“Hey, let’s go to the science career fair tomorrow!” my friend tells me as we get out of our organic chemistry night lab. I was tired from a long day, and my brain was stereotyping career fairs as events that are only for engineering and business majors. What good would a biomedical sciences (BIMS) major get from an event like this?
But something else in me also was thinking, “Why not? Why don’t I go and dress up all business casual, put on some heels, talk to some recruiters, and give out my resume?” So I told her “let’s do it!” and off we went to prepare for the spontaneous decision we made.
The following day I walked into a room filled with different companies and schools. It was definitely one of the most initially intimidating experiences going in—students were eager to show their most polished and outstanding sides, while the recruiters tried to give everyone equal attention and information.
I started off by going to stands with internship and co-op opportunities. Most of them were graduate or professional schools, such as Rice University, Baylor School of Medicine, or the UT Health Center. I had some great conversations with the people there and learned about all the different programs and experiences they had to offer.
Next, I moved on to internships, in general. It didn’t matter if they wanted my major or not—I just decided to take a shot and talk to the recruiters after giving them my resume. I talked to a couple pharmaceutical companies, Phillips 66, Fujifilm and Thermo Fisher. They were all happy to talk to me and gave me a lot of insight as to what their companies were doing.
By this time of day, my feet hurt from my heels, my voice was dying out from all the talking, and I was ready to end my time in the career fair. Even though I didn’t get any interviews on the spot, I thought it ended up being a great experience overall and was glad that I went.
Little did I know what was to come.
I later received an email from Phillips 66 saying that they looked over my resume and credentials and wanted an interview with me! I thought there must have been a glitch in the system, judging by all of the outstanding engineer majors at our university, but I soon learned that wasn’t the case.
The interview went extraordinarily well. My interviewer said he admired my ability to work two part-time jobs and be on two research teams, while keeping my grades up, and thought I was an over-qualifying candidate for their internship. I don’t know the exact results yet, but I think our conversation was very promising.