GRADFair 2020 is coming next week! On October 15th, UChicagoGRAD will take our annual graduate-specific career fair online for the first time. We’ll be using Symplicity’s Virtual Career Fair Platform (VCF), which you can access right within GRAD Gargoyle. The fair will take place from 3:30-7:00 p.m. Central Time.
What is GRADFair?
GRADFair is UChicagoGRAD’s annual all-discipline career fair specifically for graduate students, postdocs, recent alumni of graduate programs, and employers looking for graduate-level talent. This year’s fair will focus primarily on business and industry areas such as data science, healthcare, technology, and consulting, but you can expect to see a broad range of employer types representing a wide array of fields. GRADFair is a great opportunity to meet with representatives (some of whom are UChicago alumni) to learn about industries, companies, and roles you’re interested in pursuing. It’s an excellent time to make connections and begin conversations with potential employers.
To RSVP and view a current list of registered employers, please click here.
How does the Virtual Career Fair (VCF) Work?
VCF’s main similarity to an in-person fair is that you will wait in virtual “queues” to chat with employers, just as you might expect to wait in line in person. However, when you log into the fair, you’ll see estimated wait times listed for each employer, and you’ll be able to enter as many as three queues at any given time. When it’s your turn, you’ll be invited to a video meeting on a platform like Zoom or Teams, and you’ll go there to meet with the employer.
Employers have the option to set up one-on-one conversations, group chats, or both, and the length of each chat is pre-set by the employer for anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes. This means you’ll probably have more time to speak with any given employer than you might have an at in-person fair.
If an employer you’re in line for becomes available while you’re already chatting with another, you won’t lose your spot in line; the system will first go to the person directly behind you, then hold your spot until you’re finished with your meeting.
You can see a brief demo of what your experience will look like the day of the fair here.
What can you do to be ready for GRADFair?
Fill out your GRAD Gargoyle profile as completely as possible. Employers will be able to browse student and postdoc profiles ahead of the fair and may use these to invite you to join their queue. Be sure to click “Publish” when you’re ready for your profile to be viewed.
Polish your resume and make sure it’s included in your profile as your default resume. Need some resume tips? UChicagoGRAD’s Resume Guide can be found here.
Research participating employers. Read about employers on their websites, LinkedIn, or Glassdoor. Search for alumni working there (from UChicago or your undergraduate institution). The UChicago Library has company and industry research resources, and dedicated librarians to help with your career research. Learn more about these resources here.
Attend our upcoming Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch webinar on October 13 from 12:30-1:30 CT. Register here.