We always hear about networking as students and how important it is, but I know that nobody has ever told me exactly how to do so. This post intends to explain what exactly networking is and why it is valuable to your degree, show you the different networking opportunities available on campus, and how to prepare for them. (more…)
Woot! Who else is excited for Tech Fair? Every year the New Rez lobby is packed by tons of Tech Fair goers, and this year, this will be happening on October 7th and 8th. For those of you not in the know, Tech Fair is a career fair of various companies in the technology sector. They come to introduce themselves and recruit talented students, especially in engineering and computer science. As a networking event, it’s one of the biggest and most fun at McGill.
October…the time we begin to bundle up and slowly make our way into hibernation mode due to our hectic schedules, demands, deadlines and of course, midterms! This is the time of month when studying and preparation take precedence over enjoying the last few rays of sunshine that peek through the autumn sky. October is a month of anticipation, a month of thanks and of freight…filled with many upcoming career-related events. Other than Thanksgiving and Halloween, another important event to incorporate ourselves into this month would be to participate all the career opportunities that surround us.
Your Linkedin profile is almost ready to go! However, once you entered soft and hard skills in your profile, there is an important step that needs to be taken: asking for endorsements.
That’s the one most important item that can lead you to obtaining and keeping a very solid reputation on Linkedin. To tell the truth, how many profiles have you visited lately and reading profiles, you have had that feeling that behind those fancy words something is missing?
We build our public image based on trust. That is right! You profile is ready to go but…who will trust you if nobody can back up your skills? The most popular personalities or commercial pages are based on the amount of “likes” on Facebook, correct? Well, Linkedin’s version of “likes” are endorsements. This feature enables members to endorse each other’s skills and expertise. It works pretty much like the recommendations. It helps members recommend each other and by doing that not only will you get more social proof, but also global branding, exposure and trust. In addition, it will generate more visits to your profile and if your profile shines, then people will want to connect with you.
What do you think is the number one way students get jobs out of university? Okay, the title may have given the answer away (oops), but contrary to popular belief, job boards and other classic application processes are not the most common way people get a job in Canada. While Online job boards account for 24% of hires in Canada, traditional networking accounts for 35% of them! So yeah, networking is kind of a big deal.
Luckily, McGill does provide plenty of opportunities to start building a wide professional network; and remember, it does not matter if you are in first year and getting a “grown-up” job is not in your priorities just yet, because it is never too early to start building your network; long lasting relationships are the most trustworthy after all. (more…)
Yesterday I went to the IMA Kick-Start Breakfast. I hear you asking “What’s IMA?”. IMA is the International Management Association. I will come back to it later, I first want to talk about a few things that I, and most of the people present, learned. We talked with Trendr’s co-founder George Stamatis on Google Hangout and he answered a few questions on networking, keeping in touch with professionals etc. Career Advisor Peg Brunelle was also here and gave us a few tips. So I thought I would share them with everyone, because even if you’re not in business, I can always be useful! (more…)
The simplest things sometimes prove to be the hardest. I recently went to a party at a colleague’s place, where a lot of my classmates brought their girlfriends, boyfriends and spouses many of whom I had met before. However, I realized I had trouble remembering two of their names and I was in the awkward situation of having to ask again. It is always uncomfortable to say: “Hi, we’ve met before, but can you please tell me your name again? Although I managed to come out of the two situations rather elegantly, I realized that I meet so many people every day, and sometimes I do forget a person’s name.
Thankfully, Vault came to the rescue again. Their article on how to remember a name during a networking event applies to every day events and here are the points I found to be the most useful:
We’ve come to the end of the road. This is the last part of Acing the Career Fair series. After talking about dress code, appearance and how to prepare to walk the walk, it is time to mention what to do next, once you leave the room. There is more, you ask. Yes! And this step can make a huge difference.
First, let me touch on how to organize your portfolio (the folder or resume portfolio that you use to carry your resumes in). Although I did not mention it specifically, resumes need a special section of their own. Make sure you get a nice looking folder or a nice leather portfolio if you can to store your resumes. You will look more professional and you will also be able to stay organized. The best method I found is the following: keep the right side of the portfolio for your resumes and the left side (hopefully it has a pocket) for business cards.
After you collected one business card, don’t just stuff it in the folder. Take one minute to quickly jot down a memorable thing about the conversation you just had with the person. Did you like them? Did they show interest in you? Was there anything special about the conversation you had? Although you think you will remember these details later on, do yourself this favor and write it down then and there. This way, you can easily create a memorable thank you follow up email. Think of this step as strategic planning. You will save a lot of time so you can attend the fun things you have planned for that day as well. Once you made your little note move on to the next person.
As an undergraduate student, all I was hearing was: go look for an internship! You will get a sense of what the work world is all about, it will help you find a job after graduation, make connections, and many more things that will benefit you in the long run, maybe even make some extra cash. So, there I went, looking everywhere for an opportunity to get THE internship that will help me do all that.
One place that made the most sense to look for an internship was the annual Career Fair. However, it was a place where I always felt awkward. Saying hi to people I didn’t know, staying in line to talk to “hot” recruiters and simply feeling lost in the midst of all the commotion and the people, while all dressed up and running in between classes. However, the two internships I had throughout my undergraduate career were a result of career fairs. Despite my fear of this environment, I made it work.
Career fairs have recently been criticized for failing to provide students with jobs and for not being worth the high cost to employers. Many different people and organizations debate the value of career fairs. Should companies devote lots of time and resources to send their employees all over the country recruiting for positions? And should students dress their best, bring CVs and hope to get a job at these career fairs?
Well, chances are you won’t get a job from going to a career fair. But that doesn’t mean they are not helpful. Career fairs can introduce you to a number of opportunities and companies that you never knew existed.