I thought going to career fairs in college provided one of the most challenging situations to navigate. It was hard for me to put all my accomplishments and wonderful qualities into 35 se seconds of talking to someone with other people over hearing. I also thought interviews were awkward sinc I don’t really like talking about myself to total strangers. But you go so you can get a job and i got a job.
I remember going through the career searching process thinking how easy the recruiters must have it. No stress associated with sitting across the table from me and asking me every ridiculous situational question they could think of. Did you ever get angry with someone and how did that make you feel? (Answer: Angry). Or if you didn’t like the grade your professor gave you when you didn’t turn in a homework what did you do? (Answer: should have turned in the homework). But after going to recruit at Texas A&M for the last two day, I have a new found respect for recruiters. It was hard work and the most challenging activity I have done since I took my differential equations class final at the end of freshman year in college.
Being the first time I had gone recruiting, they paired me up with my boss’s boss. He was actually the man I envied exactly 12 months ago. I remember him sitting across the table from me and asking me to explain a specific example of being in a situation that tested my integrity and to describe how I handled it. He was excited about the company he worked for and interested in what i wanted to do with my career. A great person to learn from a short year later.
Day one of my three and half day trip was spent trying to get to College Station Texas from my current home of Lenexa Kansas. I went in to work super early on Monday convinced to finish some projects and then headed to the airport. Security was easy but nothing else was. My connecting flight from Houston to college station was cancelled, re-instated, merged, and delayed ending with me giving up my seat for some good karma (I hope anyway) and trying to rent a car. All rental cars from all rental car companies in the entire Houston area were rented to other people so I called around promising beer and dinner in exchange for rides to college station. Thankfully two good friends of mine bailed me out by picking me up at 10pm from the airport, taking me to dinner, and driving me to my hotel in Bryan.
Day two started at the end of day one with a 3 hour cat nap before standing in our company booth for 10 hours. I talked to ~75 students about what i do, where I live, what my company culture is like, and how our interview process works. It was amazing to seeing everyone I went o class with in college out looking for jobs. I received more hugs standing at the career fair than I have in the last 24 months of my existence combined. My boss starting telling me to stop hugging everyone but they just kept coming. Most understood that i couldn’t just hire them but that it was nice to visit with them for a minture or tow. I think my boss realized how involved i had been in college with my peers.
We picked some people for interviews for day three, went to dinner with the past interns and co-workers and called it a night.
Day three was all about interviews. From 8:30am to 3pm we were talking and asking situational questions of our own. Our pre-screening was good since we didn’t have any bad interviews, just variations of good ones. The hardest part to me is ranking candidates. Some people you connect to, some people you want to have working for you, some people you want to work for, and some people you don’t make a connection with. I found myself wanting to help them improve their answers and viewpoints on the working world but you can’t. You have to hold your tongue and judge them. At the end of the day we found several good fits for our company so we’ll have to wait and see what happens in their second interview.
They were painting the football field while we were interviewing which was very distracting!
Day three ended at the chicken which is where I wanted to me for the whole day. Shiner beer is fantastic sitting on the back porch with a hot breeze and one of my best friends.
Overall the trip was good, just stressful. I’m back again in college station for the construction science career fair next week. It should be a different style of people but I’m excited. Hopefully my voice will return by then.