What exactly is the point of university industry nights?

How does networking do anything for you? I feel like i'm ignorant to the whole idea of how it works, while everyone else seems to get it.

... Would they actually like offer you a job after you show up talking impressive, resume-less, showing no technical skills, then and there on the day?

There will be so many people they meet like this anyway, if they go back and you send them an email or something why would they think any higher of you than anyone else realistically?


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1 Answer

Best answer

The 'point' of a university industry night is to (hopefully) help the student achieve the following outcomes:

  • learn about the diverse range of careers in (the particular field/area)
  • hear from employers and alumni about jobs in that field
  • ask questions about working in the industry
  • network with employers, industry guests and alumni

I understand how you're a little skeptical about the whole networking thing. I'm sure you're not alone there. For me personally, I've gotten value of university industry nights and university careers expos (which are similar) in the past.

I struck up a conversation with a particular employer, asked them a few questions that I had prepared, got a copy of their business cards. The representative at that particular employer later informed me (after I got past the interview process and got offered a full-time position) that he had passed my details straight onto HR because I had impressed him at the event. It can make a difference.

It's a useful opportunity if you can work it for you. In my case, I had some very particular questions in mind so I guess that helped. Try not to ask questions that are too general or the same kind of questions they'll get asked by every student.

Put yourself in their shoes? Can you do some research on who's going to be there? What specifically are they looking for in future employees? What value do you have to bring? What's unique about your background?

At a lot of the top tier accounting firms, management consulting companies, law firms, top tier professional services - it's common practice to pass on the details of anyone who "sticks out" straight to the HR people.

Often these firms will have dedicated full-time HR staff who specialize in graduate recruitment and trying to do everything they can to ensure they filter and sift the "best and brightest" young minds. You have to remember that many of these companies depend on their ability to attract high quality graduates to work for them.

Hope that helps!

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