The STEM Fair. You’ve seen flyers around campus, colorful announcements on the big screens in hallways, and emails about its prep activities. You probably even know it takes place on Thursday, February 7, in the Wilkinson Student Center from 9 AM – 3 PM. But why should you go to the STEM Fair? What should you expect? How should you prepare?
Veteran STEM Fair students have a few words of advice. Devon Webb says it’s all about preparation. He downloaded the Handshake App soon before the Fall 2018 STEM Fair. This app allows students to view which recruiters will attend the STEM fair. Since he’s an electrical engineering major, he searched for all the recruiters in his field.
“I went through and looked at every single company, and…found the ones that I was the most interested in and that I could best benefit from,” Webb said.
Along with using the Handshake App, students also researched the companies online, printed plenty of resumes, and practiced interviewing with their roommates to prepare for the STEM Fair.
Some students know exactly what they want going into the fair. Mark Rose, a junior studying applied and computational mathematics, went to the STEM Fair in October looking for an internship in data science. “I would love [an internship with a] well-established company where I could do data science, but with challenging problems [so] I feel like I’m really being stretched.” ACME junior McKenna Pitts also wants to work for a well-established company and, she added, “would love to get out of Utah.”
Other students go to the STEM Fair with a less concrete idea of what type of internship they’d like to land. “I just kind of want to look at all the options I have,” said statistics senior Brandon Kasparian. While less preparation could mean a lower chance of getting an internship, if you have either prior experience, or at the very least, passion for the industry, you just might obtain a game-changing internship.
Recruiter Scott Maxwell, superintendent of Hamlet Homes, first landed an internship with the company because he attended a career fair at BYU. However, Maxwell said that although he comes to the STEM Fair looking for a student with experience, he is willing to offer experience as well. “The best way to get [experience] is through an internship. So we’re here to offer back as well. We are happy to give an internship so that someone can have the experience [to put on a resume],” Maxwell said.
Going to the STEM Fair can be scary. You may not know exactly what to expect. But take it from your fellow peers—if you take the time to prepare, know what type of internship you’re looking for, and show recruiters you’re serious, you’ll be ready.