His general advice to future attendees is “know who you’re coming to see. Research your opportunities before asking them on hand, because not every representative will have them on hand, like that. If you’re knowledgeable to an extent, it will make things easier for you, and you’ll be a better applicant. It’s better to have interest in their company specifically, rather than general interest — why that specific company?” With the multitude of resources provided through the Career Center, such as resume workshops and input on elevator pitches and interview practice, Tech’s student body continually demonstrates the strong qualities of an ideal candidate. The amount of dedication and planning that goes into these events, by students and staff, deserves the recognition it gets.  Great job, Jackets!