WE16 starts in THREE days! Hopefully you were already aware of this, but if you are like me, you may have let conference sneak up on you! Don’t worry if you haven’t done much prepping for the event yet, I’ve got some tips to help you make the most of your time during your two or three days in Philadelphia.
- Define your personal and professional goals for conference.
Knowing what you want to get out of the conference helps you know who to network with and what questions to ask.
- Download the WE16 app, “Explore WE16”.
Use the app, as well as the website, to find events and companies that interest you. Trust me, its handy.
- Attend as many events as you can!
My favorite conference activity is the Hospitality Suites on Thursday evening. They are a great way to network and learn, eat some awesome food, and get some cool freebies. Actually, these reasons to attend can be applied to almost any event at WE16.
- Map out what you want to do while at conference.
Decide which sessions you want to attend, companies or people you want to talk to, tours you want to take, or anything else you plan on doing in Philadelphia. This will help you prioritize the events you want to attend during these busy few days.
- Help a friend out and split up the work.
Go to a different session than a friend so that you can share notes and learn from each other’s sessions. It’s almost like being in two places at once!
- Wear business clothes that are professional, but most importantly comfortable.
Business casual clothes are suitable for most events at WE16, but if you are in search for a job I would suggest dressing more business. The most important recommendation I have for you though, is to wear comfortable shoes! You will be walking a lot while at conference.
- Attend both technical and non-technical sessions.
Depending on what skills you are trying to develop, you may want to attend more of one type of session.
- Upload your resume to http://careers.swe.org/ and research companies that will be at the career fair.
If you are on the hunt for an internship or a full-time job, this is a must. I have already had some companies contact me just because they have seen my resume on SWEs career website. Also, I recommend going to booths of companies you are most interested in first so that you have a chance of getting an interview with them before their slots fill up.
This list above is definitely not exhaustive. You can listen to four, free webinars in the Advanced Learning Center on the SWE website for more information. Go to Webinar Recordings and then Career Management & Life Transitions. There will be four WE16 webinars under this tab:
- WE16 Orientation
- WE16 Career Fair Savvy
- WE16 Networking for Newbies
- WE16 What not to wear – SWE Conference Edition
I hope that my list gave you somewhere to start when preparing and thinking about WE16. In addition to being a great networking and career building opportunity, conference is also a lot of fun, so get excited!