Empowering You Career & Internship Conference

  • Thursday, March 3, 2022
  • 4:00 – 7:00 PM
  • Varsity Hall – Union South

The conference is designed to give students a jump start in understanding their academic goals and connecting their academic work with post-graduation careers and opportunities.  Equally important, the conference aids in the preparation of the next generation of students entering a diverse and global workforce.

Check out the schedule, sessions, employers, and resources available below.

Don’t forget to look at the Conference Prep information with insider tips and suggestions to have the best experience!

This event is required for first-year CAE and CeO students.

Second-year CAE and CeO students are strongly encouraged to attend. Please register here: tinyurl.com/empoweringyou2022.

Registration for the Career & Internship Fair (only) will be available via Handshake in February.

Schedule, Workshops, & Resources

3:45-4:15 PM Check-in

Please check in outside of Varsity Hall at Union South (2nd floor).

4:15-4:30 PM Welcome from CAE and CeO – Varsity Hall
4:35-5:20 PM Session 1

Blue name tag:

  • Career & Internship Fair – Varsity Halls I and II
  • Professional Headshots – Alumni (2nd Floor)
  • Resource Fair – Landmark (3rd Floor)

Green name tag: Workshops (See Session 1 & 2 Workshops tab for info and location)

5:25-6:10 PM Session 2

Blue name tag:  Workshops (See Session 1 & 2 Workshops tab for info and location)

Green name tag:

  • Career & Internship Fair – Varsity Halls I and II
  • Professional Headshots – Alumni (2nd Floor)
  • Resource Fair – Landmark (3rd Floor)
6:10-7:00 PM Closing Remarks, L&S Dean, Dr. Eric Wilcots – Varsity Hall


Let’s Land an Internship: Jumpstarting your Internship Search

L&S SuccessWorks | Fifth Quarter Room – 2nd Floor

Graduates who had internships are 90 percent more likely to get job offers than graduates who didn’t. Often, First Generation students are less likely to have time for internships on top of everything else. This session will walk through the basic tools and strategies for finding an internship, and introduces helpful resources, next steps, and ways SuccessWorks is here to help you land your internship.

The Self-Care Mindset: Understanding How our Values and Perspectives Shape Our Careers and Lives

University Health Services (UHS) | Northwoods A – 3rd Floor

Often we are attracted to majors, internships, and careers that spark an interest or provide a level of financial security or prestige.  While these are important components in choosing a career, there are other factors that we may want to consider, such as work-life balance, geographical location, and/or pace of the workday.  In this workshop we will review common stressors and symptoms that appear when self-care and our values aren’t prioritized in our work life.  We will then investigate our values and foster a self-care mindset to help cope with stress and minimize burnout and create a life that works for you!

Successfully Applying for Scholarships, Awards, Prizes and other Competitions: Developing a Portfolio of Materials and Credentials

L&S Scholarships | WI Idea Room – 2nd Floor

Come learn about building the credentials needed to be successful in competitive processes for awards, scholarships, and other programs. Many resources are available to help you present your best self. This workshop will review sections of typical applications and what is often valued in your academic, leadership and employment experiences. How can you express and live out your passions and articulate these in your résumés, statements, essays, and other contributions? Participants will walk away with knowledge of campus resources to help develop credentials as well as upcoming opportunities.

Exploring Career Regardless of Major

Career Exploration Center (CEC) | Northwoods B – 3rd Floor

Regardless of where you are with your major — still exploring, declared, deciding between a few options — now is a great time to start exploring your career options. Attend this session to break down some of the biggest myths that are getting in the way of your exploration, learn what employers are looking for, and discover UW tools and resources that you can start using today to plan the next steps in your career exploration journey.

Your Pathway to Financial Well-being 

Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) | Industry Room – 3rd Floor

“I wish I learned more about personal finance in college.” Don’t let this be you! In this session, you will be given a starting point to prepare for your financial well-being. We will start by defining your personal definition financial well-being. Then, we will cover key terms and ideas like budgeting, expense tracking, credit, mortgages, loans, interest rates, IRAs, and so on. Finally, we will discuss various financial resources and make an individualized plan for your next financial steps.

