Friday, October 17, 2014

Student Opportunity Lab

Last week at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (I can't believe it's already been a week!!), I attended the Student Opportunity Lab session. This session was geared towards undergrad and grad students looking for advice from resumes to career tips. The way it worked was that multiple tables were set up with one or two professionals at each table giving advice on their specific topic. You were given around 15-20 to talk with these mentors before switching to a new table and a new topic. When you walked in, you were given one of these map sheets that outlined what table was where.

I just wished they would have given us this sheet while standing in line for at least 10 minutes before going in.

(this was the line up ^) Instead, as you walked in, you were given the sheet and then you had to figure out the map before finding a table. I had a few tables in mind that I wanted to sit at (having had looked at the list of participants beforehand) but by the time I figured out where they were on the map, those tables were already full. Although I do have to say that that did work out to my advantage in the end because I ended up at some tables that weren't originally on my list but were still very interesting. 

I think the best table I attended was the updating your LinkedIn profile table. I didn't think I would really care about this one, but once all the switching occurred, it was one of the only tables with spots left so I went for it. I ended up learning some valuable lessons about LinkedIn. I never realized how important LinkedIn was for broadcasting your information - people use it more than I thought for hiring! Also, I didn't know selfies were such a big no-no! Luckily, LinkedIn was hosting a photoshoot at the career fair to get your headshot taken (I most definitely took them up on their offer - waiting for my picture to be uploaded!). I also had never heard of getting recommendations from people you worked for before, which is a great feature to have! I haven't had the chance yet, but I'll definitely be updating my profile with Amanda's tips as soon as I get some free time (you can see my profile here: Kristyn's LinkedIn)

I also attended a session about transitioning from school to work, one about cybersecurity as a career field, another about getting started in industry, and also undergraduate research internships. You can see more details about some of these sessions here: GHC Wiki

I wish I stayed a bit longer and gone to a few more tables (maybe more of the "Day in the Life of" tables), instead I left after about 2.5 hours since I was getting so sleepy. GHC, why must you be so crazy busy and tiring!! All in all, it was still a great learning experience!

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