Hello! My name is Anthony Abinanti.
I am a Senior majoring in Supply Chain Management. I am also a Professional Development Consultants (“PDC’s”) in the Pitt Business Career Development Office. PDC’s are student leaders who recognize the value of career development and want to support fellow students with their career-related needs. One of those needs is navigating the annual Pitt Business Career Development Conference. Please consider following my advice so you can have the best experience possible.
Before the Career Development Conference: The best way to navigate the conference is by effectively researching companies before it starts. On Handshake, students can see the full list of companies that will be attending. Handshake also provides valuable information on what specific positions companies are recruiting for as well as the desired years and majors necessary for those roles. By proactively researching a company, students can have a more effective conversation with the company representative. Also, it would be advantageous to create specific questions to ask the company representative at the conference to help drive the discussion. This event is only a few hours long, and with hundreds of other students in attendance, it is impossible to meet with every company. During the research process, students should prioritize the top 10 companies that they want to target. I strongly recommend meeting with them shortly after arriving at the conference. Also, there is a high chance that your favorite companies are also highly sought after by other students. As a result, you may stand in line with 50 students for 30+ minutes just to speak with a recruiter. Plan your time effectively, and you should have no issues meeting your favorite companies.
At the Career Development Conference: The conference can be a hectic environment. There are dozens of employers and hundreds of students. With all the commotion, it is possible that you may become nervous. It might be advantageous to first meet with an employer you have a slight interest in but isn’t one of your top choices just to “warm-up” your elevator pitch. The first impression you make is critical and can leave a lasting impact on a recruiter or hiring manager. Also, if you are contacted for an interview, it is very likely that you will be interviewed by the hiring manager who attended the conference, so make this meeting count! Before ending your conversation, ask the company representatives for their business cards or other contact information.
After the Career Development Conference: The purpose of the conference is to initiate the recruiting and hiring process for corporations. The action you take after the conference is by far the most important part of the process. You may have talked to 10 different companies during those four hours, but it’s likely that the recruiters you met have also met hundreds of other students. It is absolutely necessary to follow up with them because they will most likely not remember the specific conversation that they had with you. Since you asked for the company representative’s business card, you must follow up with that person. During the follow-up email, recap the main points from your discussion and discuss the next steps moving forward. It’s also a good idea to attach your resume to this email. Be punctual about your follow up email and try to send it soon after the conference.