If you are one of the students that will be attending the AWT/Lake County Chambers Think Manufacturing Expo, this might be your first time attending a trade show. You can expect a cafeteria full of tables, and each table representing a different company. (These companies often give you cute little things like pens, flashlights, squeezy balls or other products with their name on them, to help you remember them!) They’ll have fliers and one or two smiling people that really want to talk to you.
It can be a little nerve-wracking to start talking to somebody, but they’re not going to sell you anything or have you sign anything. The best way to get started is to look the person in the eye, shake their hand and introduce yourself – your name, your school, and what year you are. The company representative will have lots of great questions for you, but here are some you can ask them:
- What’s the career path like at your company?
- What’s an entry-level position like?
- What kinds of jobs are you hiring for right now? (And what is that?)
- What kinds of products do you make?
- How many people work there?
- Is it dangerous?
- What kinds of skills & experience would I need to get a job at your company?
- Is it true that there are lots of jobs in manufacturing?
- What is your role at the company?
- What’s the best thing about what you do?
- Do most people there work a typical 9-5, Monday through Friday week?
- I’m really good at _(writing, video games, crafts, remembering things, math). Would those skills translate to any particular jobs at your company?
- Are you offering any internships or training programs for students?
When you can’t think of anything else to say (or are getting a little bored of that booth), all you have to do is say, “Okay, thank you!” and smile and move on to the next one. Or you can bounce around to the friendliest looking people, or the coolest looking booth. The world is your oyster.
See you on October 8th!