Career Fair 2015: How I lost my swag, but still brought home swag

For the past two years, I’ve been infamous for stealing the giveaways from the career fairs. How can you steal something that’s free, you may ask? Well, the freebies are usually intended for students who are interested in working for these companies. I have notoriously shown zero interest in getting a job, and that is why the majority of employers at this fair hate me.

Alas, now I am nearing the end of my life–adulthood–and I need a summer internship. I had originally planned to attend this year’s career fair in all seriousness and instead of just documenting all the goodies I brought home, I would document all of the rejection I experienced. It did not go as planned. Well, the rejection part went as expected, but I still got a lot of free stuff.

My dear readers, I promise, I tried to change. I dressed business casual even though it was a fruitless gesture under my winter coat and scarf. I printed out FOUR resumes because I heard that’s something you’re supposed to do. Unfortunately, desperation works in strange ways. There were only so many times I could cheerfully ask tech companies if they were interested in a blogger with no applicable skills! Enough with my excuses. Without further ado, here is the haul for 2015:

The toys


IXL is one of those companies where a writer could initially think they are a good fit before realizing that the representatives at the fair were only recruiting website builders (much like the table for the New York Times). Shrouded in disappointment, I couldn’t say no to a compressible frisbee. Or dominoes. Speaking of, did you know there are rules for dominoes? I always thought the tiles were more of a décor statement.

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What to do this week: September 15 – 21


Monday, September 15:

Event: William Deresiewicz Lecture
Time: 6 – 7:00 p.m.
Location: 70 Brown St, McComack Family Theatre

Deresiewicz is the author of Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite (and a recently trending article on the New Republic that spoke of the same subject). Come hear and question him tonight on the subject of our very own education.

Tuesday, September 16:

Event: Pell Grant Symposium
Time: 6 – 8:00 p.m.
Location: Macmillan 117

Come to this event hosted by the Education from the Inside Out Coalition to learn about the barriers currently facing previously incarcerated students reintegrating into society. With rising populations in both state and federal prisons, this symposium will discuss the necessary reforms for helping students get back on their feet. A panel of experts (that includes previously incarcerated students) will speak.

Event: BlogDailyHerald Info Session!!!!
Time: 7 – 8:00 p.m.
Location: 195 Angell St (The Herald Offices)

All are welcome to our info session tomorrow night to learn the details about the best organization on campus, and to ask any questions about our applications, which are due Friday, September 19. We’re hearing all the cool kids are coming so you should probably mark your calendar.

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How I got my Career Fair swag on

The loot.

The loot. (Recycling bin not included)

The Career Fair is the best day of the year. Why? Because a) the economy is in the shitter, and b) I’m a humanities person.

Therefore, if I’m going to spend the bulk of my twenties sleeping on my parents’ couch, I’m damned well going to take all of these companies’ free shit to play with in the meantime. All of the pictures in this post include only items I got for free at the 2o13 Career Fair. While everyone else was walking around in stuffy suits and handing out resumes, I was in casual Friday attire… on a Wednesday.

As you can imagine, no one was trying to bribe the sophomore English major to join their software tech company, so I was fending for myself. By the time I left, my bag was so large it looked like I had a paisley-patterned Siamese twin. Technically, I didn’t steal anything, but I did manage to look like a huge A-hole.

Though I don’t recommend trying this at home, here’s what I did after the jump.

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At 8 years old, I was already very concerned about the Career Fair.

WTF Career Fair?

At 8 years old, I was already very concerned about the Career Fair.

I didn’t go to the Career Fair yesterday.

I planned to. I had absolutely nothing to do between 12-4. My Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule is surprisingly open this year, and while that means a hectic Tuesday-Thursday, I enjoy the luxury of lounging around most of the day in pajamas and eating large amounts of gummy vitamins, since I have consumed all other nutrional substances in my room. (Seriously though, those gummy bears are delicious—do bad things happen if you eat ten in one day?! [Ed.- Yes.])

But I didn’t go. I refused to embrace pre-professionalism and thus probably sentenced myself to a purgatory of cubicles and mediocrity.  I watched my peers don their slacks and pantsuits and march off with unbridled optimism, resumes in hand, ready to conquer Corporate America. And I attempted to rationalize my decision to ditch.


1. The Dresscode. Seriously, who do we think we’re kidding? We don’t dress like that. The employers know we don’t dress like that. Brown students, in general, have two modes of dress: Homeless People (being sweatpants, sweatshirts, and bedhead) and Chique Homeless People (harem pants, anything from Urban Outfitters, and bedhead achieved through an hour-long battle with a curling iron and hairspray).

Do we really think that wearing those awful tan trousers will change anything?

2. Resume Anxiety. I don’t have anything close to That Awesome Internship, and I’m betting a ton of Brunonians don’t either. “Research” means I watched a lot of Netflix and effed around on Wikipedia all summer. “Advanced Infant Supervisor” means babysitter. And you better believe the employers know it.

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How to lose a job (you never really had) in 10 seconds

From 12 – 4 p.m. tomorrow, CareerLab will host its annual Fall Career Fair with over 90 representatives from well-known organizations like Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook. As you eagerly enter Sayles Hall, remember to think of the dos and don’ts of career fair etiquette.

If you’re trying to land a job interview make a bad impression, consider doing the following…

1) Give all the employers pretentious business cards with your name and concentration. Handing a future employer a business card with the impressive  obvious title “Brown student” will probably give them a good laugh.

2) Employers love enthusiasm so use this occasion to sport your “Brown State” shirt to highlight your excitement for homecoming this weekend.

3) Speaking of clothing, the fair does happen to fall on Wednesday, which means you should wear to the fair whatever you plan on wearing to Whisko later. If someone asks why you’re dressed the way you are, just explain where you’re going after to emphasize that you have “social” and “people” skills.

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Editor’s note: Cashing in a nickname for a paycheck

There are two things that many of my friends – yes, people with whom I would consider myself to have meaningful relationships – do not know about me: 1) I am a leftie and 2) My real name is Jennifer.  Continue Reading