Since our first day at Krannert, professors, alumni and friends have been sharing with us how important career fairs are. But what is the best way to go about tackling them?
My first career fair was the National Black MBA conference in Atlanta. Many Krannert students were there, including many international students and “The Brazilian mafia,” as we call ourselves here.
Something that we have been working on since our first day at Purdue is our elevator speech. Before arriving at the convention center I did some practice with my “wingman” and a fellow Brazilian, Tiago. Something that I learned and that can be used by everyone is to practice your elevator speech until it becomes natural and adaptable for many different companies. After having it well-rehearsed, it is then time to approach company recruiters.
Before arriving at the convention center, I chose a motivational video to help me and my friends relax. We also watched Top Gun`s “Danger Zone” video clip. During the video Goose and Maverick did some preparation before engaging in battle, which was totally applicable for us before facing the recruiters.
The convention center was huge; it looked like a big auto show with a lot of stands and people. However, this did not scare us, as we were well prepared and well trained. Arriving as a group helped me to feel more comfortable and confident in approaching companies.
Before targeting your favorite company, it was important be warmed up. I went to some companies that were not on my priority list but did this in order to practice my elevator speech first, and then progressed onto my priority companies.
For international students, a main concern is if a company will sponsor students. But before approaching a company to ask if they will sponsor international students, I approach companies giving my elevator speech. This shows my experience on what I have accomplished when I was working in Brazil. Sometimes experience can change companies minds and decide to sponsor you. Even being an international student, I was offered two interviews with companies that do not sponsor students, so my tip is: keep trying!
First-Year MBA Student