It’s that time of the semester again: career week! That means that USC is putting on multiple events where students will have the opportunity to meet with potential employers, and hopefully secure jobs and internships! My favorite thing about career week is the fact that Viterbi has its own events just for engineering students to talk to employers interested in hiring us. The Viterbi Career Fair is in the middle of the week, and is my favorite networking opportunity of the semester.  It can seem overwhelming, but one of the best decisions I ever made was to start going as a freshman, even though I wasn’t actively trying to get hired.

When I went to the career fair as a freshman with my Freshman Academy class, I felt a little lost.  I met a lot of recruiters who were asking me questions about my long-term future plans as an engineer, and I didn’t necessarily know the answer yet.  But I started talking to recruiters and letting them know right away that I was a freshman just getting a feel for the event, and almost every single one of them was impressed with my initiative! Many of them offered me advice and tips for future career fairs, as well as their contact information so that I could keep in touch with them as I continued my studies. It was one of the first times that I really put myself out there as an engineer, and it’s made my future experiences much easier.

As a sophomore last year, I revisited the Career Fair with much more confidence.  I revisited many companies who I had talked to before, and they were very appreciative of the fact that I took the time to visit them multiple times.  I ended up talking to a recruiter of a company that I’m very interested in for over half an hour, and despite the fact that they only hire juniors and seniors, we have stayed in touch and he is excited to talk to me again this year as a junior! I’m looking forward to the rest of the week, and hopefully I have updates on the new connections I make!

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Civil and Environmental Engineering, Class of 2016, Learn more on her profile here!