In my most recent post on the VMware Careers blog, I shared four tips that can empower students to ace a university career fair. Today I want to dive into how students can get the most out of another campus recruiting activity that takes place throughout the year – Company Tech Talks and Information Sessions.
When you hear the term “tech talk,” it’s safe to assume that this event will be a highly technical presentation on a product, process, business unit, or intricate enterprise undertaking. At VMware, Tech Talks for the University Relations Program are geared towards the research PhD or graduate level audiences.
Unlike the Tech Talk, Information Sessions can often have several meanings. Traditionally an information session is an event where a variety of information is shared to give a more in depth look at a company’s core business process, culture, or vision. For VMware, our Information Sessions tend to take on a hybrid approach where students not only get exposure to VMware’s culture and business strategy, but they also get an inside look at a particular product or project, thus giving it that “Tech Talk” feel.
Now that you have a better understanding of how we at VMware define Tech Talks and Information Sessions, I want to dive into how you can make the most out of attending one of these campus events.
1. Have a Game Plan
To make the most out of a campus tech talk or information session, you need to have a game plan. This means doing your homework on the company prior to the event, thinking about your personal interests and skill sets, and determining whether or not there is a match between you and the company. By doing so, you are lining yourself up to have the right kind of exposure, which in return will empower you in your career aspirations.
2. Seize Opportunities to Connect
Company tech talks or information sessions are unique in that they provide students with the opportunity to connect with company representatives in a more relaxed and intimate setting, unlike traditional career fairs where students are often competing for an employer’s attention due to the number of students attending the event. They are a great way to show continued interest in a company. When someone like myself sees a familiar face at multiple events, it often bodes well for the student assuming that his or her background is a match for our current opportunities. If a student has had multiple positive interactions with company representatives, it will increase the likelihood that his or her profile will be shared with the business after a campus event.
3. Targeted Information for Growth
When VMware hosts an information session on campus, it is often tailored around what the university is known for from a course-work perspective. For example, the VMware University Relations Team recently held an information session at North Carolina State University (NCSU) that had a deep dive into VMware’s Networking and Security Business Unit. NCSU is known to have a strong networking and security curriculum. By targeting our information sessions around a particular university’s focus, students have the opportunity to get a better understanding of how VMware can empower them to grow in their career after school. It is important to note that a student’s interests do not always have to align with the content of a particular session that a company is hosting on campus. A passion and interest in a company along with a strong profile will get you noticed as companies often have a variety of opportunities throughout their company.
4. Kindness Goes a Long Way
Tech Talks and Information Sessions should be rewarding for both the student and the employer. To create an atmosphere where both groups thrive, it is important to show kindness and common courtesy during an event. When a student goes to an event, it is important to remember that the company representatives are taking time out of their day to share more about their passions and how their employer allows them to do great work. Show the company representatives that you want to be there by giving them your full attention, closing your laptops, and muting your phones. It goes a long way when a student is positive and engaging with thoughtful questions during an event.
To close, there is no question that attending a company Tech Talk or Information Session is a smart move for a student’s job search. They increase your exposure with an employer of choice and will propel you towards your next opportunity after university.
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