The Career Fair and the Fountain of Eternal Swag

Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a woman with shockingly few marketable skills. I went to the career fair, but I didn’t get any jobs. Instead, I got an absurd array of freebies from various tech companies. I would tell you about it, but I’d rather show you . . .


A solid representation of cotton and tri-blend, the tees this year did not disappoint. Asana wins for softest material, while Andreessen Horowitz gets a nod for originality with their Henley. At this point, I am fully convinced that tech start-ups are the only reason that American Apparel is still in business.

It’s worth noting that Microsoft packaged their T-shirts like one of those expanding Disney-themed washcloths from our youth. Maybe this fabric was a Lion King hand towel in a past life?


Faux wooden glasses decimated the competition this year (the competition being a bunch of crummy, colorful, plastic sunglasses). The sock game was also strong, with rubber tracked hospital/SkyZone slippers, athletically minded socks from Trip Advisor, and FitBit bringing the fashion element. The meaning of business socks has just transcended its original derivation.


In the past, I’ve emphasized the lack of excitement generated from run-of-the-mill giveaways like cups and pens. However, I would like to revise my previous, arbitrary opinion, because you have to hand it to these companies for subtracting from your usual errands. Need a moleskin? Thanks to Blend, you already have one. Need a measuring tape for future plans to turn your dorm into a enlarged beer cooler? Now you have two (that only extend about two feet, but that’s not important)!

We should also be eternally grateful to the healthcare/tech hybrid companies, because they gave out the mini first aid kits that all undergrads need to combat drinjuries (and also regular injuries).


selfie stick


A USB powered speaker from Two Sigma that resembles a UFO, and a selfie stick from Oracle. I haven’t operated the selfie stick yet, since I am not familiar with the tool, but I plan to use it as a weapon to fend off other people with selfie sticks. Like selfie stick dueling. Maybe I can join the Brown fencing team?


Who but Pinterest would be handing out kits for “make your own terrarium”? Complete with dirt, pebbles, plastic dinosaur/animal, and a tiny succulent! Spoiler: there was a second giveaway in the CIT the next day. Apparently, if these companies don’t unload all of their swag at the career fairs, they have to haul it back on the plane to Silicon Valley. So much fake moss.




While Dun & Bradstreet really thinks that we need a pizza cutter for our kitchen, Appnexus continues their trend of bringing the heat. . . with hot sauce. Two years ago, I declared Appnexus the winner of the career fair. In the present, they get a deduction for lack of progress/innovation. Or maybe I’m just sore, because I never was able to consume the hot sauce. Despite my previous excitement, I couldn’t invest my trust in a condiment that came from a tech company.

Back to the Future:


Based on their complimentary calculators, Charles River Analytics is really low tech tech, OR, they are so high-tech, they have already developed a functioning time machine. They took that time machine and traveled back to the nineties, and that’s where the supply of free calculators came from.

Seeking ambition:

Memsql wanted potential future employees to solve a code problem for a prize of $20. DANGNABBIT, THEY CAUGHT ME! I didn’t linger there long, since I have no idea what the page pictured above is referring to. Is it in Spanish?

And the winner is . . . :



Google! Their terrifyingly deep pool of resources paid off with these cute, silicon android magnets, but the real prize was the lego puzzle. You only are only too young to play with legos, never too old. His name is Andre the Android, and he lives on my bedside table now.

Honorable Mention:

Yelp: the company swag that is most likely to allow you to survive on a desert island!


As a humanities person, I would normally take some time to write about the General Career Fair, which took place the day after this tech extravaganza. However, I actually felt more like a fish out of water at the general fair than I did in a sea of brilliant CS majors. Basically, all of the booths were about finance or consulting. Which leads to me to an important confession. I STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT CONSULTING IS!

I did manage to get a professional LinkedIn photo, which is great, because I’ve been in the market for a legit photographer to take some nudes for a while now.

Even though Wednesday’s events confirmed that I will still end up unemployed and alone, all was not lost – at least I can take solace in my terrariums, my legos, my socks, and my pizza cutter!

Finally, I would like to give a closing thank you note to all of the companies who gave out totes or duffel bags. These were the gifts that truly kept on giving, as I would stuff all of my other free stuff in them, and appear inconspicuous as I continued on my quest to attain as much swag as possible.

Images via Caitlin Dorman ’16.


1 Comment

  1. Alex Ogilvy

    That Two Sigma USB speaker is waterproof and the suction cup means you can stick it to the wall of the shower and if you hold the volumes buttons you can skip back and forward! You can probably do phone calls as well, if your showering isn’t productive enough already.

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