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Reality Hits

Ana Purchiaroni, C'23

On the Outside Looking In Blog

With cold air blowing and the leaves falling fast, it was inevitable that the Fall Career Fair would happen soon. Luckily enough the Mount has a great Career Center that can help with just about every question you ask them from “What should I do with my life?” to “What’s an internship?”

This semester has been pretty relaxed so far. I have enjoyed writing poetry for my creative writing class and learning new art styles in my design class. I was getting really comfortable with this nice routine of enjoying my senior year. However, just like the cold air arriving promptly on the first day of fall, reality also smacked me in the face. The Fall Career Fair was coming up, and things are starting to get serious now. They don’t call it senior year for nothing. I am graduating next year and being spit out into the working world as soon as I finish here. What will I do? Where will I go? These questions started floating around and suddenly I had a lot more to worry about than just my next poem being due.

With cold air blowing and the leaves falling fast, it was inevitable that the Fall Career Fair would happen soon. Luckily enough the Mount has a great Career Center that can help with just about every question you ask them from “What should I do with my life?” to “What’s an internship?” I made an appointment, and they helped me the very next day to polish up my resume since I hadn’t touched that thing since May or maybe even longer. After updating and spiffing up my resume I was ready to go!

But of course, nothing is that simple. I still had to do some research on the types of companies that would be in attendance. There was 80+ companies at this thing, and since it was virtual, I could only sign up for so many 30- or 10-minute sessions.

This is the part where I started to freak out a little. I have never been to a career fair. I don’t know what to expect. What do I look for in a company? And also, what do I want to do for the rest of my life. Things started getting real. When they hear you’re a communications major, people always say “Oh, you’re in communication? You can do so much with that. It’s a very broad field.” Well, that’s a bit of a problem for someone who leans on the indecisive side. When the world has endless possibilities and the road is clear, I am usually the type to just sit and wait until something comes along that forces me to figure it out and make a decision. However, with the career fair being the next week, I had to at least settle on something. Eventually I was able to narrow it down to five companies that I was interested in.

Now it came time to research each company. Thanks to my senior seminar class, I learned a little bit about what employers are looking for when you have meetings or interviews with them. The best thing to do is research the company. Find out what they’re all about. What does their website look like? What do they value the most? How did the company start? Usually, you can find all this information on a company’s website, and you can get a better idea of what kind of company you’re applying to. I thought this task was going to be really daunting, but to my surprise, it was kind of fun looking at all the different companies and doing a deep dive by poking around on their website.

Why is this important? What does stalking a company do? Well first, maybe don’t phrase it like that. Second, all this poking around gives you stuff to talk about with the employer. It shows that you are interested in the company and have done more research than the two-line description that was given on the career center site. When you show interest in the company, the company shows interest in you. It’s that simple.

The day of the career fair I was ready with my shiny new resume, my knowledge of the company, and my business formal attire that makes me look like a CEO. At first it was a little confusing technology-wise to join the sessions, but I got the hang of it, and I was in my first session patiently waiting for the employer to show up. I waited…and waited…and waited some more…the whole session passed. The employer didn’t show. That’s okay, that’s alright. Just brush it off and start again. I joined the next session. Waited for the employer to show. I waited… and waited… and waited…the whole session passed.

At this point, I was getting really frustrated. I had done everything right. I did my resume. I researched companies. I got all dressed up. But no one showed. Now, I did get to talk to two companies that day and things went well enough. Both sessions were 10 minutes each, but something still didn’t feel right. I felt jaded, as if I had done something wrong. I had such high expectations for the fair, the employers, and most importantly myself.

I think the moral to this story is that sometimes you can do everything that you are supposed to do, and things can still go wrong. It’s not a very happy conclusion or a resolved one, but that’s just the reality of things. Sometimes you put so much expectation of something going a certain way. You have it all planned out; what you’re going to say, how they’re going to respond, and how it’s going to end. However, it’s best to not have these elaborate plans of how things are going to go. I am not saying don’t plan things out or don’t prepare for things. All I’m saying is you should not go into things with certain expectations, because if you do you can end up being disappointed and then pin the blame on yourself. So don’t be like me and punish yourself or blame yourself for things you have no control over and don’t put expectations on things that are out of your control. Just let things happen the way they’re supposed to and go with it.

Ana Purchiaroni, C'23