by Maura Campbell ’22
Every Providence College student knows the anticipation leading up to the Career Expo: editing résumés, preparing introductions, and practicing their handshakes. The bright and bold signs around campus count down the days, encouraging students to get ready and excited.
Once the Career Expo has ended, students might find themselves without direction. Does the end of the Career Expo mean the job search ends, too?
Not surprisingly, the answer to that question is no; in fact, the Career Expo can kick off the career search for many students, not end it.
Despite this, it is common for students to feel unsure about what steps to take next. Stacey Moulton, associate director of the Center for Career Education, spoke about tips for students who may be struggling with the post-Expo blues.
One of the most important things, Moulton says, is using Handshake to further your career opportunities. Handshake, a platform that recently replaced eFRIARS, is used to connect employers with college students and recent college graduates.
PC’s Handshake platform can be used to connect students specifically with employers that they met at the Expo.
Handshake is not exclusively for students looking for jobs right now, either. Moulton encourages students to utilize the platform to get some networking done, even if they attended the Career Expo just to get an idea of what it is all about.
She explained, “If you are not looking for an internship or a job right now, let them know it was great meeting them and thank them for their advice.”
No matter how serious your job search is at this point, it is still helpful to make connections with potential employers.
Keeping the momentum going, Moulton says, is important as well. She recommends using Handshake not only to connect with Career Expo employers, but to explore other career events and opportunities as well. The Career Expo is not the only career event in Providence, and the Center for Career Education is available throughout the semester for career advisement and coaching.
Another important aspect to consider following the Career Expo is the sheer number of opportunities available. Over 100 employers attend the Career Expo, which can be overwhelming. The large number of employers and career opportunities at the Expo can lead to confusion, particularly among students who may be undeclared or who are still unsure of a career path.
Moulton’s advice for these students is to look at both their interests and their strengths. Though this might seem like simple advice, it can be difficult to actually observe and list your own interests and strengths.
“Family and friends can be a great help brainstorming these lists,” Moulton said, adding that the Center for Career Education offers additional helpful resources.
The Center for Career Education recommends two online assessments, Focus and StrengthsFinder.
After the Career Expo, it is also important to continue networking. Networking does not just help with getting an internship or a job, but Moulton says it can also help students to “get an insider’s perspective regarding the position and the organization” and determine whether they want to pursue these careers further.
Just as it is important to prepare for the Career Expo, it is important to follow up with employers, opportunities , and interests afterwards as well.
Simply put, the Career Expo should be used as an opportunity to further job opportunities, and these opportunities do not end with the Expo itself.
As always, the Center for Career Education is open for daily drop-in hours Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm in Slavin 108.
Even though the spring Career Expo is in the rearview mirror, the opportunities for networking and furthering your career certainly are not.