Navigating the Job Search Process: Why Alumni Speaker Events are so Important!

woman in front of white boardIf you pay attention to your CSE newsletter, you should be familiar with the Alumni Speaker Series! Most weeks out of the year, the CSE hosts this virtual series where students can hear about the experiences of those that have come before them. Business school clubs are also a great connection to the world of alumni, and host similar event series throughout the year. These events are a great way to gain perspective and learn about different job roles and industries. They can push your career journey forward and help you gain confidence! Here are a few pieces of advice for attending alumni speaker events… 

Actively listen

Especially during your first few events, being an active listener is one of the best ways to get the most out of your experience. That’s right, put that phone on “do not disturb” and get your pen and notepad ready! 

Questions, questions, questions…

Most of these events reserve ample time for student questions. Check out CSE Recommended Event Questions if you need inspiration. These questions can serve as a great starting point. Before asking your question, it’s important to quickly introduce yourself and thank the speaker for their time. 

Be authentic!

Just like any other part of the career process, these events can be intimidating. Remember, these people chose to speak to students for a reason: they’ve been in your shoes before. Ask questions that are important to you, and are applicable to your current situation. Regardless of whether the question is broad or specific, if the answer would be helpful to you, it is likely important to another student in the room as well. Find ways your identity aligns with that of the speakers; how did their experience as a Brandeis student help them realize their passions and end up in their current position? You can think about this more specifically if you know they were involved in a certain club/worked in a particular office/were involved in athletics. 

Reflect/Connect

Ask yourself some reflective questions. What went well about this event? What about my experience aligns with the experience the alumni shared? How can I refine my job search based on their advice? Connect with the alumni on LinkedIn so you can continue to follow their journey!

Repeat 🙂

Like most things, networking is a learning process. Speaking to other professionals in your field of interest is inevitably going to be a big part of your life. The sooner you start practicing putting yourself out there, the sooner you will feel comfortable and confident. Alumni speaker events are a great, low steaks way to gain experience speaking to professionals. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose from these events! 

Ready to attend our Alumni Speaker Series and put these tips into practice? Sign up for Investment Banking with Lawrence Ding ’19 on March 31!

This blog was written by CSE Senior Career Captain, Stephanie Borr.

By Stephanie Borr
Stephanie Borr CSE Career Captain, News Crew