Posted on September 11, 2014 by LilyAnn Peterson Gapinski
You have probably heard by now that next week on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday something pretty big is happening here at Purdue, and that thing is IR. Purdue’s Industrial Roundtable (IR) is one of the largest student-run job fairs in the country, and it continues to grow each and every year. This year, over 400 companies will be attending looking to fill internship, Co-Op, and full-time positions.
Because of IR’s size and reputation, it can be pretty intimidating your first year. A lot of freshmen think that it isn’t worth it to attend IR, because they cannot possibly compete with students older and more experienced than them, but that is not the case. Yes, it is more difficult to obtain an internship or Co-Op position as a freshman, but it is definitely not impossible. Some companies even specifically aim to hire freshmen. I know many people who were able to get internships for the summer after their freshman year through IR. Even if you don’t end up finding an internship, it is still great to get experience talking to company recruiters, and practice selling yourself.
Whether you are extremely serious about finding an internship position at IR, or you are just going for the practice, there are some things you need to make sure to do before the big day.
Update Your Resume: Make sure your resume is completely up to date with accurate and relevant information. Have people read through it to make sure you didn’t make any small errors. The Purdue CCO has free resume reviews as well which is a great resource to utilize.
Go to the Seminars: Monday all throughout the day many companies will be holding hour long seminars overviewing what they do and what opportunities they have available. This is a great chance to learn more about companies before going up to their booths during IR.
Do Your Research: Although the seminars will give you a lot of information, it is still a good idea to do additional research on the companies you are interested in. Many smaller companies do not hold seminars, so it is up to you to do all of your own research on them.
Decide Which Companies to Hit: With over 400 companies, you won’t have time to talk to them all, and you probably wouldn’t be interested in all of them anyway. Make a list of the companies you really like, and make a schedule of when to go to each company based on when you are available. All the information about where each company will be on Memorial Mall is in the IR Guidebooks that can be found around campus. Keep in mind that some companies are only here for one of the days, so make sure not to miss them.
Practice Your Elevator Pitch: When you go up to a recruiter during IR, you only have a few minutes to impress them. Make sure to plan out what you are going to say, and make yourself memorable. Information about how to construct a good elevator pitch can be found online at the Purdue CCO’s website.
Find Something Appropriate to Wear: It is important to look professional for IR, but keep in mind that you will be outside walking around Memorial Mall, so you will want to be in something comfortable as well. Make sure to stay informed about the weather forecast so you are able to dress weather appropriately.
IR is an amazing event that is unique to Purdue, and many great opportunities can come out of it. Keep this in mind, and make sure to take full advantage of it next week!
Good Luck Ladies!