CLA Internship & Career Fair
About the CLA Internship & Career Fair
The CLA Internship & Career Fair connects CLA students across all 65+ majors with for-profit, non-profit, and government organizations in many industry sectors. Students can explore internship, volunteer, and full-time opportunities with employers who are hiring CLA students and recent alumni. This event is also an opportunity for students to develop and practice networking skills, and to get advice about internships, volunteer positions, and full-time careers.
This event is for CLA students and recent alumni and is FREE to attend. Last year, more than 1,000 students participated.
The CLA Internship & Career Fair is coordinated by CLA Career Services.
Register to Attend the Fair
Registration for the CLA Internship & Career Fair can be found on GoldPASS powered by Handshake.
You can find more information about the CLA Internship & Career Fair and register on GoldPASS powered by Handshake — click on “Events” and then “Fair Search.” Or go directly to the registration page.
CLA students/alumni may still attend the event without pre-registering. Whether you pre-register or not, please bring your student ID to the fair, as you will need it to check in.
You can find more information about the CLA Internship & Career Fair and register on GoldPASS powered by Handshake, including pricing and registration deadlines.
Student & Employer Feedback About the Fair
The most significant thing I gained at the fair was simply the practice of networking and engaging with prospective employers. Attending such events successfully takes practice.
Junior, Political Science and English
Go to as many career events at the beginning of the year as you can, because you never know how early opportunities will start appearing.
Plan ahead. Don't be afraid to go in and just ask questions, but plan a course of action beforehand.
First Year, Undecided
The CLA Internship & Career Fair gives us the ability to speak with the next generation of our business, learn about what they want in a career, and add talent to our teams.
The CLA Internship & Career Fair is a great way to connect with some of the U’s most talented and bright students.
We love this fair. The variety of majors appeals to the variety of our internships. It’s great to get so much diversity for our organization.
Prepare for the Fair
Before the fair:
- Browse our online Resume Guide and the Career Readiness Guide.
- Plan to target 3-5 organizations that truly interest you. Research the organizations attending using GoldPASS powered by Handshake, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, the UMN Business Reference Library, or a simple Google search.
- Visit CLA Career Services in 411 Bruininks Hall to get your resume reviewed (no appointment needed) or make an appointment with a career counselor to learn more about how to prepare.
On the day of the fair:
- Dress in a way that is authentic to you, comfortable, and showcases how you would like to be viewed in a professional setting. It is also a good idea to dress in layers. If you have financial need for assistance obtaining professional clothing, please click here.
- Bring at least 10 copies of your resume.
- We suggest leaving extra items such as backpacks at home, although there will be a place to check your backpack.
- Download the Handshake app to access this event, attending employers, a map of the room, and more. This is a great way to have all of your CLA Internship & Career Fair information at your fingertips!
After the fair:
- Send thank you notes to the employers you talked to 24-48 hours after the fair.
- Connect with the employers you talked to on LinkedIn.
- If the employer asked you to follow up in any way, do so! (For example, apply on the employer's website, reach out on LinkedIn, etc.)
(Note: Please read all of the information on this CLA Internship & Career Fair page, not just the information for international students that is presented in this section. You will need all of this important information to have the best possible experience at the CLA Internship & Career Fair.)
Being an international student (i.e., someone who will eventually require sponsorship to work in the U.S.) presents some unique challenges. To help you respond to these challenges, we have prepared a few tips that are specific to the international student experience at job/career fairs.
Make sure you read through these tips, and that you also visit CLA Career Services to get your résumé reviewed and to practice introducing yourself so that you’re as prepared as you can be before a job/career fair begins.
Career Fair Dos and Don’ts for International Students
- DON’T begin with "Do you sponsor?" DO let the employer raise the issue of sponsorship if they are interested.
- DON'T begin with "Do you hire international students?" DO begin with questions that will get a conversation started and let the employer learn what you bring beyond being international.
- DON’T begin with "Hi, I'm Punit and I'm from India." DO begin with an introduction that emphasizes your qualifications for the job and the company.
- DON’T begin with "Hi, what does your company do?" DO showcase the research you have done into the company and your fit for it.
- DON'T go up to talk to recruiters in groups or pairs. DO go one at a time.
Answering Common Employer Questions About Sponsorship
"Do you need sponsorship?" or "Do you need work authorization?"
- "My education visa covers me for internships. I don't need any authorization or sponsorship from an employer."
- "My education visa covers me for X months, during which time I do not need authorization or sponsorship from my employer. After that I would need my employer to file for a work visa, but I expect by that time to have really demonstrated my value and fit for your company."
- "I would not require sponsorship or any additional paperwork or expense to work for you as an intern. If, as I hope happens, I do such a great job that you want to keep me on for a full-time position, then I would ultimately need sponsorship."
Do you know what work options you have with your visa status? Do you know how to explain your options and needs to a potential employer? Be sure to check with International Student and Scholar Services to get information about work options for F-1, J-1, and H-1B visas.
CLA’s international students possess key qualities and skills that are highly valuable to employers. There are various ways to hire an international candidate, many of which have no cost for the employer:
- Internships through Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
- After graduation through Optional Practical Training (OPT)
- Beyond the OPT period through sponsorship