How Should You Prepare for the Career Fair?

By: Katie Flanagan ’19


The Career Fair is coming up this Wednesday, September 19, 2018 from 2-5pm in the Hogan Ballroom, so get excited! The Career Fair is a fantastic opportunity to talk with potential employers about future full-time job and internship opportunities (a list of the employers attending can be found here). Preparation is key to ensure that you make a good impression on potential employers, and also make the most of out of your own time! Whether this is your first time attending a career fair or your hundredth, it’s always nice to have some tips and tricks up your sleeve. So without further ado, here are NUMBER tips to help you ace the Career Fair:

1. Do Your Research

I cannot stress enough how important it is to do your research on all the companies that you’re interested in that will be at the career fair (here’s the list again). Know which companies and positions you’re interested in, and be prepared to talk about why they interest you. You also want to avoid asking questions for which the answers can easily be found on their website. Also, you want to know your deadlines. Many of the organizations that will be at the Career Fair have deadlines coming up within the next month.


2. Polish Up Your Resume

Stop by the Center for Career Development (Hogan 203) for drop-in hours Monday through Friday, 1-4pm to make sure your resume is as up-to-date and polished as it can be. There will also be Resume lobby tables next week in Hogan where you can also have your resume edited and polished.


3. Make a Game Plan

There will be over 50 organizations in the Hogan Ballroom on Wednesday, so it will be easy to get overwhelmed. To prevent this, make a list of the organizations you’re interested in and rank them in order of which ones you’re most interested in. Then, if you have to leave for class or the career fair ends, you won’t miss out on the organizations most important to you.


4. Prepare Your “Elevator Pitch”

Your “elevator pitch” is a short, succinct description of yourself that will make an impression on the person you give it to. You should say your name, your major, your class year, and something that differentiates you from everyone else around you. An example of one would be:

“Hi, my name is Mickey Mouse. I’m an Art and Economics double major in the class of 1928, and I am the face of a multi-billion dollar and internationally known corporation.”


5. Come Prepared

Not only do you have to prepare in the days before the Fair, you should need to be prepared on the day of the Fair. Here are some things you should bring:

  • Printed resumes
    • You should bring 5-10 printouts of your resume to hand out to employers if they ask
  • A folder
    • Those resumes should be in a nice folder, not crushed in your backpack or folded in your hand
    • A folder is also handy if you accrue any materials from organizations you talk to


6. Put Your Game Face On

You want to represent the best side of yourself (and Holy Cross!) as you can, so make sure to dress in business casual, get a good night’s sleep, and don’t forget to put a smile on! If you’re an introvert, give yourself a mental pep talk to be prepared to talk with people. As I learned at the Senior Alumni Networking night, be a lion, not a wildebeest!


7. Own Your Awesomeness

Just by virtue of being at Holy Cross you’re already awesome (though I might be biased), but this is the time to own it! Competition for jobs and internships can be tough, so now is not the time to be overly humble or shy. You are an awesome person, so own what makes you unique and what differentiates you from the crowd. In the words of my future best friend (even though he doesn’t really know it yet!) Ben Platt, “the things that make you strange are the things that make you powerful.”


Now, go forth and set the (career) world on fire!  

Meet Alumna Lisa Hua ’14, Middle School Math Teacher- Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School

Meet Alumna Lisa Hua ’14, Middle School Math Teacher- Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School


Name: Lisa Hua

Class Year:  2014

Current Title/Employer:  Middle School Math Teacher / Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School

Graduate Degrees (if applicable):  Master of Art in Teaching (M.A.T.)

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

I get to get to know kids, guide them to learn more, in different ways, and get better as people as well as learn about myself everyday.

What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross?

I knew I was going to go into teaching at graduation because as a Junior, I interned at the Nativity School of Worcester and by Spring of my Senior Year, I had been accepted into their Teaching Fellowship program. I was so excited, and also knew I would be able to pursue my Masters in Teaching as part of that program.


How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?

I knew after interning there for a summer and then continuing to volunteer during my Senior Year. I felt that it was such a great place for the kids and was such a close-knit community, which is what I’m all about and what I wanted to be part of during my time on campus.


What were you involved in when you were on campus?

I was involved with a few things on campus. I was a work-study student, so some years I worked at Cool Beans, CrossRoads and the Deli, and in my last couple of years I worked at the Cantor Art Gallery and the Music Library. I also worked as a Resident Assistant for my sophomore and Junior years and was Head RA in Lehy my Senior Year. For all 4 years, I was on the EBoard for LASO (Latin American Student Organization), I really enjoyed all the things I was involved with, it really shaped my outlook on time-management, balancing finances, and making sure to diversify all your experiences on campus.

What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?

