Career fairs remind me of animal courtship displays. Companies and students put their best foot forward; one side tries to dazzle with tantalizing job opportunities and the other with shining intellect. Recruiters reel in potential employees while students fish for the right words to string together into intelligent conversations. The ultimate goal? Employment.
This week, I’ve decided to be adventurous and adopt the nomadic lifestyle. The nomad is a member of a people or tribe (read: tribe CS major) that has no permanent abode (read: I only go back to my apartment to shower and nap) but moves about from place to place (read: company events), usually seasonally (read: around career fair time) and often following a traditional route or circuit according to the state of pasturage or food supply (read: free pizza and Tiffs Treats).
A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft had a lunch for Turing Scholars in the GDC. It was an interesting experience — pretty standard as far as lunches go, with free pizza predictably running out in 20 minutes, a couple of tables with different conversations clustered around a visiting engineer or recruiter, and of course, the perennial problem: no one-on-one time available to talk to the recruiter.
A few months ago, I vowed—against my better judgement—that I was going to suit up, print out about twice as many copies of my resume as I needed, and make my way to the Frank Erwin Center and take part in the 2013 Career Fair. I had been agonizing over this decision.