The series breaking down my three strategies for a college student to find the perfect job after graduation continues today with a focus on alumni events. Today I’m going to list a few tips to help you obtain the most value out of any upcoming alumni events you plan on attending.
(Note: alumni event refers to any event organized by your school or fellow students to meet with past students that have gone on to work in the field. These events can be held anywhere from at school to at a local bar.)
Come prepared and early. Try to be one of the first ones there just so you can meet people as they enter. This isn’t the right place to be fashionably late.
Dress professional/respectable. You don’t have to buy a new suit for this event but it doesn’t hurt to wear dress clothes. Some industries place a lot of emphasis on aesthetics and plus you don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb by being the only guy in running shoes.
Bring a list of questions. This is your opportunity to pick the brains of people that have gone through the exact same process as you. Don’t be the guy trying to write everything down verbatim but try to jot down key points when needed. It is important to try to ask question only in conversation, don’t be walking up to people and randomly asking questions.
Bring a business card. It’s important to make some business cards for yourself as you near graduation. The business cards should be fairly simple with just your contact information and a little information about your education. A business card is better to hand out than a resume because a resume will get tossed in the garbage on the way out, a business card actually fits in a wallet.
Don’t make a fool out of yourself- go easy on the booze. This is an excellent networking opportunity- not an excuse to get drunk. Sure a few drinks in your system will make the conversation flow a bit more smoothly but too many drinks and no one will be able to understand you.