The Career Fair is coming up soon, and I know many of you are interested in summer internships or post-graduation jobs. The question is, are you prepared? I ask this question not in the sense of do you have a suit, did you set up an appointment with your barber, have you bought resume paper, etc. Instead, I ask this question in the sense of do you have the right experiences? While the Career Center can help you craft a resume and sharpen your interviewing skills, it can’t actually give you experiences you need to talk about at the Career Fair or in an interview. That’s up to you. Whether you’re a first or second year looking to start building your resume, or a third or fourth year trying to balance and polish your experiences, there are plenty of opportunities right here on campus and in Athens that could help you stick out at the Career Fair (in a good way). Here are some of those opportunities:

(1)    Find a campus organization to join! UGA has over 640 registered student organizations on campus, and most of them are recruiting right now. Get on the Center for Student Organization’s website and find something that interests you. A great way to plug into your potential career is to join a professional organization related to your major. If you can’t find an organization that speaks to you, create your own! The CSO makes it really easy, and those experiences are transferable in almost every field.

(2)    Volunteer! There are hundreds of organizations in Athens and in any community that could always use an extra hand. Find something that you’re interested in and that you’ll enjoy. Volunteer opportunities are everywhere. Look at local schools, after-school programs, mentor programs, Big Brother/Big Sister, the Red Cross, or The Boys and Girls Club of America.

(3)    Intern for a Day! Also known as job shadowing or externships, the Career Center’s Intern for a Day program has been wildly popular among students looking for exposure to particular fields. Whether you’re unsure of your major/career path or if you’re dead set on a particular company, Intern for a Day is for you. Attend the orientation and submit your resume, and we’ll pair you up with a company that will give you some experience and knowledge of what it’s like to work in that field. Orientations this semester are September 29th and 30th and October 4th from 4 to 5 at MLC 150.

(4)    Start a blog or a website! Sometimes starting a professional blog or website can give you the upper hand. It gives you real world experiences as lots of companies are looking for people who are familiar with blogging, website management, and other social media outlets. Be sure to keep it professional and appropriate if you plan on marketing it to potential employers though.

Be sure to schedule an appointment with your Career Consultant after you gain some of these experiences and hit up some of the Career Center events to prepare for the Career Fair!