National employers will look for potential candidates


All Mason students and alumni will have the chance to network with dozens of employers, thanks to the upcoming career fair hosted by University Career Services.

The fair will be held on Feb. 20 and 21 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in Dewberry Hall of the Johnson Center. A wide variety of local, national and international employers—from AOL to The Institute of World Politics—will comprise the 180 employers in attendance at the fair. There are not going to be employers from just one particular sector; all majors from all schools are welcome to attend.

There will, however, be certain employers that students may be particularly interested in. Career Fair Manager Bernadette Davey highlighted several companies from different fields that may be appealing to students.

ISOM Global Strategies is a company that provides full-service marketing, communication and management services for government, corporate and commercial clients. Internships and part-time openings are available for anyone interested in event planning, graphic design, web development, project management or communication.

For information technology or engineering students, Palantir Technologies has a variety of positions available. The company was named one of the Top 50 Most Innovative Companies in 2012 and has footings in the intelligence, defense and law enforcement communities.

Another technology-related sponsor at the career fair will be OPIS, the world’s most comprehensive source for petroleum pricing and news information. “They are looking for everything from software developers, project managers to testers and designers,” Davey said.

If students want to get involved with the non-profit sector, then looking into an internship with USO World Headquarters may be their next move. The organization provides welfare and morale services to the nation’s men and women in uniform and is looking for interns in the areas of communication, sales, marketing, management and accounting.

Students looking to pursue a career in events management or tourism may want to speak with representatives from PSAV Presentation Services. Some of this company’s areas of focus include event technology services in hotel, resort, and conference center industries. They have openings for technical coordinators, sales managers and management positions.

University Career Services puts on this event during both the spring and fall semesters. For each of the past six career fairs, at least 2,500 students have taken advantage of this rare opportunity to connect with Mason graduates and employers all at once.

According to Raechel Hester, assistant director of industry advising and employer development for University Career Services, there are numerous reasons why Mason students are so attractive to these companies. Some of these include: previous work experiences from part-time jobs or military experience; the ability of Mason students to effectively communicate their values to the respective companies; students’ problem-solving and critical thinking skills and the school’s proximity to the nation’s capital.

In order to properly prepare for the event, there are a few key steps that students must take, according to University Career Service’s assistant director of industry advising and employer development Saskia Clay-Rooks.

The first thing to do is review the list of employers that will be in attendance at the fair and to determine the ones that are most appealing. This includes conducting research on the company’s location, mission, primary services or product and positions for which they are recruiting. “Employers really don’t like to be

asked, ‘What does your company do?’ Clay-Rooks said.

Once that is determined, the next step is to work on the two fundamental marketing materials: the résumé and the 30-second personal pitch. “Your personal pitch is how you will introduce yourself to the employers. Make sure to include your name, interest in the organization, qualifications and a question for the employer,” Clay-Rooks added. After all of those steps have been completed, the last thing on the list is to dress the part. Suits are recommended for both men and women. With these few tips, students will be well-prepared to make an impression at the career fair.

Besides hosting fairs twice a year, University Career Services has other programs to help Mason students succeed in their future careers. Some of these include résumé building workshops, interview practice sessions and career education programs. They will hold a résumé clinic on Mon. Feb. 18 and Tues. Feb. 19 both in Johnson Center room 116. For more information, visit