Reaching outside of UI — UI Career Fair is just one of many opportunities for students to gain experience


One of the most daunting thoughts that crosses a student’s mind is “What comes next?”

We all begin college worrying about how to get through the next four years, but what about the years after?

While the University of Idaho helps prepare us for our future careers, nothing is absolute. Ultimately, it is up to us to make the most of every situation and every available opportunity.

The UI Career Fair is one such opportunity. Held Wednesday in the Kibbie Dome, students and alumni had the chance to meet with over 100 employers in an array of fields.

For many, interviewing can be an unnerving task, but the fair allowed students to dress professionally, showcase their resume and improve their interviewing skills.

In the days prior to the fair, Career Services held day-long drop-ins where students could ask questions relating to the event.

For certain majors, this event was a great way to showcase portfolios and meet with potential employers, but it doesn’t appeal to everyone. Students in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences — despite being part of the largest college at the university — were left by the wayside. With only a handful of employers catering to this college, many students were left wondering how else they could put themselves out there and find a similar experience.

The answer is simple, and yet is something that oftentimes many don’t want to hear. Students must take it upon themselves to reach out to employers to fill this void, even if it means stepping outside of their comfort zone. Reaching out to the unknown is the most important step in preparing for life after college — it is a skill that even the career fair won’t ultimately teach. Very rarely will employers come to you. Learning how to create and submit a resume and establish yourself is vastly more important than playing a waiting game.

In high school we are led to believe that grades mean everything, and often this stigma holds true for college as well. While grades are without a doubt important, they are only one small factor that can help determine if you are the right person for the job or even your “dream job.”

Experience matters. Having experience in your desired field can make you much more sought after, and gives you a leg up on the competition. An internship is one possible way to gain experience while developing contacts. Whether or not the internship is paid, in the long run it doesn’t matter. There is no better way to improve your resume than by interning for a company in your desired field.

The first step in all of this is reaching out.

— MR

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