The STEM Fair is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to start preparing. You may have seen flyers around campus, colorful announcements on the big screens in hallways, and emails about its prep activities. You may already know that it will take place on Wednesday, September 25th, from 9 A.M. to 3 P.M. and on Thursday, September 26th, from 9 A.M. to 3 P.M. in the Wilkinson Student Center ballroom. 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 looked through the list provided online of which companies will attend.
“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.
This helped him know how to research and helped him know what to expect at the STEM Fair. Even if you don’t have time to search every company before going to the fair, a few quick Google searches at the STEM Fair can make all the difference. If you see a company at the fair that you don’t recognize, take some time to look them up. Get a feel of their mission statement. That way, rather than asking “What does your company do?”, you can start the conversation knowing who you’re talking to and knowing how you can benefit the company with your specific skillset.
Along with researching the companies online, students also edited and printed plenty of resumes and practiced interviewing 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.