Information sessions are a great way to get a deeper dive into a particular company and really assess whether or not you’re interested in working for them. This is the company’s main chance to woo you and persuade you to want to work for them.
Information sessions are a bit different than your standard career fair as they usually begin with a standard presentation given by the people that work there, followed by a chance to speak and network with real employees (not just recruiters). Information sessions can be daunting but don’t be nervous! Keep reading to find out how to make the most out of that info session.
Information sessions are a great way to get to know more about the little nuances of a company that you may not have heard about during a career fair or on the company website. There will typically be a recruiter there, but there will also be other employees who can share their experiences of what it’s actually like to work somewhere, as opposed to recruiters whose daily tasks and roles are a little bit different. Also, this may seem like obvious now, but after your second or third information session they’ll start to feel a little repetitive and your momentum for going to them will start to dwindle. Don’t let this happen. While you know that you’ve already gone to five other information sessions, companies only care about whether or not you show up to theirs. The recruiting season is short, so while you may be dreading the back to back information sessions and networking that come with it remember that it’s a necessary evil to get an offer, and won’t last the entire year. But, if you do have a serious conflict that prevents you from attending part of, or the entirety of the event, be sure to email the recruiter in charge and inform them beforehand of your conflict in order to still express your interest in the company.
Information sessions typically require business casual attire. We know information sessions sometimes fall within weird times during the school day, and while recruiters are aware of that, they still expect you to dress in a professional manner. If that means carrying a gym bag around with heels and a skirt, or pants and a button down, to change into right before the session, do it. You can be sure your fellow classmates will be in business casual, and you don’t want to stand out in the wrong way during what may be your first impression with a company.
Yes, an information session is meant for you to get, well, information about a company, but it’s still important for you to get a sense of who this company is and what they do so you don’t fly blind into the info session. Doing a little bit of light googling before an information session can help you think of some insightful questions to ask, which will ultimately get you noticed. Recruiters remember when someone asks a thoughtful question as that proves they’ve put in some effort and already have a vetted interest.
While the networking part of any information session is the most daunting, it is also the most important. Companies try to bring a representative sample of employers across divisions and functions within their company, many of whom may even be alumni from your university, so that you can get a complete picture of the organization. All of these employees have been in your place at one time or another and can provide valuable insight into the application and career searching process. The networking part is also a great way to learn more about the daily tasks and responsibilities an employee might have so you can get a better feel about what exactly it’s like to work there. Even if during the course of the information session you’ve come to realize that this company may not be the right fit for you, this is still a valuable time to grow your network and ask about some industry specific aspects of their job. Don’t be afraid to ask questions either! These people have volunteered their free time to come to your campus and get to know you, be respectful, but also be sure to take advantage of that.
It’s perfectly acceptable, and actually encouraged, to ask someone for their business card and follow-up with them after the session if you feel like you’ve had a good conversation. For a sample template on how exactly that email should look, check out our article on emails here!
Looking to up your networking game? Check out our articles on how to have the perfect coffee chat and craft an excellent elevator pitch.
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