Empowering You Career & Internship Conference

Thursday, February 22, 2024

4:00 – 7:00 PM

Varsity Hall – Union South

The conference is designed to help students clarify their academic goals and connect their academic work with post-graduation careers and opportunities.  The conference also aids students in preparing to enter a diverse and global workforce.

Don’t forget to look at the Conference Prep information for tips and suggestions!

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

All other CAE and DDEEA students are strongly encouraged to attend.

View the employers who will be attending the Equity and Inclusion Career & Internship Fair here.

Sign up here to meet with SuccessWorks for help putting together your resume.

Schedule and Workshops

3:30-3:50 PM Check-in

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

4:00-4:20 PM Welcome – Varsity Hall

Eric Wilcots, Letters and Science Dean; Diana Martinez Garcia, December 2023 graduate, CeO; and Liana Gonzalez, senior, CAE.

4:25-5:15 PM Workshops – Third floor, Union South

  • How My Student Leadership Helps My Career Tomorrow – Agriculture

With the Career Exploration Center. Session description here.

  • Navigating a Career Fair: Your Questions Answered – Landmark

With SuccessWorks. Session description here.

  • How To Get Research Opportunities (Panel) – Northwoods

L&S STEM scholars, Undergraduate Research Scholars, WISCIENCE, and DDEEA. Session description here.

  • Let’s Land an Internship: Jumpstarting Your Internship Search – Industry

With SuccessWorks. Session description here.

5:15-5:55 PM Equity and Inclusion Career and Internship Fair – Varsity Hall

Professional Photos – Alumni Room

6:15-7:00 PM Dinner, closing remarks, and raffle – Varsity Hall

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 silent! 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 your left 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, ask: “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 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

This conference is coordinated by


company logos for Artisan Partners; Brennan; and AmFam Group