Only a month away, October brings many things: colder weather, football games, Halloween and of course the National FFA Convention & Expo. As a college student you may be attending the convention and expo Oct. 30 – Nov. 1) in a variety of different capacities. You may be receiving your American FFA Degree (wow, what an accomplishment! Congratulations.). You may be attending with your university to recruit current members to your institution or program of study, you may attend as a volunteer with your home chapter as a judge, coach or chaperone. Or maybe you’re volunteering or working for FFA to help make the event a success (a great resume builder by the way). There are so many different ways you can attend and be involved with the convention and expo after your high school days, but there are also a variety of activities you can and should take advantage of to help with your professional development.
The number one way to maximize your time at the convention and expo as a college student is to attend the Collegiate and FFA Alumni Career Fair inside the expo hall. The career fair will be located at the back corner of Hall A within the expo; this will be right next to the alumni area, which you should also be sure to visit during the convention and expo. Joining FFA Link and the National FFA Alumni Association is a great way to network with individuals and professionals who share your love for FFA.
What sets the career fair apart from the expo area is that career fair will be manned by the representatives who conduct interviews and make hiring decisions within their companies. The companies who reserve this booth space do so because they have current opportunities for college students and recent graduates, both internships and full-time careers. So no matter what year you are in college, if you attend a two-year or four-year program or are a graduating high school senior looking to go directly into the workforce, this opportunity at the convention and expo is for you!
So what do you need to do to prepare for this career fair?
- The career fair will be open on Thursday, Oct. 31 and Friday, Nov. 1 from 1 - 3 p.m., so make sure you spare time in your schedule to spend at least an hour attending the career fair.
- Get your resume ready! Bring copies of your updated resume. Check out this article on how to take a good resume to a great resume to help you get started.
- Visit the expo website beforehand to see a listing of the companies who are exhibiting within the career fair. Then do your homework. Visit company websites, read about their missions and values and what types of opportunities are available. This will help you develop a plan for who you want to talk to and what engaging questions you want to ask representatives.
- Read this article about Making the Most of a Career Fair for additional insight on preparing beforehand, making a great first impression and how to follow up after the event.
This will be the second year for career fair and there are already a number of companies excited to network with you!
As an extra bonus for reading this article and taking the first steps to “Make the most of the National FFA Convention & Expo” this year, here is an additional tip: In addition to the Collegiate and FFA Alumni Career Fair, Collegiate FFA is also offering a number of additional activities for college attendees. Workshops, a Collegiate House Party, and a Collegiate FFA Success Lunch with a panel discussion of employers are all taking place as well. There will be numerous opportunities to network with professionals for your career…don’t miss out!