I started going to the Career Fair the second semester of my Freshman year (Spring 2015). The only thing on my resume was my three years of camp counselor experience and one fashion show I worked backstage. I knew no one was hiring Freshmen, but I wanted to see what it was like and practice for when I was actually looking for a job.
Then as a Junior, I attended the Spring 2017 Career Fair where I met with a few more employers and had a much more developed resume. Because I’m from Rhode Island, I needed a company that would provide housing for the summer. I went through interview processes with TJX, Ross Stores, Macy’s and Haddad Brands. In the end, I ended up being offered all four internships, but I decided to take the Planning and Analysis internship at TJX because it was closer to home and offered housing in addition to being paid.
The internship was the best experience I had yet. It was full-time, and I got to see what it’s like to work in a corporate company. I lived in Boston and commuted to their offices in Framingham every day. I gained such strong relationships with the other interns and my team. I was offered a full time position, but I turned it down because I have always wanted to move to New York after gradation and although I loved the people I met, I didn’t love the job itself.
During Fall 2017, I attended the career fair yet again, this time searching for full time positions after Graduation in May. I had a list of companies I planned to talk to and made my rounds. Most fashion companies were looking for December graduates and weren’t going to be hiring May graduates until April.
Right before I left, I decided to stop by the Macy’s table. It was crowded the whole time, and to be honest, with all of the negative news about department stores, I had no interest in working there. I waited in line anyway and met the recruiter.
We got along so well, and she invited me to Cosimo’s that night for a mingling event with her and the alumni that came. The alumni had nothing but good things to say about Macys, the people they worked with and their positions as Design and Product Assistants. I was hooked, excited, and so confident in my conversations.
A few days later, I got a call from the recruiter, and was asked to do online assessments. Once those were completed, I was invited to interview at Macy’s headquarters for 2 days. They puts me up in a hotel, and paid for all transportation and meals while I was there. I went through the interview process, loved everyone I met, and learned about where the company was headed. A few weeks later, I was offered the position!
After I spoke with my parents, and had my cousin (who is a lawyer) review the contracts, I signed them and sent them back to my recruiter! I will be starting the 10 week Product Assistant training program on October 1st.
It is amazing to already have a job lined up after graduation. It’s such a weight lifted off my shoulders, and I’m so excited. I wouldn’t have known about this job, or even thought about applying if I didn’t go to the Career Fair. Going to the Career Fair before I was really ready to apply for jobs made me less nervous when I was serious about applying.
Throughout all of my experiences, I learned it’s so important to follow up and keep in contact with recruiters and employees you meet because you never know when you might need their help. Be yourself, and talk to recruiters like they’re people.
Don’t be too nervous, picture yourself in their shoes. How would you want an applicant to speak and interact with you?
You’ll know when it’s right, you’ll click with the people and feel at ease. It’s all about being in the right time at the right place, being open to opportunity and standing up for yourself.
Erin Meyers, Class of 2018