Networking & Information Sessions
Networking and information sessions are great learning experiences where you can hear directly from the individuals doing the work, ask questions, learn about the hiring process, and experience some of the organization’s culture first-hand. The format is often a brief presentation followed by the opportunity to speak informally with organization representatives in small groups or one-on-one. These representatives are often recent alumni who have been in your shoes. You may find them more approachable and that they have highly relevant insights and advice. Ask for business cards or connect via LinkedIn to follow up, as alums often become your best source of “insider information” to navigate the hiring process.
These events are also important opportunities for you to demonstrate your interest in the field and the organization, as well as to demonstrate your “soft skills,” including how well you interact and communicate with different kinds of people. If an employer sees that you will handle yourself well in a professional situation, it will help them remember you and pull your resume out from the pile of other candidates in their applicant pool. There is often a laptop or a paper sign-in sheet so a recruiter can know you attended. You can also reference people you meet in your cover letter or application materials, which reaffirms your interest in the position and the organization.