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Blog post

Career Management Services

By Bob Menard, Graduate Career Advisor - Career Management Services
September 11, 2018
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By Beth McKenna

As a prospective student - it is important to consider the long-term plan following your graduate degree. Concordia's John Molson School of Business offers a Career Management Services Office, which serves John Molson students in developing the skills needed to connect and impress employers and land great careers.

The 2018-2019 Academic year is just getting underway; many students are returning to campus, while others are experiencing JMSB for the first time. Whether you are in your first semester or last, you should be aware that the recruiting year is also starting. Many companies will be on campus at JMSB for events, or will be inviting JMSB students to attend events, that are geared towards recruiting for full time employment opportunities or Summer 2019 internships.

CMS is here to help JMSB students prepare for these events. We offer workshops on various topics, including Job Search Strategies, Resume Writing, Cover Letter Writing, LinkedIn Profile Optimization, Networking, Interviewing I and II, and Negotiating the Job Offer. In addition, students are eligible to meet with a Career Advisor (for all graduate-level students, that would be me!) to discuss your personal concerns around these topics.

MAKING THE MOST OUT OF ATTENDING CAREER RELATED EVENTS

Types of Events to attend?

CMS plays host and/or coordinates over 100+ career-related events in any given academic year for JMSB students. Some of these events will include multiple-employers, while others will only include a single employer. Events to look out for include:

· Career Fair: the annual JMSB Career Fair is our largest event and takes place in the fall. Over 45 companies will be present, and this year Bell Canada will be hosting our hospitality suite.

· Information Sessions: many employers prefer to hold events that highlight their organization and opportunities; these are called Information Sessions. The format of these events typically include a company presentation, followed by a Q&A session, followed then by a period for networking. The bulk of these events occur in the first part of the fall semester and second half of the winter semester, but could possibly be held any time during the year (recently there has been a spike in the number of events held in the first part of the summer).

· Retail Day: is an annual event held in late January and attracts various companies in the Retail Industry, including Fashion, Cosmetics, Food & Beverage, and others. This event starts with a panel of industry experts sharing their views on trends in the market place, career opportunities, and how students can break into the field. Following that, students and company representatives engage in active networking.

· Elevator Pitch Day: is a breakfast event where a group of graduate-level student will have a chance to network with a group of selected employers who partner with CMS to recruit graduate-level students. The event will begin with a networking breakfast, followed by the opportunity for each student to deliver a 30-45 second elevator pitch in front of participating employers. Students will receive training on their pitch during a mandatory workshop and will be required to submit a one-page resume for inclusion in a Resume Book provided to employers. Details on this event are released towards the end of November.

· Other: employers often ask CMS to promote other types of career-related events, such as Speed Networking, Summer BBQs, Case Competitions, and Open Houses.

As a JMSB student, why attend?

There are many benefits associated to attending the various career-related events held on/off campus, they include:

· Gain information on the companies presenting as well as specifics details around the roles they are recruiting. Often, details are shared at the event that the average candidate may not know about and will allow you to write a better, more targeted cover letter.

· You will have an opportunity to ask your questions of the company representatives. Again, the information you pick up in your answers will often allow you to differentiate yourself in your cover letter and any subsequent interview.

· We all know that networking is an essential part of the job search, and networking starts with making contacts. Sometimes, attending these events may be your only chance to make meet someone from your target companies. If you make the right impression, you just may be able to differentiate yourself from other candidates, before they even receive your application.

How to make the most of your attendance?

Here are eight tips to help you make the most out of attending career-related events:

1. Research – even if you feel comfortable about your level of knowledge on a targeted company, you should still research any current news about them as well as job openings they might have.

2. Prepare questions – from your research, try to generate several questions you would like to ask that the answers to are not easily found on their site or job posting. Perhaps these are clarifying questions on the posting to highlight your fit – example, “Your posting states that you are looking for someone with strong leadership ability. Would being the VP of Communications for a student group be considered a good demonstration of leadership ability in your opinion?” Maybe you have questions about recent developments the company has faced and what they might mean for the role sought – example, “I read that your company will be opening a new office in Vancouver, will this role work closely with them in the future?” Asking a question that is well thought out and demonstrates your abilities to fit their role/company can make you stand out!

3. Prepare your elevator pitch – there is no doubt that at any event you attend, there will be many other students vying for the attention of the company’s representatives. You need to make an impression, and you need to do it quickly! That is why you should prepare an Elevator Pitch. Your pitch needs to cover the following: 1) let them know who you are (your background), 2) what you can do for them (your skills and qualifications), and 3) what you want to discuss with them (your career objective). On top of that, you need to keep it short (approximately 30-seconds) and need to be memorable.

4. Dress the part – events will typically have a dress code; read it and follow it! Keep in mind that every time you interact with a representative form a target company, you should consider it an interview. For events coordinated by CMS, we ask you come dressed Business Professional.

5. Good handshake – much like dressing the part, having a good handshake helps to make a good first impression. A good handshake is composed of the following: the purlicue of your right hand (the webbing between your thumb and forefinger) meets the purlicue of the person you are shaking hands with; making eye contact with person you are shaking hands with, you introduce yourself (“Hi, I’m Jane Smith”); you let go and continue with the conversation/elevator pitch.

6. Bring your resume – depending on the event, it may be appropriate for you to leave your resume with a company’s representative. Do not be concerned or discouraged if they do not collect them; it’s likely not you that they’re not interested in, it’s bringing multiple resumes back to the office that they are trying to avoid. Make sure your resume is up-to-date and error free.

7. Exchange business cards – regardless of whether or not you were able to leave your resume, exchanging business cards with company’s representatives is always a smart, professional courtesy. Having their card will make things easier when you want to follow-up with them. If your do not get their card, at least make sure to properly record the spelling of their name so that you can look them up on LinkedIn.

8. Follow-up/thank you – want to keep “the door open” at companies that interest you? Make sure to send a Thank-You letter to the people you’ve met, ideally within 24 hours, to recognize the help and information they have provided you. If you do not have their email address (perhaps because you did not get their business card), the look them up on LinkedIn and thank them in a personalized request to connect.

https://connexions.concordia.ca/home.htm - Where current JMSB students, staff, faculty and alumni to gather CMS resources and register for CMS workshops. These include Job Search Workshops, Networking Workshops, Dress for Success Workshops, Resume Writing Workshops, JMSB Business Cards workshops and more.

 

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