Career Services  /  Career Fair  /  Students/Postdocs/Alumni

Students / Postdocs / Alumni

Career Fairs are the best opportunity to make connections with recruiters who make hiring decisions. Many firms have summer internships that are a first step to employment in the firm. This is a unique opportunity for you to speak with recruiters face to face and ask questions about their companies and the positions they have available. Come impress the recruiters with your intelligence, experience, and inquisitiveness!

Caltech undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral scholars (including JPL postdocs), and alumni are invited to participate, juniors and seniors, are especially encouraged to attend!

Stem-Ahead Career Fair

StemAhead Virtual Career Fair!

April 22, 2021 – 10am to 3pm PDT

The Career Development Center is happy to announce that the next virtual career fair will be held on April 22, 2021. This will be the first year we host a third career fair in the spring! We are once again teaming up with Harvey Mudd College (HMC), and including all STEM roles during this one-day event. This partnership with HMC will benefit both campuses by having a wider variety of employers recruiting at the fair.

Registering And Signing Up For Sessions

  • In order to sign up for sessions with employers, you must be registered for the fair.
    • For details on this process, please see Signing Up for & Managing Virtual Fair Sessions (Note, please use the student preview link emailed to all enrolled students/postdocs and skip to the third point of the instruction guide - if you did not receive the preview link, please email
  • To sign up for Group or 1:1 sessions, you may be prompted to update your profile privacy setting. We recommend using Community to make the most of your Handshake experience, as this will allow you to participate in all fair sessions and engage with other students/alumni!
  • Review which employers are attending the fair (follow employers you want to check back in with)!
  • You'll be able to sign up for sessions up to one(1) minute before the start time; once the session has started, you'll be unable to sign up for the session.

Preparing For The Fair

Here are some best practices to help you prepare for a successful fair:

Participating In The Fair

All sessions will have the option for Handshake video, audio and text based chat. There is no customization for types of interaction; it is up to the employer and student joining the session to determine how they would like to connect.

(See details on day-of participation in Participating in a Virtual Fair)

Handshake Virtual Career Fair

As long as you're signed up for the session successfully, you'll be able to join up to 5 minutes prior to the session start and throughout the duration of the session. A 1 minute warning will show up at the top of your screen.

We want you to feel as safe as possible while attending virtual fairs and interacting with employers, so we've taken several steps to ensure your safety. Read more about these steps in Reporting an Issue at a Virtual Fair.

Following Up After The Fair

Once the fair has wrapped up, you can follow-up with employers in Handshake via:

To quickly see who you attended sessions with, navigate back to the fair in Handshake with the direct link to the fair or browse using the filter "past fairs". Click on the Available Sessions tab to see your list of sessions populate on the right side of the page. Click on any session from that list to see group session descriptions or 1:1 host name/title.

Handshake VCF Schedule

Other Resources To Help You Prepare

Handshake has some great articles to help you prepare:

You can also refer to our recorded workshops that cover topics like resumes, preparing for the virtual career fair, and preparing for virtual interviews! Links to these are found on our Virtual Office page!

How to Get the Most Out of Attending a Career Fair

Career fairs provide a great opportunity to network with employers and learn about potential jobs and internships. The Caltech Career Development Center holds career fairs on campus every fall and winter. You should also be on the lookout for other industry specific fairs in the Los Angeles or other metro areas that you want to relocate to. Industry blogs are one source of these events.

  • Research! Find out which employers will be attending, who is hiring and what they are hiring for.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Bring multiple copies of your resume (applies to in-person career fairs.)
  • Create your elevator pitch.

  • Navigate strategically. Determine which employers you most want to speak with and go there first.
  • Meet employers with a smile, and make eye contact. Ask for their contact information at the end of your conversation, and take notes about anything you have learned.

  • Send thank-you notes to the recruiters of the companies you were most interested in within a few days.
  • Continue informational interviewing, while also checking job and internship listings.
  • Visit the Career Development Center with any questions.

Graduate Students

If you are interested in careers outside of academia, the Career Fair is a great way to learn more about your options (at any point in your graduate training.)

It is never too early to start networking with employers. Even if you are not looking for employment at this time, you can still ask recruiters questions about the company, learn tips about their hiring process, find out about their employment opportunities and benefits, and get a sense if such positions are appealing to you. You have spent many years on your graduate education and the more exploring you do, the easier it will be to find something that suits your skills and interests.

You can also use this opportunity to ask about internships. Please confer with your option/division/research advisor to determine if it is possible to take time off (in the summer or academic year) during your graduate work in order to accept an internship.

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