Friday, October 27, 2023

Networking Tips for Co-op Students Attending TECHworking Night

TECHworking, taking place Thursday, November 9, 2023 from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., is an opportunity for co-op students to network in-person with some of Ottawa’s top tech employers. Hosted at Kanata’s tech park, this event is open to all co-op students who are, or have been, enrolled in the COOP1000 course and are interested in working in the local tech sector. The following is a brief interview with Travis Flieler, External Relations and Employer Engagement Officer, to learn more about what is in store for students at this event.

What are some of the highlights of TECHworking Night?

At this upcoming event, you’ll have the exclusive opportunity to engage directly with recruiting representatives from more than 10 of Carleton Co-op’s dedicated corporate partners, including Solace, Blackberry, Warner Bros. Discovery, Kinaxis and more. While these employers traditionally seek talent from our Computer Science, Engineering and Business Information Technology programs, some employers may be hiring for other roles in areas such as communications, human resources, marketing and finance.

What sets this event apart is the ability to personally showcase your qualifications and let your personality shine as you network throughout the event. If you attend, you will also be able to upload your resume to our digital Resume Book, which will be shared with all participating employers following the event. To maximize your chances of being noticed by these esteemed employers, it’s essential to make a memorable impression and share your name when you connect with people during the event. This way, it will be simpler for these companies to locate your resume in the post-event evaluation.

For anyone who has never attended an in-person networking event, what should they expect?

This event is likely to be a dynamic, engaging and informative with a touch of healthy competition. Given the higher number of students compared to employer representatives, you might find it challenging to jump directly into conversations. In such instances, don’t hesitate to observe and listen in, as you could pick up valuable insights to address your own questions. However, it’s crucial to be patient and maintain a professional demeanor while waiting for the right moment to introduce yourself to an employer of interest.

Furthermore, it’s advisable to come well-prepared with your elevator pitch, a concise self-introduction that highlights your skills and aspirations (you can find a useful elevator pitch guide [PDF, 88.9 KB] here). Worried about running out of things to say? You can pre-empt this by conducting thorough research in advance, equipping yourself with knowledge about the participating employers, including any recent news, updates or intriguing developments in their industries. This way, you’ll be ready to engage in meaningful conversations and leave a lasting impression.

How should students prepare for this event?

Networking can often feel nerve-wracking and slightly uncomfortable, but it’s essential to recognize that these feelings are entirely normal. Embracing your genuine self is crucial, even if initiating conversations with strangers at a networking event may seem a bit unnatural. We’ve all been in that situation before, which is precisely why practising and preparing in advance is so valuable. If you have a friend attending the event with you, consider rehearsing your elevator pitch with each other before the event to boost your confidence.

Equally important is your choice of attire. Leave the jeans, sneakers and hoodies behind, as your first impression can leave a lasting impression. Strive for a professional yet comfortable look, especially considering that you may be on your feet for extended periods.

If you have specific companies in mind that you’d genuinely like to work for, investing time in researching their background and operations is advisable. Gain insights into their corporate culture to determine if it aligns with your expectations.

Lastly, prepare some insightful questions to ask. Are you curious about their remote work policies or work-life balance? Interested in transforming your co-op position into full-time employment after graduation? Eager to understand the projects you might undertake as a co-op student? This is the perfect opportunity to seek answers to these burning questions.

For more information about TECHworking Night, please visit the mySuccess Co-op and Careers Workshops and Events Calendar (log into Carleton360 from the Current Students website).

Friday, October 27, 2023 in ,
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