The 2-Day Career Fair is one event to be put down in the books for students and even graduates to take part in for an advance in their professional careers. That is, if they are prepared for the resume writing, required poise and the curious questions involving them and their aspirations as a professional.
As a fellow student looking for potential internships and future openings with companies, I certainly took the opportunity to speak with professionals of the area in hopes of making some connections with accomplished individuals in my field. However, I seemed to have received a bit of culture shock or sense of unbalance. The spectrum of professionalism that I experienced seemed too unsettling and confusing for me to comprehend.
It isn’t as though I walked into a mess of amateurs who were unskilled, but more so into an environment that was somewhere between the lines of patronizing and hard-edged. I couldn’t find a pattern and struggled to gauge the reactions and attitudes of each representative, only making it that much more nerve-racking as a student.
What is worse, is being this vulnerable and exposing your abilities on a simple sheet of paper clarifies for yourself where you stand as an employee. Walking through each aisle of booths, I found myself at an overwhelmed stage to the point of leaving, only to stop before the exit and come to my senses that I needed to get it together.
While the struggle was not only in myself and my inability to believe in my potential, I strongly believe that the inconsistency of each individual I talked to put these high hopes for this league of professionals on a pedestal only allowing for it to essentially crash and burn. For years, we are taught as students that the career world is solely constructed of professionals and experts, there is no room for the unwilling.
Yet, we are now in the generation of casual Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays on top of the expected Friday. We work from home at the comfort of our own computers and files, are our own bosses and throw the dress code out the window. When we are expected to meet and greet the CEOs of the community’s well-known companies and brands, it is no wonder we choke up.
Thankfully, we are encouraged to take part in situations prior to graduation like career fairs, internships, mock interviews and other opportunities that remind us a professional mindset isn’t so bad or intimidating. If anything, it means in all seriousness that you are heartfelt and profound in your field.
While professionalism may not seem on the rise, neither is bumbling incompetence. That is where we find the inconsistency. Finding that happy medium is in the basis of your work and personal preference. Not to mention your capability of withholding that type of persona and image. Although it seems to be confusing and puzzling, perhaps in the chaos is where the balance is found. It becomes a cycle that seems natural and expected which is where we find the comfort and ease.
Amber is a sophomore majoring in public relations and advertising. Check out her blog at http://addcreamandsugar.blogspot.com