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Fall Career Fair

Career Week, Unified Fair Mark Changes in Recruiting at MIT

By Aaron D. Mihalik
STAFF REPORTER

Just as we finish up our summer internships and return to classes, it’s already time to begin looking for another summer experience or perhaps for full-time employment. Although many students make use of on-line career application opportunities, it is difficult to beat the advantage of that personal touch offered by a career fair.

The MIT Fall Career Fair will be held on September 30 and October 1 in Johnson Athletic Center and Rockwell Cage. Currently there are more than 220 companies registered for this career fair and all students are encouraged to attend. The company representatives will be focusing on recruiting graduate students on September 30 and undergraduate students on October 1.

“The MIT Fall Career Fair is geared towards [seniors and graduate students] looking for full-time employment,” said Hugo B. Barra, president of the Class of 2000. “But juniors, sophomores and even freshmen also have the opportunity to discuss summer internships with almost all companies present at the fair.”

“All students should attend the joint career fair as it will be the only career fair on campus this fall,” advised Luis A. Ortiz G, president of the Graduate Student Council. “This is the obvious opportunity to begin your search for permanent employment as well as summer internships, part time and externship contacts. Even if near term employment isn’t your need, the portfolio of companies provides an excellent opportunity for students to investigate new fields or companies as well as establish valuable contacts.”

Preparation for a career fair can increase the chance of success for students looking for employment.

“Students should not just walk into the career fair,” said Barra. “They must carefully prepare a resume, dress well and think about what they have to say. Overall, it is important to be charming when talking to recruiters and know what you want [and] know the company you are talking to. This is why we have designed the MIT Class of 2000 Career Week, to allow students to start formulating concrete action plans for the recruiting season even before it starts.”

Class of 2000 Career Week

This year’s career fair will take on a different look than in past years. The week of September 27 through October 1 is officially Class of 2000 Career Week. During this week there will be a series of workshops, seminars, and panel discussions to inform students on a variety of career topics. Although this week focuses on preparing and informing the senior class, graduate students and underclassmen are welcome to attend all events.

“To better serve MIT students and to be equally fair to all firms, we have eliminated from this week all typical company presentations that historically happen just prior to the career fair,” said Barra. “[These presentations are] to be replaced by student-organized events that we believe are more representative of the wide range of options available to MIT’s graduating class.”

The Class of 2000 will sponsor a majority of the events during this week. The Society of Women Engineers, the Graduate Student Council, and the Office of Career Services and Preprofessional Advising will also be sponsoring a number of events.

“I am excited for the event because I know that it is going to be an improvement in career service to students, especially graduate students,” noted Ortiz.

Career week is a collaborative effort

Although the Class of 2000 is the official sponsor, GSC, SWE, Sloan’s Undergraduate Management Association, and OCSPA are co-sponsoring the week. Also, several other student associations are involved with the presentations throughout the week. These student associations include IEEE, Eta Kapa Nu, Tau Beta Pi, and the Biomedical Engineering Society.

“The largest career fair during the year has traditionally been the Senior Class Career Fair,” said Barra. “However, SWE and GSC have managed to organize respectfully large career fairs in the recent past as well. The consolidation started as an appeal from recruiters who couldn’t come to all events... [by consolidating career fairs] we are able to bring many more companies and offer students a much more compelling set of choices to pick from.”

“By providing one event, companies now know where to focus their efforts,” said Ortiz. “Also, and possibly just as important, our three organizations are learning how to work together toward a common goal for all students... I hope that it precedes future collaborations among independent student activities and the undergraduate and graduate student governments,” he said.

New resume submission method added

Another change in this year’s career fair is the resume submission system. For the first time, resumes which will be viewed by companies in advance will be submitted only in electronic form. The deadline for resume submission is Wednesday September 17th at 5pm.

“We don’t like the Jobtrack resume submission method, since it forces you to manually type text and generates a very inelegant piece,” Barra said of a commonly used electronic resume system. “We are going to collect resumes from the seniors starting next week on the traditional paper format to put together the Class resume book.”

“The electronic system is the best method for getting information to the company recruiters before they arrive on campus,” noted Ortiz. “The electronic resume submission streamlines the process for working with the printers to provide a professional resume book for company recruiters.”

The resume submissions deadline is September 15. Visit <http://resumes.mit.edu> for more information and to submit a resume.