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How to go up to five weeks without buying groceries, and other handy tips

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Written by Katerina Gonzales

Posted on 02 February 2014

Spring Career Fair is coming up, which means one important thing—free stuff. There are other valuable things that happen around Career Day time, such as actually getting to see what people look like when they dress classy or are actually trying to find a job/ internship without sounding incredibly awkward. But why should the weeks leading up to and the month after Career Day be awkward and filled with nerves? Why not make it one of the favorite times of the semester?

First, one must become the master of swag. No, not the ridiculous juvenile sort of swag, but the "Stuff We All Get" type of swag. Becoming the master of swag takes multiple semesters of practice, but revolves around three key elements. Sneakiness is one element. Taking nifty flashlights while a classmate is distracting a recruiter with their elevator speech is the perfect example of sneakiness. Often tables will have no one manning the booth at lunch or break time, so the swag is free game. Another strategy is actually talking to recruiters. Often companies save their best paraphernalia for the students who have turned in their resume or had a conversation about the company with the recruiter. Sometimes, a master of swag will not even have to ask to take free stuff, but a recruiter will put a bag of goodies in their hands. Although sneakiness and talking will get a swag-seeker far, timing helps out. Flash drives and other extremely desirable free gadgets are usually the first to go at Career Fair, so it is important to get their early. On the other side of the spectrum, hitting the booths up again right before closing will gain many freebies as well, since the companies are eager to get rid of stuff and might be done taking resumes for the day.

The free goodness does not end with Career Day, however. Besides being easy and helpful in applying to positions, Digger Net also functions as a directory of company info sessions, also known as tonight's dinner. In the weeks leading up to Career Day, the Career Center is hosting a plethora of helpful info sessions ranging from resumes to interviews, and also have the added benefit of lunch. Both before and after the big day, companies will host information sessions at either lunch or dinner time. Big name companies usually have the best food, but make sure to be courteous and RSVP through Digger Net.

It is also rumored that students that have successfully landed a position or even an interview will be treated by the company to dinner with other students, so maybe updating one's resume is a good idea after all.

The fun does not have to subside after recruiting season has come and gone. Joining one or multiple of the societies and clubs on campus is a great way to avoid making or buying a meal. Also, keeping an eye out on emails sent out on campus is actually a good idea to look out for events with free food.

Well-weathered college students have figured out a way to synthesize all techniques for getting free food and go weeks without buying groceries. If all else fails, mooching off friends and family usually works; and if that fails, there is always ramen.