Find a job, internship at the SOC Career Fair
By Maggie Yarnold
Who do you know?
This question can be the deciding factor in finding an internship or job.
Building a bridge between yourself and the employer, a strong personal brand, and a large web of connections is the key to opening a door to your desired career. And Loyola's School of Communication Networking and Career Fair offers students the chance to make those important connections.
The SOC Networking and Career Fair will be 3–5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 6 in Kasbeer Hall. It will feature close to 40 communication–specific employers seeking intern and job candidates. Featured employers this year include Leo Burnett, the Chicago Tribune and Sun–Times, Walker Sands, WGN–TV, Jellyvision, Daily Herald, Kinetic, Velocity EHS, CBS–2, the Muslim American Leadership Alliance, and many more.
"When it comes to an internship and a job, one of the most important aspects of that is who you know. And the good thing about these events is they start that process," said Michael Limon, an instructor and the career and internship coordinator within the School of Communication. "There may not be, there could be, a job right now but... you make that connection and you've established something. And down the road... somebody may remember your resume from the fair and give you that opportunity."
Starting the process at the Career Fair helps move your resume to the top of the pile.
"The best part about being at Loyola is being in the city and getting to meet with people," said Jake Mazanke, a 2016 SOC graduate who found is job at the event last year.
"[When going to a Career Fair] know about the companies, talk about your skills in an elevator pitch and be confident," said Mazanke, a marketing associate at Livongo, a Chicago–based public relations and marketing firm.
Recruiters are excited to attend this two–hour–thirty–minute event and want to recruit more Loyola students and graduates, because Loyola students have been excellent interns and professionals in the past, according to Limon. Limon was part of the team which worked to bring these companies to Loyola.
Loyola graduate Rita Cardenas is now the associate director of Junior Achievement; this company works to empower and prepare young students for a bright future, according to its website. Cardenas graduated with one of the first advocacy and social change degrees in 2014, she said she struggled with selling her brand in a short elevator pitch.
To overcome her lack of confidence, Cardenas said she told herself "the worst thing someone can say to you is 'no.'" Cardenas said although her degree wasn't directly in communications, she realized she was a strong communicator and that's how she could help people.
"Communications is an umbrella major... having good communication skills allows you to adapt your skills to what they're [your employer] looking for," Cardenas said.
Many people would pay to have this many recruiters from competitive companies in one place, according to Limon. The Career Fair is one way to increase your connections and brand, but technology has taken a large amount of job applications to the internet. Limon said this still cannot replace face–to–face encounters with employers.
"Certainly, online applications have become a key method of delivery, but there still needs to be that human interaction," Limon said. "I'm not sure that'll ever change, or should it change. The career fair is one tool in the toolbox to apply for the position you want, and when you have an opportunity like this it benefits you to take advantage of it."
Self–confidence helps students be more comfortable talking to recruiters and entering interviews. Mazanke said his best interviews have always been casual and have incorporated discussions about his family or hobbies. He said when he attended career fairs, or went to interviews, he needed to be confident and have his elevator pitch, so he could have at least one good conversation and make that connection.
"I was extremely nervous [entering the career fair]. I knew the few [companies] I wanted to hit, but it's not easy once you're there," Mazanke said.
Loyola teaches students the fundamental skills of communication, according to John Slania, Associate Dean of the School of Communication. Personality, receptiveness and experience are developed outside the classroom; these factors make companies want to recruit Loyola students and continue to attend the Career Fair.
"It really starts with the students," Slania said. "Loyola students are down to earth, sincere and hardworking. Employers are impressed by Loyola students… they are eager to come to the Career Fair because of the reputation of the students."
To see a full list of the companies attending the Career Fair click here.