Myth of the Career Fair

There is an old rumor that your major doesn’t matter; you will most likely end up with a job almost totally unrelated. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it’s not necessarily true. It is a mentality that we have developed as college students, and it is affecting the way we see our future.

Many students focus on an ideal job because that is what they believe is their only option for their major, and the biggest way to change the way we think is to utilize the resources on campus; the main one being the Career Fair.


Assistant Director of the Career Center, Summer Shaffer, had nothing but optimism for the way to change students and their thinking.

“It’s a neat opportunity I wish all students would participate in,” Shaffer said.

It is probably the last time students will ever be sought out for careers.

With 12 different days, over 5,000 entrants, 200 employers and 3,000 interviews last year alone, CSU’s Career Fairs, supported by the Career Center, have been a huge success. CSU has become one of the core target schools for companies to fill their offices.

The Career Center has even had to increase the number of dates and fairs in the last two years due to the demand, according to Career Center Director Jeremy Podany.

“All these companies are coming to [your] backyard,” Podany said.

The Career Fairs, over the years, have catered to all majors, thought it may not seem like it.

“You can still apply what you learned in college to a lot of different jobs,” said Jamie Young, a senior communications studies major and anthropology minor.

Although looking online at the list of companies attending the Career Fair may not reveal what job is out there for your major, flexibility is key. Many of the companies and fairs are catered towards certain majors, such as engineering, natural resources, business or even teaching, but there are jobs that need a little bit of everything.

“Students have to start thinking in terms of, ‘What am I interested in, what are the problems that I can solve and what are the issues I want to apply my skills to?’” said Carrie Pinsky, a Career Center program aide.


Articulating what you want in a job can add value to a company and what the company can do for you. Pinsky’s advice: talk to the companies and see what they’re looking for. It can open your eyes to what you can do with your degree.

The Career Fairs don’t just get students jobs either; they can help students find internships. Senior graphic design and marketing major Jessica Lederhos said she’s gone to every one of the career fairs and the knowledge gained was invaluable.

“It helped me get good at talking about myself,” Lederhos said.

Podany emphasized that many students think that in a job search strategy, 80 percent of the work surrounds applying for jobs and 20 percent involves interviewing and meeting people face-to-face when it actually should be the other way around. Networking and meeting people face-to-face is what can get a job later on. Lederhos even gained an internship experience from an all majors Career Fair.

“It may be an internship, but it can translate into a future job,” Lederhos said. “Networking is so valuable.”

Career Fair 2011
Career Fair 2011 (Photo credit: Lafayette College)

Companies want a person who is excited to come to work every day. Passions change throughout a lifetime and people go to school for a variety of reasons. Sometimes people don’t always end up in the job they thought they would in high school and that’s okay.

For unsure students, there are always Career Panels, which are sponsored by each college. Alumni are brought in to talk about their experiences and how they got to their current job.

“It isn’t always a straight line,” Pinsky said. “But, be patient. You don’t know until you try something.”

College Avenue reporter Kelsey Shroyer can be reached at Look for the Interviewing Guide issue of College Avenue on racks Mar. 12!