My career decisions were not highly reliant on my major. I was a Chinese major and a Chemistry minor. I chose those 2 things because I really enjoyed both and both played a huge role in who I was becoming at HC. They both taught me to not only learn what those areas of study have to offer, but to really take a look at the culture of each and how that plays together to make me as a person. As I mentioned before, I started being interested in teaching as an intern and volunteer, and I was interested because I was able to branch out and be more part of the community, on campus and beyond.

What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?

So many! I use time management all the time and it keeps me sane! If I wasn’t so involved on campus while I was at Holy Cross, I don’t think I would have ever been able to manage teaching at a charter school with an extended day program, going to Graduate School and being able to still have a social life all at the same time. I also learned how to really think outside the box and be resourceful, which I use all the time in the classroom and in my personal life. If I did everything conventionally or because I thought I had to as opposed to because it made sense (even if it sounds crazy!), then I would not have been able to experience everything that the unexpected brings. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

What advice do you have for students on campus today?

My best advice would be to work hard and finish what you start. I have had many people who have motivated me to see through to the end of things on campus and since I’ve graduated. Even if you are not sure if it’s for you, you never know how everything can work out. Don’t think you are wasting time, think you are gaining experiences and be proud that you saw the end. If it doesn’t work out after you’ve met a logical goal, then you can go in a different direction. If you see it through and it changes your thinking on it, you might have found your calling, or at least are getting closer.

Meet Alumna Erin Connolly ’17, Program Assistant- Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

Meet Alumna Erin Connolly ’17, Program Assistant- Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation


Name: Erin Connolly

Class Year: 2017

Current Title/Employer:   Program Assistant/ Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

I work to educate the public and policymakers (Congress) on nuclear nonproliferation and fissile materials policy by helping plan and host various events; writing op-eds; and briefing congressional staffers on our issues.

What and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross?   

I wrote a paper my sophomore year for a National Security course that argued for a nuclear deal with Iran. While writing this paper, I found myself fascinated by nuclear nonproliferation policy, and it quickly became one of my favorite topics. I left for France, and when it came time to look for an internship I applied to the Center, using that paper as my writing sample. This internship was a vital introduction to the nuclear policy world. It provided me with the foundational knowledge to succeed, but also allowed me to make professional connections while living in Washington, D.C. which is how I learned about the position I currently hold.

How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?

My internship experience solidified my interest in the nuclear nonproliferation field. I was able to explore the various facets, from Iran, and North Korea, to U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe. My current position involves much more engagement with Congressional staffers and fissile materials; basically I do a lot of work to answer any questions they may have about highly enriched uranium, plutonium stockpiles, preventing nuclear terrorism and other subjects in this domain. We host dinners for members of Congress, a unique opportunity for engagement and education. I also am able to continue writing, I was fortunate enough to get a piece published in Teen Vogue with a colleague in the field (and former fellow intern!) and it’s great to connect with people my age on these issues.

What were you involved in when you were on campus?   

I was involved in the Purple Key Society, which is quite helpful for my event planning now; HEAL, Model UN, SPUD site leader, Manresa, Gateways, Appalachia trips, and I also worked in the History department,

What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?   

I was an International Studies major, French minor and Peace and Conflict concentration. I loved engaging with the multidisciplinary major and in some ways I continue to do that. I am always continuing to learn in this job — from policy to science — and that is something I loved at Holy Cross and am grateful I get to bring that into my career.

What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?   

The importance of asking questions and networking. It is always better to ask questions and do something correctly then to do it wrong. Everyone would prefer to answer your questions than to have you do it again! And networking is one of those things I did not want to believe was important, but it is. Maintaining relationships and connections is so key, especially when you work in a field that’s small like mine! I knew D.C. had gotten to me when I began bringing cards to every happy hour because you just never know who you will meet — friends of friends are great connections.

Meet Alumna Victoria Aramini ’14, Planning Manager at TJX

Meet Alumna Victoria Aramini ’14, Planning Manager at TJX


1. What is your favorite thing about your job and/or TJX?

My favorite thing about working at TJX is how people oriented the company is – I get to work with so many different types of people in a given day. I love my work as a Planning Manager where I help my team affect the bottom line, working to save the company money through our team’s allocation strategies.


2. What are some company perks that you enjoy?

In the summer the company participates in “Summer Fridays” where we get out at 1:oo pm – this is definitely one of the best company perks in my opinion!


3. Tell me about a cool opportunity you’ve taken advantage of or experienced while at TJX.

Travel is a big part of the TJX experience for associates in planning and buying. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel with various teams to different parts of the US.


4. How would you describe TJX’s philosophy on job growth/talent management?

At TJX, development is very important and associates drive their own development. There are a wide range of opportunities for associates to take advantage of – both formal (in the classroom) and informal (on the job).


5. What advice would you like to give to current Holy Cross students about their job/internship search?

As companies evaluate you and your qualifications as you search and apply for internships, make sure you take the time to evaluate these companies and think about their culture, their development offerings, etc.