Shauna Sexsmith, a Public Relations & Corporate Communication graduate student and Wasserman@SCPS Program Assistant, offers some advice about preparing for the upcoming Industry Expos at the NYU Wasserman Center.
Define your goals – What are you looking to achieve from attending the industry expos? You should define specific and measurable objectives (Example: I want to speak to companies).
Know what field you want to work in – Not knowing the exact job you want is fine, but understanding and knowing your field of interest will help you make genuine connections with employers at Industry Expos.
Be open – Do not rule out an employer because of the industry it represents. For example, a non-profit organization may have opportunities in marketing or public relations in addition to fundraising and research.
Create a plan – Know the employers that will be attending and do your research. Determine which ones you would like to target and know the basics of the company: what they do, where they are located, and types of available positions. Employer information will be posted in NYU CareerNet (Events Tab > Career Fairs) about one week before each Industry Expo.
Prepare your resume – Ensure your resume is updated and error-free. Have it reviewed during walk-in hours at the NYU Wasserman Center. Bring several copies of your resume to the Industry Expos and also consider creating business cards to leave with an employer. NYU students can get business cards made at NYU Copy Central for a small fee.
Craft your “pitch” – Your pitch should not sound like a telephone solicitor reading a script; instead you want to sound like you thought about why you are there. Prepare a 30-60 second pitch to introduce yourself to employers. Be specific, but keep it simple, clean and concise.
“Hello. I’m Shauna Sexsmith, and I am completing master’s degree in Public Relations at NYU. I’m looking for an internship related to public relations and strategic communications for this summer. I have four years of experience within corporate, non-profit, and higher education communication and I’m very interested in your company because of X,Y, & Z….I was wondering if you could tell me a bit more about the application process for your summer internship program?”
Draft questions in advance – Companies want employees who are proactive and listen well. Make yourself stand out with smart questions. For example, “What is your company culture like? Why did you start working for [company name]? What advice do you have for a student who wants to work at [company name]?”
Dress professionally – You should wear business professional attire in a neutral color (black, navy, or gray) to an Industry Expo. If you don’t have a suit or are planning to work in a more creative, less formal field, you can opt for something less formal, but research ahead of time and ask a Wasserman Center Career Coach what would be most appropriate.
Set the right expectations – An Industry Expo is a networking and job searching opportunity. It is a chance to get face-to-face time with an employer and really leave your mark. This is your opportunity to learn about possible companies, speak with experts who can become part of your professional network, and a means to exercise your networking abilities.
Follow up – Make sure you follow up after the event by sending an email to the employers you met to remind them of your conversation and interest in their roles. Always remember to connect with recruiters via LinkedIn and any other professional social networking sites they may have mentioned/have listed on their business card.
*Updated with 2015 Spring Industry Expo Information
Register for the Spring 2015 Wasserman Industry Expos in NYU CareerNet:
Arts, Entertainment, & Sports Expo | Wasserman Center
February 9th from 4:00 to 6:00pm
Hospitality & Tourism Expo | Wasserman Center
February 23rd from 4:00 to 6:00pm
Education, Health, International Affairs, & Non Profit Expo | Wasserman Center
February 24th from 4:00 to 6:00pm
Advertising, PR, & Communications Expo | Wasserman Center
March 10th from 4:00 to 6:00pm
Real Estate & Construction Management Expo | Wasserman Center
March 25th from 4:00 to 6:00pm
Start-up Expo | Brooklyn
April 2nd from 4:00 to 6:00pm