One of the most common ways to get an internship or co-op is through recruiters and employers that are coming to the University of Cincinnati from time to time. It is a really great opportunity to present yourself, give your elevator pitch and get their contact information to follow up later. UC hosts two major Career Fairs for students both in fall and spring semesters.
Furthermore, there can be smaller leadership conferences or internship expos for specific majors, where you also can participate and get the same benefits. Whenever there is a special occasion like the accounting conference expo or any other career fair, students receive emails from their individual career coaches informing about upcoming events.
Since I am majoring in Accounting, I had to participate in the Accounting Leadership Conference Expo which was hosted by the University of Cincinnati in Lindner College of Business in January 2020. They provide leadership programs and internship opportunities for Accounting majors. This time, there were 16 companies which mainly specialize in Audit, Tax, or Insurance:
RSM, PwC, Plante Moran, MCM, KPMG, Grant Thornton, GBQ, EY, Deloitte, Cohen & Company, Clark Schaefer Hackett, Cassady Schiller, Blue & Co. LLC, BKD LLP, BDO, Barnes Dennig.
Usually, each company has a table with flyers and some free stuff (wattle bottles, bags, accessories, etc.) and there are several company representatives standing right next to it who give useful information about their organization along with opportunities for students. Each company has its own hiring requirements (such as specific majors, GPA, school year, and most importantly the U.S. Work Authorization) for students.
If you plan to go to the career fair, here are my advices:
- Do research and take some notes to ask questions to the company before talking to them in order to show that you are interested
- Most of the times companies tell students to apply through Handshake (it is a career platform used by the University of Cincinnati where students, career centers, and recruiters come to meet, talk, and share opportunities), so if you have already applied through this platform then you can ask for further instructions
- I would encourage you to prepare an elevator pitch. It shows that you seriously put an effort to come prepared and talk to employers
- In addition to the elevator pitch, find something interesting and unique about yourself in order to grab the attention of an employer and make them remember you
- Dress up in business professional attire to show them that you have a serious attitude
- Print out at least 10 resumes and some cover letters (not necessary but preferable)
- When you finish talking to the recruiter or employer, ask for the business card or any contact information so that you will be able to follow up with them and shake their hand before leaving
Best of luck!