Dapper and dressed to impress, 86 of you took the time to attend our NC State AMA hosted event Meet the Pros (MTP) on September 27th. This event was an opportunity to network with potential employers in our area because networking has repeatedly been shown to be the best way to find a job! For those of you who missed out, here is what you missed and why you should definitely attend our networking event in the spring—Business and Bowling.
Pizza, Panel, Tips, and Values
The night started with pizza and panel questions with Federated Insurance, ROI Revolution, Citrix, TEKsystems, CED, and Coalmarch. Each panelist gave a brief overview of their company and their career path to their current jobs. Most of the panelists were young and able to relate to the worries of the audience and answer questions about interning and the transition from college to full-time. All agreed that experience is far more important on a resume than GPA and specific major. They encouraged us to work hard and achieve a good GPA, but that applied experience through internships is very attractive to employers when it comes time to hire full-time.
Aside from what a company wants from you, it’s also important to know what you want from them. Karly McIntyre from TEKsystems shared how she had made a list of the top three qualities she wanted in her first employer after college, because a job isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle—she encouraged us to make sure we knew what we wanted and to find a company that fulfills these desires. Lee Kennedy from Coalmarch echoed her thoughts, saying how important it was to find a work culture with which you agreed. At Coalmarch, they go out for beers, have a collaborative workspace, and never work more than 38 hours a week. He valued a work-life balance and a community environment, so he chose Coalmarch. Joe Crass from Federated Insurance said that he valued “Faith, Family, and Federated,” and it was in this order that his loyalties lay. He said that Federated supported his values and that it made all the difference in having an enjoyable life.
A few panelists also talked about interviewing. Eric Saia from ROI Revolutions stressed the importance of doing research on the company in advance and to show your knowledge and passion for the company and job during the interview. He admitted that it is very attractive to recruiters when someone has a clear passion and interest in working for them. Farrah Knab from Citrix talked about how you should know the company backwards and forwards when interviewing—know what the company does, who their clients/customers are, and the industry. Be able to talk about it in an interview. Preparation, preparation!
Pulling out the firm handshakes
At the close of the panel, attendees made their way to a private networking session with Federated Insurance, ROI Revolution, Red Ventures, Capstrat, Cisco, NetApp, Citrix, Bandwidth, TEKsystems, Northwestern Mutual, SAS, Coalmarch, CED, and Dude Solutions. These companies came to meet our qualified and talented AMA members for the chance to network and identify candidates for future jobs and internships. The room was bustling with suits and professional attire, nervous students and interested employers. Business cards were handed out and resumes were accepted, leaving it in the hands of the attendees to try and make a connection and/or potentially a job or internship. Best of luck to those of you in the interview or follow-up process!
It shouldn’t end there
The day following the event, I was sure to reach out and thank the companies I met with, reminding them with details of who I was and also attaching my resume “just in case.” One of the companies emailed me back thanking me for the email and to say that he had not received many follow-up emails from the event! Always, ALWAYS follow up after a networking event if you are interested in the company. It provides them easy access to you and reinforces the interest you showed during the event. Plus, providing them with an electronic copy of your resume just makes it that much easier to forward on to other people in their company who might want to hire you.
But I’m so young…
Just a freshman or sophomore now? It’s never too early to make connections. It’s called mere exposure—the more they see you and the more they hear your name, the better they will perceive you and the more familiar you will be to them when it comes time to hire. So get your face out there…
Convinced you missed out?
Be sure to keep your ears open for more information on our networking event in the spring, Business and Bowling. You network, you bowl. Does it get better than that?
Tell us how you feel
We’ve received feedback from some of the attendees at MTP. Our goal is to make this the best opportunity for YOU! We have heard your comments and will be sure to take them into account when planning next year. If you have anymore feedback on MTP or anything you would like to see next year, please take this super quick survey here: https://goo.gl/forms/PK6l2Ufk8jCfkkEf1. Send a screen shot of your confirmation page to firstname.lastname@example.org for three extra points!