Know Your Worth: Negotiating Your Needs in the Workplace

L&S SuccessWorks | Agriculture Room – 3rd Floor

Knowing your worth begins with developing self-efficacy and self-confidence. Albert Bandura (1977), a pioneer humanist and father of the concept of self-efficacy, defined it as “people’s beliefs about their capabilities to produce designated levels of performance that exercise their influence over events that affect their lives” (Bandura, 1994). Self-confidence is defined as “trusting in your own judgment, capacities and abilities” (Mind Tools, 2021). In a world full of uncertainties, challenges, and -isms, it can be difficult to develop or maintain self-efficacy and self-confidence. In this workshop, we will cover the concepts of self-efficacy and self-confidence, discuss ways to increase them and how they relate to work, and create a self-care vision board to remind you of what you can do to take care of your mental, emotional, and physical health. No artistic skills are required- just bring your curiosity and wonder!

Pre-Health and Pre-Law Advising

McNair Scholars Program – Conduct research under the mentorship of UW-Madison faculty and researchers

Graduate School and Summer Research

Career Exploration Center (CEC – Explore majors, careers, and how they connect to your academic and career journey

L&S SuccessWorks – Career and professional development advising and resources for L&S students

Financial Aid

International Academic Programs (IAP – Study abroad advising and information

International Internships Program (IIP) – Find internships around the world

University Health Services (UHS) –  Health resources and support

Center for Leadership and Involvement (CiFLI)

Multicultural Student Center (MSC)

Morgride Center for Public Service


Conference Etiquette, Tips, & Networking

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Etiquette & Networking

Prepare and Practice

Before attending any networking event, get organized and do your research. Try to find out who will be there, learn information about the guests, and write down what questions you might have for them.

Prepare and practice a short introduction that you will use to
introduce yourself.

Suggestions: Name; School, major, year in school; Organization, Title (Student/Role); and perhaps your reason for attending the event – all in ten seconds or less.

Handshakes: Go for medium pressure, not destructive force.
Cell Phone: Turn your cell phone on silence! And try not to use it during sessions and instead pay attention to the speakers.

Attire and Nametags

  • Wear your nametag on your right side so it is easy to read when shaking hands.
  • Dress appropriately for the event and weather, including wearing comfortable shoes so that you’re not distracted.
  • Professional-looking purses and briefcases are appropriate. Keep in mind, however, that you want to keep your hands free so you can shake hands and exchange business cards.

Food and Drink

  • Always leave one hand free so you can shake hands and exchange business cards.
  • Hold your drink in one hand so you can shake hands with a warm, dry hand.
  • Keep only a small amount of food on your plate at any one time. Take small bites so you are readily available to answer questions and make introductions.
  • Don’t chew gum.

Entering a Conversation:

  • Make eye contact and approach somebody you know. If you don’t know anybody, make eye contact with somebody in a group you want to join and approach the group.
  • At the appropriate time, shake hands and introduce yourself in 1-2 sentences.

Maintaining a Conversation

  • Consider asking other individuals in the group to talk about their program, schools, projects, etc.
  • If you are part of a group, be sure to welcome and introduce others who approach. To introduce others, consider saying: I don’t believe you two have met, have you?
  • Try to use the others’ names at some point in the conversation – this shows attention to detail and increases the likelihood of you remembering the names later. If you can’t remember somebody’s name, say please tell me your name again.
  • Smile and maintain a positive attitude. Focus on the conversation rather than scanning the room to plan your escape.

Exiting a Conversation

  • Introduce someone else into the conversation, briefly summarize the conversation for the newcomer, and then excuse yourself.
  • If you haven’t already exchanged business cards/contact information, you can say something like:
  • It was nice meeting you. May I have your contact information so I can keep in touch?
  • End on an optimistic note: good luck, good night, congratulations, etc.

