Just over a month ago, I attended the National Black MBA Association's (NBMBAA) National Conference in Los Angeles. As part of the conference, they had a two day career fair with hundreds of company's represented. It was massive. I took the opportunity to speak with as many company representatives as I could. Prior to attending, I made a list of my target companies (the companies I definitely wanted to speak with) to ensure I made my way around to those booths.
My strategy for approaching the target companies was one I learned from my internship this past summer. The company I interned for sent another intern and myself to attend two conferences and speak with company reps about their products. The other intern and I learned a lesson from the first conference we attended. Speak with non-target companies when we arrive so we are ready to speak with the target companies when the time arrives. What do I mean by that? We approached a company we had little interest in and asked them questions about their company and products.
This is the approach I used at the NBMBAA Career Fair. When I arrived I approached the closest booths and asked them questions about their products and services. I did this for a few companies and then started to weave in my target companies. I spent the majority of the day employing this strategy and talking with companies.
As I was leaving, I happened to walk down the aisle of one of the target companies I neglected to speak with during the day. They were packing up to leave and I was on my way out. I spent a couple minutes talking with them, left my resume, and took off.
A couple weeks ago, I received an email from this company asking for some followup information and this morning I had a phone interview with them. I spent a few minutes prior to the phone interview thinking back to the conference. I imagined, "What if I did not stop to speak with the company for the couple minutes I did?" I also spent some time reviewing my resume and the position I was being interviewed for to identify what I thought may be the key experiences and attributes they identified on my resume to want to know more about me. It turned out to be a good experience. I used some of the experiences and attributes I identified during the interview and hope to be able to move to the next round of interviews.