Why bother with information sessions
by Caleb Craft | January 30, 2014
Have you ever heard of company information sessions? Better yet, have you ever been to one? Info Sessions are when a recruiter, and usually an engineer or two, come to campus and give a presentation about their company and the kinds of jobs they are currently looking to fill.
I’ll be honest. When I first started working for ECS, I didn’t really think info sessions were that big of a deal. I would tell students during their first appointment that info sessions existed, but I didn’t really explain anything further. To me, and probably to a lot of students, they seemed like a glorified “show and tell” set up by companies.
At least that is what I thought before I attended a few last semester…
Since last semester I have become somewhat of an unofficial advocate for company information sessions, and here are a few reasons why (listed in increasing importance):
- Free Food. I’m not saying every info session will have it, but both the sessions I attended gave me a free dinner. This is probably not a great primary reason to attend, but it is definitely a perk.
- Information. As obvious as it sounds, information sessions are a great way to obtain valuable information about the companies and positions you are seeking. This is doing your research about the company from the best source possible: the employers.
- Networking. Something surprised me about each information session I attended. So many students were completely unengaged with the recruiter. They didn’t answer or ask questions during the presentation, let alone talk with the recruiter afterwards. The funny thing is, when this same recruiter stands at the career fair, dozens of students wait in a line for an hour just to give a thirty second pitch. On top of that, odds are good that this same recruiter giving the presentation will be a first round interviewer for a position you might be interested in—especially if the company does on-campus recruiting. So go to the sessions, bring a couple copies of your resume, and talk to the recruiter afterwards.
- Interviews. Two information sessions I attended last semester were listed as “pre-interview sessions.” These information sessions are designed (in theory) for those students preselected for on-campus interviews the next day. Sometimes, these sessions are mandatory for students who have been selected as interviewees. Here’s the catch though: If the info session shows up on your CareerEngine account – or if they post flyers – you are welcome to attend (preselected or not). Again, I wouldn’t say that this will happen every time, but both sessions I went to ended with recruiters asking anyone interested in an interview to come up afterwards. One recruiter told me they specifically reserve spots in their interview schedule for students who attend their info session.
O.K. that’s my pitch. You should go to information sessions! To find out when and where these opportunities take place, login to your CaereerEngine account and select the “Events” tab and then the “Information Sessions” tab. Make sure to RSVP so that the employer will actually know you took the time and interest to attend!
Happy job hunting!
"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."