It’s never too early to search for your dream job at the EOC

Credit: Ben Hammer/ Credit: Ben Hammer/

If you walk into the University Center Tuesday and Wednesday while taking the warmer route to class, you may feel out of place amongst an exceptionally well-dressed crowd, the likes of which are rarely seen on campus outside of the Tepper School of Business. It’s that time of year again: various companies are here this week for the Spring Employment Opportunities Conference (EOC), the semester’s largest career fair that will take place in the Wiegand Gymnasium in the Jared L. Cohon University Center from 12–5 p.m.

If you’re a first-year or sophomore, chances are that you’re not going. Perhaps you intended to go, but are now having second thoughts given the number of jobs that go to upperclass students. On the other hand, you may be going, but mainly for the swag — free stuff, for the uninitiated. Here are some better reasons to go to the EOC as an underclassman.

Nothing to lose

Take a moment to sit back and think about your dream job. I bet there will be at least one company at the EOC where you can get that job, or do something related that’s equally exciting. This semester’s EOC is one of the few events at which you’ll have absolutely nothing to lose by talking to recruiters. Your passion may even impress them enough to land you that dream summer job! You’ll never know if you don’t take the plunge.

Prep for future fairs

If you’re firmly convinced that there’s no way that the company of your choice will hire a freshman or sophomore, here’s a more practical reason to go to the EOC.

Going to the EOC this year is good preparation for your following years at Carnegie Mellon. Attending this semester will allow you to feel what it’s like, so that you know what to expect as an upperclass student.

Simply walk up to the company that you’re eyeing for a job in the future, and chat with the recruiter. Ask about the company’s required qualifications and interview process, so that you know what they’re looking for and can be better prepared for the following year, when you’re in the running for a job.

Small booths are hiring, too

While you’re at it, check out some of the smaller booths that none of the upperclassmen are going to. Chatting with the recruiters there is less stressful — sometimes even fun — and can definitely boost your confidence.

And remember, they’re hiring too. So if they offer any opportunities you’re interested in, go for it! The odds of getting that job are substantially higher and the company probably pays more than traditional summer employers.

So, hunt out your nicest formal clothes and be prepared to join the crowd of well-dressed students at the EOC. Draft a quick résumé — or update an existing one you have — and print out a few dozen copies. Make a name tag, dress nicely, and get ready to go.