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Spring Career and Internship Fair is Feb. 19

Graduating seniors and underclassmen have a chance to impress the more than 100 companies in search of employees and interns at the Spring Career and Internship Fair.

On Tuesday, Feb. 19, the Career and Leadership Development Center will host the biannual employment fair, an experience designed to help students gain an edge in the job market by networking with employers. The event is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Baker University Center Ballroom.

For Lo Martinez, senior journalism major, attending the career fair pointed her in a direction she only dreamed she'd go after graduation, solidifying her future in interactive media.

"I went to the career fair on a whim, more for the experience of networking and interviewing than trying to find a job," said Martinez. "I'm definitely really happy I decided to go because not only did I get really good experience networking and talking to people, but I got the leads that helped me get my dream job already secured before I even started my second semester of my senior year."

Senior Maddie Gaither, also a journalism major, had the same luck.

"I was just going for experience, but now I got out of the job search and the cover letter-resume game," she said. "There's never any harm in getting practice putting yourself out there in a professional environment. It really paid off."

Both Martinez and Gaither will work for American Greetings in Cleveland after graduation. The greeting card company is set to attend the spring fair.

The Spring Career and Internship Fair will also feature representatives in industries ranging from accounting and engineering to consumer products and entertainment.

"Even if you're not interested in the companies there specifically, you should go because you'll get experience talking to people and selling yourself," said Martinez.

Students are required to dress in business professional attire, which must be approved prior to admittance, and are encouraged to come early, have polished résumés and their student identification card.

In the days ahead of the fair, the Career and Leadership Development Center recommends students visit the center for walk-in hours Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. or attend a Career Fair Prep Workshop to have their résumés critiqued and refined.

"Spend some time getting confident with your résumés and what's on it," said Martinez. "Also, you don't realize how important and beneficial an elevator pitch is until you're in a situation like the fair, but every single time you do it, it gets better and I felt more confident."

Job seekers should log into their Bobcat CareerLink account to update their profiles and view the full list of recruiters attending the fair, do their research on the companies and practice typical interview questions.

"Be yourself," said Gaither. "Talk to everyone who is interested in you. The conversation could lead to a contact."

For more information, visit the Career and Leadership Development Center's website, follow them on Twitter at @ohioCLDC or 'like' them on Facebook at Ohio University Career & Leadership Development Center.