4 tips how to Build a Network During Career Events
Getting ready to attend a Global Talent Day or career event? Talent days and career events are a great way to connect MBA students and recent graduates with some of the world’s top employers. In a fast-changing and increasingly globalised business world, companies’ needs are constantly evolving and leading brands are proactively seeking multicultural and diverse profiles to join them. MBA talent events play a key role in many organisations recruitment strategies. If you are a student or a recent graduate and are getting ready for an upcoming opportunity, here are some tips to help you maximise what you get out of the event and build a network successfully.
#1 Pre-event preparation is key to make the most ov career events
Before the event, take the time to look at which companies are attending. Draw up a short-list or prioritise those which are the most interesting and relevant for you. Then you can do some research, checking out each company’s website and social media, particularly looking at the careers sections and current available positions (employee case studies and testimonials are another great source of information). Have a look at the company’s news sections and blogs too: it will give you a quick understanding of the latest business insights and trends. If you know who is representing the company at the event, you can check out their profile on LinkedIn and may even consider sending them an email or a message beforehand.
It’s also a good idea to prepare tailored versions of your CV for the companies on your short-list and to review (and update if needed) your general CV. Tip: bring some printed copies of your CV as well as business cards: many recruiters like to get paper copies at events so they can make notes.
#2 Get career advice from the best experts
For Amira Dib, Principal Consultant at Hays Executive, EDHEC’s programme adds real value to candidates’ profiles in the eyes of businesses. As well as learning from world-class teachers, you benefit from a personalised support from the best consultants – so make sure you use them before any recruitment event! EDHEC partners with experts to give you personalised advice on career change, job search and interview techniques. Their valued expertise is a real asset and helps you to maximise Global Talent Days and recruitment events when you meet company representatives. So seek advice, ask questions and practise interview techniques!
#3 Listen, Learn, Adapt
At the recent EDHEC Global Talent Day in Paris in partnership with Hays Executive, MBA participants had the chance to attend presentations by some of the world’s leading brands including IBM, Amazon, VMware, Uber, Nissan, Cheetah Digital, Dailymotion, Coty, PayPal and Accor Hotels. Make sure you really take advantage of the opportunity to gain these unique insights into an organisations strategy, needs and expectations by truly listening and understanding what each speaker is sharing. Pay close attention to the speaker’s words and consider how you can position yourself in a way that is relevant and highlights how your skills and profile match what the organisation is looking for. This will not only help you start a conversation but also make a very positive impression.
#4 Introduce yourself to everyone and build a network
Global Talent Days are essentially networking and career-orientated events. Companies join in to present their strategy and career opportunities to enable them to attract the best global talents for their business. Whilst it is unlikely you will be offered a job on the spot, you can make some very good connections and build a supportive network which will help you develop your career.
Some people love networking, some don’t feel at ease with the idea. If the latter is the case for you, push yourself out of your comfort zone and say hello: the more you do it, the easier it will get! Take the opportunity to introduce yourself to as many companies as possible, using your pre-event research and the notes you made from the presentations. Try to speak to all the organisations present if you can, not just to those on your short-list. It might seem a little daunting at first but it will become more comfortable the more introductions and conversations you have: remember businesses are here because they want to connect with you, so make the most of it!
Tip: take advantage of lunch, breaks and after-event invitations to approach company representatives to get yourself noticed in addition to the official sessions.
For Cécile Benchetrit, Global Talent Day organiser and Career & Corporate Services Manager for EDHEC Global MBA, networking is one of the most powerful and effective ways for MBAs to find their next career step, and events like talent days often lead to interviews and recruitment opportunities.
"The international and cultural diversity of our students is THE added value of EDHEC MBA profiles. This is why we are able to partner with some of the world’s biggest brands and connect them with our students at Global Talent Day’s and on our campus. These events are very much about giving global businesses the opportunity to share their expectations and needs and for students to demonstrate how they can make a unique impact on the organisation and start to build a solid network for the future."
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