It was a great experience being a part of the one of the world’s largest career fair held by The Society of Women Engineers(SWE) at Austin, Texas on 26th and 27th of October. There were around 320 exhibitors making it an absolutely fantastic experience for the students and the Industries to connect. Exhibitors from various sectors (Mechanical, Automobile, Computer Science, Electronics, Medical Device Pharma etc) were present at the fair and hence there were a good mix of participants from diverse educational backgrounds as well. It was a place filled with lot of energy and positive vibes as it was loaded with participants holding onto dreams and aspirations, trying hard to achieve their goals.
According to my observation there were many openings for R&D, Regulatory and Quality divisions within both Medical Devices and Pharma Industries. The openings were present equally for both entry level and experienced candidates as well. The exhibitors were working equally hard as the participants in selecting the right candidates from a whole load of participants. It was a great opportunity for participants to know the company beyond the details provided in their respective websites.
Most companies preferred taking soft copies and some of the common details of the participants at the career fair to add it to the profile of the participants within the company’s website. So, when a particular participant applies for a position in future, the recruiters will be able to see from their database that he/she had interacted with their company at the career fair and hence their chance of selection gets enhanced.
Another additional feature worth mentioning was the provision of SWE 2017 app which was enabled with the list of exhibitors, map to navigate the booths, events, sessions and even networking platforms. Apart from these it also had a filter option for the participants to shortlist their companies of interest conveniently, based on their discipline, educational level, experience and international status. This was a time saving feature which allowed the right connections of participants and companies.
Career fairs are definitely a great platform to network and in order to make it a great experience, it is very important to be well prepared. I do find it usual for students to have the mindset that it is just a place to submit the Resumes at various booths and feel happy with folder containing the printed-put Resumes getting empty but, the hard truth is that these days it is far more a serious business. I feel it is not about the quantity and it is all about quality. It is essential to spend ample amount of time to Research about the companies, their products, and if possible even the recruiters (With Linkedin it is a lot more easier). Apart from this it is also good to have a unique and interesting Elevator pitch which usually speaks about background, skills, interests, accomplishments and goals of the candidates within 30-60 seconds. Apart from preparing the draft it is also vital to practice the pitch multiple times in order to ensure it is delivered in the best way because ultimately, we get only few seconds to grab opportunity of getting our dream jobs. So, to make those few seconds to be life changing, it is extremely important to be prepared in the best way possible and stand-out of the crowd.
On a lighter note, there were also a whole lot of cool freebies provided by the companies from wireless mouse, USB fans to BBQ sauces and Fidget spinners. At the end of a very serious event, it is definitely fun and relaxing to walk around for grabbing those amazing freebies to take home.
I would like to thank all the sponsors, organizers and participants for making such networking events possible. These are certainly great platforms in bringing the students and the companies closer which eventually pave ways for some of the greatest innovations to bud in future. Also, I sincerely hope that points mentioned in this article would help aspirers out in a good way.