(Editor’s Note: Want to know what it’s like inside a job fair? Senior Amanda Holst explains.)

Each year, San Jose State brings together student job seekers and employers under one roof to accommodate Silicon Valley’s demand for innovation.

As a senior who will soon enter the job market, I looked forward to exploring career options at the Fall ’13 Job and Internship Fair held Oct. 2 at the Event Center.

The event was hosted by the SJSU Career Center, which works with 20,000 hiring representatives and businesses both locally and globally.

Gaining Early Bird Access

To gain Early Bird Access, I participated in a Career Center online webshop, which helped me create a game plan for the event.

I prepared my targeted resumes, practiced my one-minute commercial that was sure to set me apart from the others, and registered for SpartaJobs, which lists 53,000 job openings.

Upon entering the fair, I was greeted by an employment coach, who offered more tips on how to approach employers, manage my time and answer questions in a thoughtful manner.

To make every second count, I identified and mapped out where my top employers were located on the floor. The more than 450 hiring representatives came from 125 companies included Cisco, Microsoft, CBS Interactive, Yelp, eBay, Kohl’s, Kasier Permanente, NOOK and the YMCA.

Making Connections

I was fortunate to run into several SJSU alumni representing their employers and showing their Spartan pride by wearing blue spirit ribbons. I was encouraged by their stories of how SJSU was the foundation of their careers with these companies.

Overall, I was pleased with my experience. I was able to meet with recruiters who I might not ordinarily get to meet and the face time allowed us to have solid conversations.

In the next week or so, I plan on following up with thank you notes and will keep in contact with the companies that I connected with so we can continue the relationship.