Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The DDB Saga - How To Get The Best Out Of Career Fairs

To be frank and honest, many people were not satisfied with what the DDB had to offer. To some extent I agree with that. But I would like to differ. There were company stalls and presentations along with CV checks etc. It was a great atmosphere where you could meet people working in the companies and knowing what they do and what they look for. Many of my friends expected them to take CV’s and maybe screen them later. Except a few, others did not accept the CV’s on the spot and instead asked us to apply on their online portal. So many failed to see what the DDB was all about.

This is about what I feel about this concept and how you can get the best out of any career fair you plan to go to.

To start with, you need to have checked out the companies you are interested in and are going to be there in the fair. You need to see what they do, what markets they are part of. What roles they play and how you can fit in. Then, if you really would like to be a part of it, go ahead and check out their career page and apply for positions if available. See what obstructions you face in terms of eligibility or availability or even visa issues. Make a mental or physical note of these.

Next, move on to what your interest lies in and how flexible the company can be in incorporating those. Go ahead and send them a mail if you would like to know more. Check how the company is divided and which department applies to you.

During the fair, you can ask for the person who can come closest to that department and ask them about the work atmosphere and relevant technical questions. If none, they will give u the contact details of the person who can answer those questions. Next you can meet the HR (who usually is present during these career fairs) and ask them about any issues that you faced while applying and learn more about the process involved.

Of course, I have to agree to this one point my friend Ravi made and I am sure many others did: When there are international companies in the fair and when you approach them, they say they are looking only for Dutch students or at least students who can speak Dutch. It does not make sense when a Multi National Company says so because even if the position is based in Netherlands, they will be interacting with offices in other countries and obviously it cannot be done in Dutch. It is sad but since you cant do much about it, no point cribbing, just move on to the next ;)

Basically, career fairs are not about what they offer. Almost everyone can find out about it. You should not expect to receive a job/internship there on the spot. It is more about what you can get out of it. Clear your queries and learn how you can apply successfully. Moreover, you can learn about the personal opinions & stories of the employees and learn more about how the company operates and the opportunities and other factors involved.

Last but not the least, they did have good food and drinks and we definitely got a pocketful of goodies ;). So go ahead and have a good time .. Good luck for the next one :)

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