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6 maart 2008 - Huzaifa Das is a student of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry. Every other week a column written by him will be published on the English page.

It was the Career Fair last Tuesday. Another year and another career fair comes and goes. I guess at some point in time, I’ll have to accept the fact that my life as a student will come to an end. Even though I am still in denial, I did go the fair to take a look at possible future employers. Also, I was in desperate need of new pens.

There are three main types of students you see at these career fairs. The first come there in extreme seriousness and dressed to kill. Armed with their CV, a smoking three-piece suit and well rehearsed opening lines, they accost any HR person willing to listen about their extraordinary qualities. They seem pretty disappointed at the end of it though, when instead of being offered the six-figure contract, they are told to apply online via the website.

Then you have the obsessive compulsive information hunters. Easy to spot since they are lugging with them huge amounts of printed matter assiduously collected from each stall – contact information, company newsletter, annual reports from 1985, personal diary of the company CEO, used tea cup of the HR manager for DNA testing etc. Anything they can get their hands on that might reveal that crucial piece of information that will propel them to a sky-high career path. Often overheard shrieking: “You have only 30 pages of information to offer me? I need more. MORE!!”

And then there is the third kind. This group has arrived with the sole purpose of picking up as many freebies as possible. From candy to pens to water bottles, paperclips, mugs, posters, and even those cute HR girls (if they stand still long enough). Anything they can get their hands on is fair game. If you look around carefully, you can see them gathering in the shadows, exchanging vital tips, like which company has better pens and whose mints taste sweeter.

Well, it was better than spending lunchtime in the canteen. At least now I’ve enough pens to last another year.