With the 2012 Net Impact Conference less than a week away, I wanted to share with current Graziadio School students the highlights of my experience at last year’s event. I hope the conference is as worthwhile for you as it was for me last year as a second-year student.
What attracted you to attend the conference and what events did you participate in?
Several things attracted me. The event itself deals with sustainability; the career fair was definitely a draw; and perhaps what attracted me most were the speakers and breakout sessions. During the breakout sessions, I knew I would have an opportunity to learn about my area of focus with a twist of sustainability and ways to benefit the environment.
How did you prepare for the conference?
I did my research. I took a look into every breakout session, and strategized which I should attend that would best serve my career goals. Additionally, I researched the companies that will be at the career fair, their job openings, and applied online to the ones I am interested in. As an added bonus, I created a list of things that I want to accomplish during the conference, a to-do list, and made sure that is taken care of.
What was most rewarding personally?
The most rewarding thing that happened to me was that I was prepared. When I walked up to the companies I was interested in, I knew exactly what I was going to say, and I knew exactly what jobs they had available. If it was not the right person representing the department I was interested in, I asked who to talk to and how I can connect with that person.
What did you learn or take away from the experience that you might apply or find useful in your career aspirations?
In terms of my career, I am interested in supply chain management, and I was extremely pleased to see what sustainability cannot be mentioned without supply chain in the same sentence. Supply chain plays an integral part in the bigger picture, and having that reassurance made me event more interested in the subject.
What advice do you have for others contemplating attending a diversity conference?
If you are prepared, you have the upper hand at these events. The recruiters are happier to talk to you if you know exactly what you want. On the other hand, it is obvious that not all people at the career fair are recruiters, and many are there to present information; attendees should approach the conference with clear goals but still an open mind.
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