Texas Tech University

Career Fair Perspectives: DeShanna Weaver

DeShanna Weaver is a divisional recruiter for Hajoca and has been participating in the Rawls Career Fair for five years.

Jacob Gordon | February 19, 2024

Held once every fall and spring semester, the Rawls Career Fair is an excellent opportunity for students seeking internships or hoping to start their careers after graduating. Each career fair is a confluence of varying goals and strategies for a successful career fair. Even the idea of what makes a career fair successful differs wildly between the groups.

As part of the lead-up to this semester's Rawls Career Fair - held on Wednesday, February 21, at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center - we wanted to showcase the people from those different groups: a resume reviewer, a career fair organizer, an employer recruiter, and a Rawls College student. Each person was asked the exact same question, but their answers show just how different their approaches to the career fair are.

What does your work look like as you're preparing for the Rawls Career Fair?

It's a lot of promoting our organization, Hajoca. We'll come out to campus beforehand, get into classrooms, do student organization events, and host social hours, all to invite students. It's a lot of prep work on Handshake, too. I'm sending messages out to students to get the word out that we'll be at the career fair, so we can get students at our booth. We start these things right when classes begin at the start of the semester.

What is your day like during the Rawls Career Fair?

It's exhausting and exciting. It's usually me and another teammate, usually a Tech alumn, which is always exciting. The day of the fair is a long day, from getting here and getting set up to making sure we have everything we need, mainly lots of coffee. We talk to a lot of students during the day. On average, we talk to 100 to 200 students in a 4-hour timeframe. We're standing on our feet. It's nonstop talking, saying the same thing over and over. We'll collect resumes and hopefully get students interested in Hajoca. Then, Rawls does an employer social event, which is great because we can relax for a little bit afterward.

What is your goal of the Rawls Career Fair? What, to you, would make a successful day of the Rawls Career Fair?

A successful day means I talked to at least 25 students who are interested in pursuing us full-time or for an internship, and they signed up for interviews the next day. Typically, we do on-campus interviews after the career fair, and I want to have a full schedule the next day. But, even if I get five students to setup interviews and that turns into one hire, that's still successful. I'll take it.

What is your favorite part of the Rawls Career Fair?

What keeps me motivated at my job and attending so many career fairs is that I enjoy it. It's really exciting for me, and I'm passionate about the organization I work for. If I'm at a career fair, it means I'm not behind my computer looking at resumes all day. I'm very extroverted. I want to be in front of people.

What does your work look like after the Rawls Career Fair?

Typically, I'll try to do interviews the next day on campus just to carry that momentum over from the career fair with students. I want to stay caught in their minds. If I can't do the interviews the next day, I usually try to get back on campus within the next two weeks. Even after the interviews, I'm still coming out to campus for branding to prepare for the next recruiting season in the fall. I'm still doing events and student organization presentations. Our recruiting never stops. Our company is frequently recruiting.

What advice would you give to a student going to the Rawls Career Fair for the first time?

Definitely prepare for it! There are a lot of employers that come to the career fair. I think I saw about 130 registered employers just for this semester. You want to be prepared so you're not overwhelmed. And take the opportunity to explore all opportunities. There will be the big, popular companies, but there are a lot of really great companies you may not have heard of. Take time to go to those booths and learn more about them. If it's your first time as a freshman or sophomore, this would be great practice. You can never start too early.