Attending my first Career Fair was certainly a learning experience. It was the Catholic Health Diversity Career Fair and it went from 4 to 7 in the evening. It was a rainy September day and I came straight from my internship at The Buffalo News so that I was already dressed appropriately for the event.

Upon walking through the main entrance, I quickly assessed the situation. The event was held in the lobby and consisted of a main table when entering. We checked in at the table and wrote the occupation that we were most interested in. We then waited until a Catholic Health employee in our respective field was ready to take us to meet them separately.

At this point, I no longer knew what to expect. I anticipated that there would be a variety of tables and I would go up to the table of the career that I was interested in. I scanned my surroundings while I waited. The other people that had attended were older than me and I noticed that there was only one other woman waiting. There were no more than 10 people there at a time as people continued to trickle in and out. After sitting for a short moment, the HR manager came over and asked if I was ready for my interview.

Personally, I pride myself in my capability to prepare for anything. I packed 1 carry on sized suitcase for 4 months in Italy and brought everything I needed. However, in this instance, I was not prepared. I was not ready for my interview. I had not researched about Catholic Health in advance. I had not even thought to bring a copy of my resume! I thought that a Career Fair would be similar to a College Fair, where you walk around and are informed about the company through a variety of presentations. I found out that it is actually where they learn about you. I went through the interview despite my lack of preparation. I learned about Catholic Health and got to practice my interviewing skills. I also learned that Catholic Health has an HR internship for the spring semester. The position sounded very interesting since it allows you to try a variety of different facets of Human Resource management.

This networking experience got me out of my comfort zone and was very rewarding as it allowed me to learn how to better prepare for a career fair or another networking event. I also have a renewed excitement about Human Resource management after speaking about all the different opportunities.