JMU’s Career & Internship Fair helped JMU Alumnus Noah get his job, and it can help you too!
Noah Lamma majored in Integrated Science & Technology at JMU, and he is now a Customer Support Engineer at Cisco Systems. We asked Noah questions about his experience and how he prepared for the fair.
We hope to see you at the fair on February 14th and 15th from 11 AM – 3 PM in the Festival Ballroom!
Did you attend CAP’s career fairs? If so what was your experience?
“I attended multiple career fairs in my Junior and Senior year at JMU. My experience was very good. The employers know that JMU provides excellent quality graduates, and they are on the lookout.”
How did you prepare for the fair?
“I prepared by looking at the companies that were interested in my major, seeing what they did and focusing on talking points about each one. I then expanded and looked at companies who didn’t list my major, but we’re relevant to what I was doing. I then went over all the skills I listed on my resume to make sure I could talk (and make light jokes) about them. I then starting debating how I would present myself, and how my experience at JMU was unique enough to warrant an interview.”
How did you navigate the fair and spend your time wisely?
“I made a beeline for each stand I had prepared for and talked with them. If I was asked I gave the semi-prepared speech, but otherwise I let them drive the conversation. After all those booths were done with, I went over the list of companies again and any that sparked my interest, I visited.”
Did you follow up with employers after the fair, and what was that conversation like?
“My follow up was to send a thank you to all the email addresses on the business cards I received. I didn’t hear back from the majority of those emails, but I got a couple of interviews scheduled out of it.”
How did CAP help you to get your job or internship?
“Recruit-A-Duke was integral to getting my job. Due to the fact that I had prepared my profile and kept it up to date meant Cisco knew about me before I knew about them!”
As students prepare to enter the workforce, how would you recommend they market themselves as JMU graduates?
“Market how much time you have spent working in groups. Employers want to hear about those stories, whether they are successes or not. The workforce is not you in a cube with your work, you are almost always working with a group of people. Also, learn how to distinguish yourself from your peers. Everyone goes through college differently, show that and stress how that will help you in the role you are applying for.”
What is your best piece of career advice for students?
“Start looking and applying as soon as you finish reading this sentence. Why are you reading this? Find 3 companies RIGHT NOW that you are interested in and contact them. If they don’t have anything open, ask when that will be and how to prepare yourself. Companies love initiative.”
So what are your next steps?
“I am still reeling about the shift from college student to fortune 100 company in the span of 6 months, so my goal is to stay this way and not get complacent. I never want to look at where I’m at and think, this is good enough.”