You might be thinking you’ll be fine waiting until your senior year of college to start prepping for your career. After all, you have to focus on your classes, stay on top of your position in BSU, and not to mention you’re trying to hold down a job. Surely career prep can wait until the end, right?
Wrong. Thousands of college students do this every year and thousands of college students regret it every year. We know the hustle gets real, but we also know that you’re in college to set yourself up for your career. Why on earth would you wait until the end to prepare! Trust us, this is a setback waiting to happen. The good news is there're a few simple things you can do now to jumpstart your career!
Luckily we’ve seen a wave of networking conferences targeted at college students pop up throughout the years. These conferences provide a value-packed experience for college students ranging from freshmen to seniors to empower them towards their professional development.
Conferences are key to ensuring you don’t get to graduation day only to look around asking “what now?”. They’re taking all the fear and anxiety out of career prep and the job hunt and setting young people up to get the opportunities that are perfectly in line with what they want to be doing post-graduation. So what’s in it for you?
1. Job Recruiters
Most networking conferences have dozens of recruiters in the building who’re eager to talk with college students about internships and entry-level positions at their companies. Recruiters are the gatekeeper to most jobs.
Ever applied for a position and never heard back? Your resume likely fell into the black hole of online applications. See, often times there can be hundreds of people applying for these roles and there’s no way a single recruiter can look at every resume or at least look at them closely.
Making a connection during a conference with a recruiter puts you in a better position to have your outstanding resume pulled from a pool of hundreds. Having the opportunity to meet them face to face at a conference before (or even after) you apply is going to give you a huge advantage!
Thinking your next move is to pursue your masters? Attending conferences, like our upcoming BLOC Annual Conference, will put you in front of admissions counselors and deans from top Graduate Schools. They’ll be there to answer all your questions about the application process and program details.
2. Meeting Fellow College Students
Write this down. One of your greatest networks you’ll have as time goes on will be your peers. They are going through and will continue to go through every stage of career building with you. One day they might be the hiring manager at the company you want to switch to or maybe they’ll know about an opening that perfectly aligns with your career trajectory, but today, they’re probably even more useful to you.
Embrace the struggle. Your network should be people that mutually serve as resources in a variety of different ways. Perhaps you want to work out of state, but your university’s job board only advertises in-state positions. It’d be pretty amazing to meet a student from another state at a networking conference who offers to send you postings from their school’s job board.
Or maybe you’ve been struggling with finding careers that would show off your strengths from being a campus activist. Imagine how helpful it’d be to meet fellow activists who could introduce you to different industries or organizations you didn’t know about. Don’t underestimate your peers!
3. Mastering New Skills
Like learning anything new, networking can be incredibly intimidating at first and seem like something you’re either good at or not. Trust us when we say networking is like a baby learning to walk. Some seem like naturals while others struggle, but they all get comfortable with it eventually.
Learning about the art of networking and professionalism before you’re 25, instantly gives you an advantage over the competition. So many people have to learn about networking and building professional relationships through trial and error. BLOC is here to guide you through it with no code-switching and no textbook involved.
Attending networking conferences during your undergrad years will leave you with new connections, new perspectives, and new resources to own your job search. Think of them as your training wheels to professional development. The risk is a little lower, but there’s just as much value. Conferences often offer workshops and speakers that address every need and fear you have around career prep. That's’ what makes them so undeniably useful during your college years and even throughout your career.
It's time to expand your network. Don't miss out!
See what's in store at the BLOC Annual Conference.