The Minnesota State Fair, also known as the Great Minnesota Get-Together, is the second largest fair in the country. In 2013, nearly 1.8 million people descended on the State Fairgrounds over the 12-day event, and amongst the mass amounts of fairgoers could be your next employer! There are many ways to take advantage of all the networking opportunities at the fair (while stuffing your face with all of the food on a stick, of course!).
There are hundreds of booths and exhibits covering all 360 acres of the fairgrounds, and many new businesses use the fair to gain exposure to new cliental. Often, business owners are manning the fair booths giving job seekers a unique opportunity for face time with those making hiring decisions. Whether you’re studying marketing, accounting or mobile app development, offering your expertise is a great way to get noticed. Develop a marketing plan for a food vendor, design a brochure for a start-up or put together a strategy to showcase how a mobile app would increase their business. You’ll get valuable experience utilizing the skills you’re learning to benefit a real company. Providing a sample of the work you’ve created is a bold way to showcase your knowledge of their business, your craft and initiative. They’ll also appreciate the free advice.
The Minnesota State Fair provides many opportunities to gain hands-on experience in your field of choice by volunteering. The pet buildings, medical facilities, media organizations and more need staff to work the 12 days of the fair. Connect with businesses a few weeks prior to the fair to see if there are volunteer opportunities you can take advantage of. Volunteering gets your foot in the door and you invaluable experience to add to your resume. Not to mention, you’ll form relationships with people who could be a potential reference for you in the future.
If you aren’t able to work with a vendor directly, there are many other ways to put yourself in front of influential people at the Minnesota State Fair. You can network by stopping by booths to inquire about available positions or ways to get involved. Ask for business cards, and follow up by connecting with employers on LinkedIn. Mentioning you spoke with them at the fair is a great lead-in to further conversation about employment. Also, many businesses establish a virtual location for their booth where you can “check in” on social media (if not, you can create one). Tagging them in a post thanking them for the information is another opportunity to continue your relationship after the fair is over.
As a job seeker, the key is to be prepared for every opportunity. You never know who may be standing next to in line for cheese curds! To learn more about Globe University and career support services visit www.globeuniversity.edu/about-us/career-services.