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What I Learned at Kellstadt’s Fall 2019 Career Conference

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By Dana Fitzmorris

Kellstadt’s Fall 2019 Career Conference on Nov. 2 did not disappoint. This event is hosted twice a year by the Career Management team at Kellstadt to provide an opportunity for students to network with business leaders in the Chicago community and gain career insights through workshops and panel discussions.

The conference kicked off with keynote speaker (and DePaul alumnus) Martin McGovern who talked about the realities of job searching. Martin is a coach at Career Therapy who helps clients with the emotional and promotional aspects of professional development. In his talk, Martin provided three helpful tips for graduate students when looking for jobs:

1. Focus on meeting people

The most valuable use of your time when job searching is connecting with individuals already working in your desired industry. Not only does this broaden your network, but also helps you understand job responsibilities with different companies. Most people are happy to share their experiences and help you learn.

2. Leverage your existing network

When applying for jobs, submitting your resume online should not be your only step. It is crucial to utilize your network and meet professionals face-to-face because personal relationships are typically what help you secure a job. Only 20% of people land a job from just an opening found online.

3. Maximize your use of LinkedIn

Many students create LinkedIn profiles once and never login again. This is a mistake. LinkedIn has extensive search capabilities to help find mutual connections with those working for a certain company or industry. By using the People Search feature on LinkedIn and expanding all filter options, you can generate search results based on granular criteria like past employers, geographic location and specialty services.

The second part of the conference involved three Q&A panel breakout sessions, where students could choose whichever session they found most applicable. The first session focused on using your graduate degree to advance your current career, the second talked about changing your career and the third was centered on careers in consulting. The panelists were honest and open with their responses to our questions, helping paint a clear picture about their industry and career expectations.

My favorite part of the Career Conference was receiving advice from the panelists about what grad students can be doing right now to prepare for the job market. Gaining applicable experience through internships, practicing interview skills with sample case problems and behavioral questions, and using DePaul alumni as resources were all tips they offered.

Kellstadt’s Career Conference helped me think about my career goals and develop a plan to reach them. One of my biggest takeaways was the importance of your network when job searching. The event supported this notion, as we were able to connect with Chicago employers and DePaul alumni at the breakout sessions. The Career Conference encouraged me to continue growing my professional network, and I am already looking forward to next year’s event.

Dana Fitzmorris graduated from Texas Christian University with a bachelor’s degree in finance and management. She is currently pursuing an MBA at DePaul, with a focus on entrepreneurship. She is co-founder of Kellstadt’s Women in Business student organization.

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November 19, 2019