Each school year, employers come to campus to host information sessions. Given all the info available online, do you really need to attend?
YES! How will attending a company info session help you? These sessions offer an unmatched opportunity to:
In addition, info sessions are a rare opportunity to make a personal connection with individuals working at an organization while at the same time demonstrating your sincere interest in working there. It's always helpful to say you went to the information session during your interview or to mention in your cover letter that you met specific representatives and can therefore credibly describe why you are interested in the job and company. All these actions make you seem informed, well-prepared, and thoughtful in your career plan.
Many companies hold information sessions on campus to explain available job opportunities and to offer more information about the company and its organizational culture.
Most info sessions range from 1-2 hours and consist of a company presentation where current employees explain the values and mission of the company. There’s almost always an opportunity for students to talk to company representatives about the company and ask any pertinent questions. Employer reps are often recent grads able to describe what you might expect during your first couple of years should you join the organization.
It's always a good idea to bring a resume in case they accept resume drops. They may also record your attendance at the information session, which is helpful when you later apply to interview with the company.
To maximize the value of an information session, pay attention to what is said during the company presentation. Typically you learn a tremendous amount about the organization, its mission, its services or products, and what type of culture and environment exists. Also, the information you can draw from these sessions can be used to craft more effective cover letters or can be used to come up with additional questions about the company to be asked during the interview.
In order to optimize the info session experience:
The answers to your questions help build your sense of the job and company and determine if it is something of interest to you. If conversation comes to a stop, you should be able to bring something up yourself. Also, make sure to formally say goodbye to the representative before you leave the information session or walk away.
It is valuable to ask for a business card or contact information in case you have any further questions, and also so you can remember names if you interview with the company in the future. These conversations with company representatives help build your network. Networking with numerous companies and representatives gives tremendous insight in multiple careers, industries, and job opportunities, and it illustrates your genuine interest come interview time.