Introducing Career Conversations
Traditional career fairs all seem to have the same setup: long lines of students wait their turn to present resumes and elevator pitches to employers (who are, by turns, either entirely overwhelmed by students throughout the day, or leave events disappointed with the number of engagements they had). Beyond Barnard, in response to student, employer, and alum feedback over the last five years, reimagined how Career Conferences can be structured to achieve the following goals:
- Help students better prepare for their conversations with employers by giving them the chance to pre-schedule time.
- Provide employers with better visibility on the candidates that visited them throughout the day.
- Facilitate connections, not only between students and recruiters, but also between students and alums to help improve visibility of opportunities in industries often not represented at career fairs.
- Reduce the anxiety associated with career fairs by setting clearer expectations about interactions prior to the day of our Conference.
Above all, this model promoted more inclusive and equitable access for students, resulting in more substantive and useful conversations for all participants at the Opportunities Conference. Questions can be sent to email@example.com.
Understanding the Format of Career Conversations
Career Conversations will take place from 12PM - 3PM in the Diana Event Oval and Student Dining Room. Students and employers will check into the conference at the Lobby of the Diana Center, and then report to the location of their career conversations. Locations will be shared on the day of the event.
Career Conversations will be 12 minutes each. Time slots will start at :00, :15, :30: and :45 during each hour. In each slot, up to four students will have the chance to speak to up to two representatives from each organization at the Conference. Slots will be held from 12PM until 2:15PM. From 2:30PM - 3PM, employers will be available for unscheduled walk-ins.
Students will be asked to sign up for slots to speak with employers prior to the Opportunities Conference. However, walk-ins will also be allowed for un-filled slots. Information specific to students and employers/alums is below. You can also send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online registration for Career Conversations has now concluded. You can register to meet with employers by visiting Beyond Barnard and signing up in person on Thursday, September 28 from 1PM-6PM.
Employers will have lists of students who sign up for slots, and will be tracking attendance and follow-through.
Registrations for slots will close on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 27 to ensure that organizers have time to finalize logistics.
Please consult the Student FAQ if you have questions about how to take advantage of Career Conversations, how to prepare, etc. You can also watch the Making the Most of the Opportunities Conference video! Other questions? Email email@example.com.
Career Conversations are Beyond Barnard's attempt to rethink the "main event" at our Opportunities Conference. Instead of traditional tables, where students wait in lines for quick conversations with employers, we're moving to a model where students pre-schedule 12-minute conversations — held in small groups of up to 4-5 students at a time — with employers and visiting alums. The advantages:
- Students can know with certainty that they have reserved time with employers and alums, and can prepare for conversations. Beyond Barnard will deploy helpful messages to students in advance of the conference with tips on how to do their homework in advance).
- Employers and alums will similarly have confidence that they will not be overrun with student demand — and conversely, Beyond Barnard can promote under-subscribed employers and alums to students to ensure that all participants are satisfied with the number of candidates with whom they interact.
What Employers and Alums Can Expect
- Employers and alums will have the ability to set up their table beginning at 11AM on Friday, September 29. We want to dissuade employers from bringing traditional career fair setups, and instead focus on printed collateral that can easily be shared with students on the day of the Conference.
- The first Career Conversations session will begin at 12PM. Each session will last 12 minutes, with 3 minutes between to allow rotations.
- Students will check into the Conference and will be directed to your tables.
- Each alum/employer table will have a hard copy of the schedule for the day, listing students who have pre-scheduled conversations for each slot. Please note that a limited number of walk-ins may be allowed in order to help facilitate crowd flow and direct additional candidates to employers and alums.
- Each table will have a QR code on it. Students will be responsible for scanning the QR code. This will indicate that they have visited your table during the conference.
- Employers and alums can run each 12-minute session as they wish — we recommend providing a quick overview of yourself and your organization, including any specific jobs or internships that you know might be available to students. Students will be advised that they should be ready to introduce themselves, and to ask you a few questions about your organization.
- Beyond Barnard staff will be assigned to each room in which Career Conversations are taking place. They will be present to facilitate crowd flow, assign walk-ins to open slots, and ensure that students move on from tables after the conclusion of each session.
- We have held the 2:30-3PM slot for walk-ins only.
Questions about the format can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.