Info Sessions: Take Action!

Info Sessions: Take Action!

By: Abbas Virji | Special Projects Assistant
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INFO SESSIONS: Take Action

So you’re finally sitting at that employer’s info session – professional clothes, business cards in hand, phone (hopefully) on silent – and you wonder; why am I here? What purpose does presenting myself in this manner achieve? Well, you’re about to find out…

Let’s take a step back. Remember that info sessions can often be large gatherings with hundreds of students hoping to get that highly-coveted spot at a large, innovative corporation. Ergo, it is important to be noticed through effective networking and active brand promotion of yourself. An employer may not notice you or take you seriously if you are not wearing business attire – if you show a lack of effort to get ready for a brief info session, what would make them expect you to be dressed professionally in a place of work? If you’re wondering what qualifies as ‘business attire,’ think of what you would wear to a job interview and proceed from there.

BUSINESS CARDS… AND ALL THAT JAZZ

As employers receive hundreds if not thousands of resumes, giving your resume to an employer all by itself (without any supplementary material) may result in it being overlooked. Instead, try to get your personal business cards (that include your own brand) ready in time for the info session, so that the employer has a quick way of contacting you without losing it in a pile of resumes. To help you out, here is a post that shows some basic steps when creating a personal brand, and here are some networking tips when using business cards (and if you’re really motivated, here are some awesome examples of creative business cards). Furthermore, when giving out business cards, create a 30-second pitch for yourself (in advance of the session of course!). Highlight your achievements, what you do, and what you want to achieve in the future. This shows a lot of self-confidence, and an employer might see you as a highly-organized individual through this pitch.

While that’s all said-and-done, there is one pivotal part of attending an info session that is vital, and it comes before any of this. That is, since you’re going to the info session already, you might as well do some preliminary research to get a basic understanding of the employer and their specific goals – not only will this help you in understanding the information being presented a lot better, it will also show the employer (once you’re out networking) that you’ve taken the time out of your schedule to really engage with the material. Combined with your business card, this can give you a tremendous advantage over less-informed attendees. You can even tie in some company information into your pitch if you think you’re ready.

CONCLUDING… (YES, ALREADY)

Finally, as you can tell, network like you’ve never networked before prior to leaving the info session. As you may already know, leaving an info session immediately after the presentation is not only disrespectful to the employer, but is also a missed opportunity in creating a network – even if it might only be one or two people. If you have the chance, you may as well go for it, especially since you don’t have anything to lose. When networking, keep these tips in mind so you don’t come across as too aggressive, but not too shy either. The whole reason the employer is on campus is to engage with students who may be looking for a career once they’re done their degree, so the onus is on you to use the opportunity to start that network and begin to build a future for yourself. The journey to a career is often fruitful, and can result in amazing instances of self-discovery. No efforts are wasted, even if it may not be the result you desire.

So now that you know all about info sessions and the opportunities they can open for you, why not check out our many info sessions throughout the fall? If you’re lost in a jumble of links, here’s the link to our upcoming events (including info sessions). There’s something for every major, and a lot of up-and-coming employers will be presenting, including the likes of Microsoft and Telus. Start building your career today, and get a jump-start to accelerating your professional network. We hope to see you at one (or more!) of our info sessions!

 *Lead image: creative-commons licensed photo by Joey Coleman on Flickr

Posted on September 18, 2013