6 things to know before Friday's Career Fair

By Elaina Crockett

September 17, 2015

Newhouse Career Development Center will offer professional LinkedIn headshots for all attendees

The Newhouse School will host the Fall Communications Career Fair 2 to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18 in the Panasci Lounge, Schine Student Center. The event is free and open to all students interested in networking with professionals in the hopes of landing a potential internship or job in the communications career field. We spoke with Bridget Lichtinger, assistant director of the Newhouse Career Development Center, who is excited to see students at the fair.

Find additional event information, including a list of participating employers, click here. 

There are a lot of students who are wondering, it’s so early in the year, why are we doing this now?

“It’s never too early! What we do is we break up two career fairs. We do one in the fall and (it’s typically) more focused more on internships. The companies that are coming in the fall are local and some regional companies. They are looking to make connections with a great pipeline of students for communications internships. This is a great way to practice networking, to practice your pitch to employers, get your resume out there, and to secure an internship either here for the fall or for the spring.”

What’s the most important thing students should do in preparation for Friday?

“The biggest thing is to do your homework, do your research. There is nothing that would impress an employer more than if you walked up to them and said ‘I know about your company, I know you’re looking for a public relations intern, and I’d really love to talk to you about opportunities’ so if you’re talking to them in that sense, that you’ve done your homework instead of, ‘What do you do? Who are your clients?’ ”

Why should freshmen and sophomores think about this now?

“For freshmen, I know it is their first semester and they are still trying to get their feet solid on the ground, but I think this is a great way to come over and to get used to it. Get used to being in a career fair setting, get used to dressing in business casual. Come and just meet people. Sure, they may not be able to intern this year, but if they meet (someone) from such and such company and they really like that company and stay in touch, pretty much guarantees that they have a really good in for next year. For sophomores and juniors I think this is great for if they need to fill a gap in their resume for some extra experience, they can do it here locally, which is great, and then they can look at the companies in New York City and establishing those connections for a possible summer internship.”

What should students wear?

“Always business causal. It’s Thanksgiving dinner at your grandma’s house. No jeans. You don’t have to wear a suit, but something nice!”

What advice would you give seniors?

“It’s great practice. The more you practice, the more confident you feel. The more confident you feel, the less nervous you feel. It’s really going and then passing out your resume and making those connections. Seniors may look at this and say, well, this is only for internships, but if you feel like there is still some stuff that you want to fill your resume with, there are some New York City companies and big companies that you can definitely touch base with possibly about entry level positions at a later time.”

Are there any special features for this fair?

“One thing that we’re offering this year, which is new, is that students who come to the career fair can get a free professional headshot for their LinkedIn account. We have a professional photographer coming and you get a nice picture taken and we send it to you. We’re passionate about equipping students with the tools to be successful. Not only to secure an internship or a job but for their career. 

“I always tell students, you’re going to be graduating soon. You put all this money and time into learning your craft. The CDC should also play into that because we teach you how to get a job in that craft, and we teach you a lifetime skill set. Not just a skill set for you for your first job, it’s a skill set that’s going to carry you into your career. I really love career fairs. I think it’s a great way to coach students, because they are nervous! Coming in prepared will make you feel so much less anxious.”

Elaina Crockett is a senior television, radio and film major at the Newhouse School.