Berklee senior Jane Evancio shares her tips for getting the most out of Career Jam 2018 (April 6).
By Jane Evancio
Once again, it’s almost time for Berklee’s annual Career Jam. What exactly is Career Jam, you ask? It brings together more than 50 industry professionals, artists, notable alumni and musicians to campus so that they can share their expertise and guide students towards pathways that broaden our scope of career possibilities. Along with these guest speakers, Berklee offers several auditions, workshops, mentoring sessions, employer recruitment tables–as well as professional headshots. Whether you’re a fifth-semester or an eighth-semester student, this event provides enticing possibilities for everyone.
Last year was my first Career Jam. Although I really enjoyed myself, there are several steps I wish I had taken in order to better prepare myself for the day. Here are the necessities for a happy, successful Career Jam 2018:
1. Do Your Research
A big mistake I made last year was showing up to a few panels completely ignorant about who I was about to see speak. In retrospect, had I checked out speaker bios on the Career Jam website and done a little Google research, I could have asked more questions, connected more easily, and maximized my experience. Make sure you know what Career Jam has to offer and what you want to get out of it.
2. Create/Refine Your Resume and Cover Letter
Once you’ve figured out what you want from Career Jam, take the time to refine and tailor your resume and cover letter to opportunities you’re interested in. As a business major, I’m interested in marketing. It wouldn’t make sense to have a resume that highlights my accomplishments as a violist, as that has little to do with the direction I want my career path to point. Be relevant!
3. Devise a Plan
It’s important to check the schedule beforehand and decide on who you want to see and where the panel is located. The unfortunate thing about having so many amazing panelists is that you’re probably going to have some overlap and not get to see everyone you want to see. If you have to choose between two (or even three) panels, ask yourself two questions first: 1. What do I want out of Career Jam? And 2. Can this person’s insights help me achieve my goals?
4. Be on Time
Self-explanatory. Don’t add to the “Berklee time” reputation.
5. Dress Professionally
While this isn’t mandatory, it’s always a good thing to consider. Going the extra mile to dress nice shows a company or industry professional that you respect them and are ready to succeed. This detail could be the difference between you and another candidate getting a job or internship so I recommend making the effort.
6. Be Yourself
Remembering to be yourself is just as important as being on-time and dressing the part. Recruiters and industry professionals want to see the spark that makes you an individual and that will add personality to their company and professional life. Being yourself makes conversation more natural, genuine, and a lot less stressful.
As a Career Jam veteran, these are my tips to you to have the most successful day possible. If you’re still looking for help, make sure to check out the Career Center website for extra tips for your professional life.