How to make the most of attending the Grace Hopper Celebration
It’s almost time for the 2017 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, which takes place October 4–6 in Orlando, and Girls Who Code will be there! We know preparing for a professional conference can be tough, so we’ve put together this handy guide for our alumni who will be attending. Not sure what to bring? Overwhelmed by trying to choose which tech companies to hit up at the Career Expo? Wondering how to stand out to employers? Read on for our tips!
Submit your resume to the resume database. Sponsors review resumes in the database for interviews, internships, and meetings, so this is a great way to get noticed by recruiters.
Pick your panels in advance, and be sure to space them out! Two can’t-miss events: the Career Expo brings together hundreds of tech companies looking to share job opportunities and interview candidates in person, and the Student Opportunity Lab is a custom career counseling session where you can get personalized advice by choosing which groups to join from among topics such as “Skill Development,” “Tips for Success in Early Career,” or “Combining Tech with Non-Traditional Backgrounds.”
Download the GHC app. It includes a complete conference schedule, as well as a list of companies at the Career Expo and their locations. Use it to find your top companies at the Career Expo and get there first!
Wear something casual and comfortable. Business attire isn’t generally expected at this casual conference — comfort is much more important! Don’t forget comfortable shoes for walking, and bring a water bottle so you can stay hydrated.
Bring physical copies of your resume and keep them in a protective folder. If you have business cards, even better!
Meet up with your Girls Who Code friends. During a long day of networking and trying to get noticed by tech companies, it’s nice to see some friendly faces.
Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram. GHC attendees are active on social media, so this is another great way to stand out! Don’t forget to tag your post with #GHC17, and check to see whether the session you’re in also has its own hashtag.
Visit the Girls Who Code booth! We’d love to catch up with you (and we’ll have some fun swag on hand!). For extra bonus points, sign up for a volunteer shift at our booth! You can help us spread the word about Girls Who Code, and you never know who you’ll meet.
Follow up with new contacts as soon as possible after the conference. It doesn’t have to be complicated — just send a brief email and mention something you talked about at the conference. For more tips on following up, check out this Forbes article: How to Master the Art of Networking Follow-Up.
Read more great advice from previous years’ GHC attendees here:
- Tips for job hunting and interviewing at the Grace Hopper Conference
- #GHC15 Tips to help you be successful at the Career Fair
Got more great advice for #GHC17 attendees? Let us know in the comments!