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Thursday, October 28, 2021

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Career fairs go fishing for next corporate shark


The penultimate goal before a student graduates from school is undoubtedly getting hired to work for a company. It excludes the minds which are more bent towards research and academia; although, the general school of thought is to join a professional life and start earning a livelihood.

All that toiling and midnight oil burns for the A grades we desire sum down to only that precious point — an interview call from a recruiter.

So, here we go again just like every other semester. A career fair enlivens the ray of hope in every student to make it to their final destination. This is their next move into the real world of hardships.

Suited and decked up early in the morning, the students look their best. It is such a delight to watch. Especially when spotting those students who have never been seen without the quintessential holes in their jeans and devil-may-care attitude. This transformation from student to professional is one of the many inevitable facts of life. A competitive whiff fills the air with rehearsed speeches and adorned resumes.

But the mystery remains to be unfolded. What’s the magic word that will surpass the ready-made answers from the company representatives after an intense give-and-take conversation? While they are asking you to apply to the company website online, your resume joins a stack of other resumes that leave you expecting so much more.

If only it were as simple as uttering a key password and the company booth opens up into two halves with steam gushing out from its sides asking you to enter.  What it takes to crack that code is more than GPA and a number of medals.

“It seems the primary reason for the companies is to promote their brand rather than hiring more students. But then we keep hearing cases where students get direct interview calls when they meet recruiters face to face during these career fairs,”  mechanical engineering graduate Shiva Joshi said.

The Spring engineering career fair on February 6 had nearly 100 companies participating in it. Most of the companies were seeking to hire students graduating after spring semester. It is a struggle for every student — whether it be residents or international, any gender, race or religion — the process of making it to the cut is the biggest hurdle of all.

The competition is fierce, but it is definitely a good platform where students get to interact with the industry professionals. This exhaustive process of applying for a job requires consistence and a whole lot of perseverance. Patience is the virtue to success. Tacky as it may sound but true to its every word. The reward is worth the struggle.

The silver lining for UH students is the thriving of all sectors in the city. The booming of all tech companies is causing them to produce more positions at different skill levels. Students can avail opportunities in health care, IT services, construction, oil and gas, logistics, engineering and even delve further into academia.

Forbes reports Austin as the second best city for finding jobs with a low unemployment rate of 5.3 percent since it is home to many universities. Companies flock to cities with higher educational institutions knowing that a talent pool is readily available locally.

In the long run, it provides and enables every student to become independent. They learn the skills to fetch for themselves and adapt to industry demands. The day is not far when the very same set of students who hike from one company booth to another hunting for opportunities will be on the other side. They will be seen dressed in an outfit that flashes a company logo and promotes their brand.

Opinion columnist Aishwarya Gogoi is a petroleum engineering graduate student and may be reached at [email protected]

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