Tips for Navigating a Career Fair

Though employers are hoping you will attend a career fair looking for an internship or a full-time position after college, it’s still important to go!

Here’s Why!

  • Build your professional network!
  • Practice presenting yourself professionally!
  • Increase your chances of landing an interview for internships and full-time positions after graduating!

Before the Career Fair

  • Register for Handshake and research the participating employers. Find out ahead of time which employers and positions match your interests
  • Update your resume. Be sure to use a professional email address, for example your student email.
  • Record a professional voicemail message
  • Choose appropriate attire – business casual or business professional
  • Prepare your 30-second introduction including: Name, major, year in school & whether you are looking for an internship or job.
  • Research the specific organizations you are interested in, including what they do and what positions they are hiring
  • Know why you are interested in the organization AND why you would be a good fit
  • Write down 2 – 3 questions you would ask a recruiter (see below for ideal questions)

At the Career Fair

  • Bring your resume if you have one, but be aware that some recruiters will not accept resumes and will refer you to apply online.
  • Prioritize! Create a list of your top 4-5 organizations, and start talking with one of the organizations you are least interested in. This will allow you to warm-up before going to your top 2-3 organizations
  • Present yourself professionally by: Give a firm handshake, introduce yourself, and explain why you are interested in working for them with enthusiasm
  • Asking thoughtful questions based on the research you did prior to the fair (see below for examples)
  • Ask recruiters for a business card or information on who to contact in the future
  • After talking to a recruiter, take a moment to write down a few key points to reference in your thank you email
  • Be selective with taking employer “free stuff”

Great Questions to Ask Recruiters at the Career Fair!

  • What skills or traits do you look for in candidates?
  • What are some of the key responsibilities of this position?
  • What is a typical day like for this position?
  • What kind of training does your organization provide?
  • What opportunities did you take advantage of while you were in college to help you prepare for your job?
  • How did you begin your career? If you had anything to do differently, what would it be?

After the Career Fair

Send thank you e-mails within 24-hours of the career fair (that night or next morning is preferable) to remind your contacts of who you are and any specifics you discussed, emphasizing how you plan to apply for the positions you discussed. Include your resume if you said that you would or they requested it.

Sending Thank-You Emails to Employers

The thank-you email is one of the most important, yet probably one of the most underutilized, tools in a job search. It establishes goodwill and expresses appreciation and can strengthen your chances for being hired for the position. When it comes to using the thank-you email for a career fair, it is essential to send them as soon as possible after the fair – within 24 hours! Because of the nature of your meeting with the employer, you will need to send an email versus a mailed letter.

Thank-you emails should be warm and personal, and a good chance to further make a great impression. Start out by expressing your sincere appreciation and then reference key points that you and the employer discussed during your time at the Career Fair. Follow by reemphasizing your strongest qualifications. Reaffirm how your qualifications truly match the requirements of the job.

At the close of the letter, mention your interest in the position one more time. Make sure to acknowledge that you have followed their application process (i.e. applied online through their website or emailed a hiring representative) and that you are open to being contacted at their convenience.

Example Thank-you Email:

Dear Mr. Foster:

I want to thank you very much for meeting with me yesterday at the UW-Madison Career & Internship fair and discussing the associate technical writer position within Raleigh Engineering Systems Inc. I enjoyed meeting you and learning more about your research and design work.

My enthusiasm for the position and my interest in working for RES were strengthened as a result of our conversation. I am confident my liberal arts education and extensive experience with writing fit perfectly with the job requirements, and I am sure that I could make a significant contribution to the organization. As you suggested, I have completed the online application process and look forward to the next steps.

I want to reiterate my strong interest in the position and in working with you and the staff at RES. Please feel free to contact me at (608) 685-1234 or kjohnson@wisc.edu if I can provide you with any additional information.

Again, thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from RES.

Kristina Johnson

SuccessWorks Presentation on How to Get Ready for a Career Fair

Empowering You is coordinated by: