Navigating Career Fairs as a Freshman

What’s up, everyone! My name is Andy Liu and as one of two freshmen bloggers, I’m really excited to be joining the Admissions Team!

Three weeks ago at Mudd, we welcomed dozens of employers to the LAC for the second of our two career fairs, the STEM Career Fair. One might think that, since I’ve been at Mudd for a month and a half, I wouldn’t have the experience or skills needed to successfully attend the career fair. But thanks to a lot of help from our Office of Career Services (OCS) and upperclassmen, the class of 2023 formed some valuable connections and picked up way more free swag than we’ll ever need.

Back in September, the LAC hosted the first of our career fairs, focused on potential jobs in software engineering and technology. Since companies value Harvey Mudd students so highly, many major tech companies (including Google, Facebook, and Yelp) all showed up to the career fair, and a variety of Mudd students from all majors and class years were able to talk to some of the best places for software engineering interns in the country. Even students with little to no job experience were able to connect with employers and found potential openings to apply for – and some freshmen even secured on-site interviews for internship positions the next day. And last Thursday, the LAC hosted a STEM Career Fair with positions in many non-software engineering industries, including internships at Hewlett Packard, Honeywell, and Unity. In my experience, fewer employers at this second career fair accepted freshman applications than the first one – however, there were still a lot of really cool opportunities available!

Students and employers interact at the STEM Career Fair. from @hmc_career on Instagram

Throughout the semester, but especially in the days leading up to the career fairs, OCS held a series of workshops in order to better prepare us for the career fair. I attended multiple workshops featuring companies that would be at the career fair to advising us on how to prepare our resumes and get ready for the career fair. OCS also ran a series of “First-Year Fridays”: Friday lunch events specifically geared toward preparing freshmen to find internship opportunities. Personally, I also got a lot of resume help from my upperclassmen, who were generous enough to take the time out of their day to look over my resume.

Resume Reviews with Mudd Alumni, one of the events run by the Office of Career Services (OCS). from @hmc_career on Instagram

Thanks to all of the help I got from my fellow students and the OCS (as well as the career service offices at the other 5Cs, who also held many events and talks before career fairs), I felt more than prepared for the career fair. Even though I’m not sure what I want to do next summer, OCS did their best to make sure I had a variety of interesting options available to me at the career fair and was prepared to take advantage of them. While I don’t have the most job experience, I’ve left with LAC twice with tote bags full of free swag, flyers from top companies and labs across the nation, and a mind full of ideas for what to do next summer!

Until next time,

Andy “please hire me” Liu