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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Purdue chapter.

My heart dropped when I saw the long line to get into the mock interview fair. I desperately hoped that the line was for another event, but I accepted my fate and hopped in it anyway. My mind was already flooded with thoughts about how other people were going to judge me and my anxiety to be around so many people. I rehearsed my elevator speech silently to myself, but as I got inside, all of the words escaped me. I carefully scanned the room for representatives who were standing alone. The conversations were daunting as I focused on my every move. I asked myself, Am I smiling enough? Do I have good posture? Do I look confident? It also didn’t help that I sometimes mumble or stutter when I get nervous.

I tried my best to pay attention to the representatives as they talked about their companies but I was more worried that I wouldn’t be able to continue the conversation or ask good questions. The most disappointing part was that I didn’t have the confidence to practice my elevator speech. I tried to speak but the words got caught in my throat.  The worst part was that I only talked to four people before I decided to leave. Everything seemed to be too much, the people, the lines, and the noise. How will I ever amount to anything? How will I find a job, I asked myself, reflecting on how I should have put more effort into making a better impression.

Luckily, my friends were there to comfort me and I was able to calm down. I know this won’t be the last time I over analyze my actions since I am the type of person to play unrealistic scenarios in my head. I am proud that I got out of my comfort zone and the best part is that I didn’t die. I know that I am not alone and being in this type of situation is generally nerve-racking for many people.

I learned many things from my experience at the mock interview fair. For example, a hotel manager advised me to make small talk before talking about my credentials. It helps to break the ice and makes me stand out from the other candidates, because many people jump right into their elevator speech. I incorporated his advice and asked the other representatives what they thought about Purdue before discussing the job position. It opened the conservation and all of them were friendly and enthusiastic to answer any questions about the company. Overall, despite my nerves, I don’t think my experience was that bad. Life goes on and I’ll have other opportunities to practice marketing myself. Through that process, I will improve.

Sherry is a senior at Purdue University majoring in professional writing and minoring in film. She plans on becoming a content writer or a copywriter, though she is also keeping her options open. She enjoys Youtube, her cat, Paisley, makeup, and writing.
Danielle Wilkinson is an Atlanta native and currently a senior at Purdue University studying Mass Communication. She is the co-correspondent and Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus Purdue. She has written for several online and print publications in the past including The Purdue Exponent, The Tab, Society 19, Study Breaks Magazine and Voy Study Abroad. She loves traveling, shopping and everything entertainment, especially movies and TV, but 90s rom coms will always be her favorite. She hopes to move to California one day to pursue a career in marketing. In her free time, she loves YouTube, watching movies with her friends, working on her novel, drinking tea and reading books.