Texas Tech University

Career Fair Perspectives: Kayla Grassmuck

Kayla Grassmuck is a junior marketing and management student at the Rawls College and has participated in the Rawls Career Fair four times.

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?

There are four key things I do to prepare for the career fair. First I work on getting my resume updated and make an appointment with a CMC coach to get my resume reviewed and printed. Second, I formulate and practice my elevator pitch that I'll be giving employers at the career fair. Third, I choose professional attire that makes me feel confident. Fourth, I research the companies I want to talk with to familiarize myself with the company and maybe jot down some questions I might have for the employer.

What is your day like during the Rawls Career Fair?

As a Student Business Council member, my day at the career fair is a bit different than other students. This is one of the busiest days of my semester as I spend the majority of the day walking employers to their booths, directing people, helping students check-in, and much more.

However, when I do switch into the student attending (not working) the career fair, my day starts with me looking over the list of companies that are in attendance and planning out which ones and in which order I should meet with them. The first few companies I visit are usually not within my top 5 because I like to get warmed up and settle any nerves. The more I talk with employers, the more I start to feel confident. At the career fair, employers will often ask for my resume, ask me questions about my career goals, and may even schedule me for an interview.

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

My goal at the career fair is to leave with new knowledge of opportunities, have the contact information of some employers that I can connect with on LinkedIn, and have given out most of my printed resumes. For me, what makes a successful day at the career fair is to leave feeling excited about internship opportunities and to have gotten my resume in the hands of as many employers as possible.

What is your favorite part of the Rawls Career Fair?

My favorite part of the career fair is being able to network with the employers. It's always interesting to hear an employer's story and have the opportunity to learn something interesting about different companies.

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

When the career fair is over, I immediately start applying for internships, connecting with the employers I spoke with throughout the day on LinkedIn, and preparing for an interview. At the career fair, employers will often give handouts detailing the process of applying for an internship or job, so I will take time to look over all of the handouts. Next, I try to connect on LinkedIn with some employers I met with so I can have them in my network and have a saved point-of-contact for a company. Lastly, I start preparing for any interviews that I may have gotten by scheduling an appointment for a mock interview with a CMC coach.

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

Approach the employers! After all, the employers are there to meet you. The more conversions you have at the career fair, the more you will get out of the event! Some additional tips: have some questions prepared that you can ask the employers, be confident with your elevator pitch, and dress in professional attire that makes you feel confident.