The Office of Career Services and Pre-Professional Programs hosted a career fair etiquette event entitled “Dare to Communicate with Confidence” which was facilitated by Cargill, an American food global corporation. The occasion was held Wednesday, March 23rd from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm with the option to join in-person at the James L. Bolden Student Union Ballroom or via Microsoft Teams.
Since Career Services is in preparation for the Annual Spring 22 Career and Internship Fair, which is March 31st, the Department has been hosting a plethora of events to get students involved and prepared for the next level of acquiring jobs and internships.
The event focused heavily on the proper etiquette of meeting employers and gaining a true understanding of how to network. Cargill’s University Recruiting Specialists, La’Rell Marion and Logan Parker gave students insight on what the company offers, as well as tips on how to navigate towards obtaining a job. Cargill’s background and main purpose is to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. The company holds 150,000 employees with the distinction of working in 70 countries. Cargill is a partner for food, agriculture, and financial and industrial customers in more than 125 countries.
“Cargill is one of the largest supporters that we have, particularly in our agriculture area, and they have supported us, not only in this event, but they also have the Thrive-Scholarship Program that they do in partnership with Alcorn,” said Michael Harper, Career Services Specialist at Alcorn.
Pertaining to career fairs that are offered in the Fall and Spring, it is imperative as a Freshman and Sophomore to network, build experience and understand the internship and full-time job landscape in the desired field. The specialists stressed the importance of virtual career fairs, as well. Registering in-advance, preparing a brief elevator pitch about yourself (experience and career interests), dressing to impress, ensuring your background is appropriate, doing research on the companies you are interested in and asking for recruiters contact information are all beneficial towards approaching employers.
Additional networking opportunities include national conferences, Open Houses with companies, virtual meetings, formal dinners, award programs and coffee chats.
Most importantly, preparation is key such as researching the company’s website, notating questions, practicing interview questions and building your comfort level. Questions involving topics such as Company Culture, Team Dynamics (interest in particular team/department), Day-to-Day job activities, Networking, Benefits, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are great topics to consider when conversing with employers.
In addition, building your personal brand is a sufficient route to take into the workplace. Techniques such as consistent behavior, following-up, completing work on time, asking for feedback, embracing differences such as using your skills to create value, identifying your goals, building your network and reflecting on your brand are crucial in perfecting your brand. All in all, personal brand perception is developed through any and all forms of communication.
“One of the most important things that a student can have in his or her toolbox is preparation. That is why Career Services is the most important Department on campus because we help students prepare for life after Alcorn,” stated Michael Harper.
For more information on how to communicate with employers, contact Michael Harper, Career Services Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org.