On January 28, 2020, the Rutgers MBS program held a career development workshop about how to prepare for the Career & Internship Mega Fair, which is taking place at the Louis Brown Athletic Center (RAC) tomorrow, February 4, and Wednesday, February 5, from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. both days. The workshop was hosted by Abbe Rosenthal, MBS Head of Corporate Partnerships, Student Employment, Alumni Engagement & Professional Development, and Randi Fonseca, a highly experienced recruiter and career coach.
Abbe and Randi both highlighted how to make a strong impression and stand out as a candidate. They also emphasized the critical importance of preparation—especially for students interested in working for a specific company, they reminded us to do our homework before approaching participating employers and company representatives.
They gave helpful suggestions for how to look our business best and offered insights about the best and worst times to attend the event. For example: don’t wait until lunchtime or the end of the day. At lunchtime, company representatives are most likely thinking about what they're going to have for lunch. By the end of a busy day, representatives are often in a hurry to wrap up and leave. In both of those cases, the representative’s focus is not fully on the student.
Recruiter, coach, and workshop cohost Randi Fonseca shares her experience with students.
Abbe also offered strategies for how to tackle a large career fair with nearly 300 employers, as it is impossible to visit them all!
After discussing preparation, the conversation shifted to shaping and practicing our “elevator pitches.” Abbe and Randi demonstrated for the students and then students paired off to practice their own introductions. We then debriefed through a reflection, where Abbe and Randi took the time to address the fears some introverted students feel when pitching themselves—many students commented that “pitching,” felt more like “bragging.” Abbe and Randi both addressed that fear and encouraged students to reframe “pitching” as learning and sharing our value. We are MBS students with skills, experience, and an education that sets us apart and has tremendous worth. This motivated many shyer students to refine and practice their elevator pitches even further. Reframing our mindset from “we are bragging” to “we are factually stating our skills, experience, and value” was a definite confidence builder.
Abbe and Randi also offered students a brief resume review or “pitch practice” session after the workshop, which I was so pleased that I decided to attend. I had some apprehension about attending the Career & Internship Mega Fair since I am an introvert, and promoting myself to others is out of my comfort zone. However, Abbe’s and Randi’s guidance and support reduced my anxiety and I now feel much more at ease.
My biggest takeaway was that talking about my skills and experience isn’t bragging, it’s being truthful. The MBS program is a unique hybrid of advanced business and science education—providing students with valuable skills and industry exposure. Each of us has plenty to offer to future employers. We are all valuable candidates who bring much to the table!
Enjoy the career fair--I hope to see you there!