Day 1: “Start saying yes”
Going into Learn to Get Hired (L2H), I didn’t know what to expect. I imagined a small gathering of students, perhaps one or two speakers providing tips on writing a good resume.
L2H was far from that, probably one of the most informative events I have attended in high school. There were many like-minded students and professionals with diverse levels of experiences, eager to share their stories and connect with each other.
I was blown away by the keynote speaker. She explained her story on making the best use of her university experiences and how persevering through adversity helped reach her professional goals. Her keynote was powerful, but I found this quote intriguing: “Standing here and looking ahead, you never know where you are bound to go. But when you look back and connect the dots, you can see why you are standing here”. This statement still resonates deep within me. In high school, we are never taught to look far ahead, reflect on the past and understand the potential of new learning opportunities.
On the first day, we had plenty of time to network. Not just with the speakers but also other keen students who worked on exciting projects to hone in and apply their technical skills. I am privileged to say that I still keep in touch with some students I connected with at L2H.
The event had rounds with many experts from banking to law and engineering to entrepreneurship. Hearing their stories provided meaningful perspectives on the industries I was passionate about, yet uninformed on. Their suggestions helped me with my decision making when choosing programs for universities.
Day 2: “People aren’t just asking for one skill”
The second day of the event featured a speed-dating style interview process. Students competed against each other to get a coop. The companies were mostly local but had positions providing significant industry exposure to students. The recruiters were super friendly and were very interested in listening to me share my experiences. They also offered useful suggestions to improve my pitch for future interviews.
Although I could not secure a coop, I spent most part of the second day networking with other students. This was by far the highlight of the event as senior students shared their high-school stories of success and failure. Their experiences inspired me to grow out of my comfort zone and develop a passion for learning.
Learn to Get Hired is one event I highly recommend every student should attend. High school and universities are intermediary steps before stepping into jobs that we hope to pursue for the rest of our careers. Unfortunately, many students make uninformed decisions and regret them when they start working. With L2H, students engage in conversations with industry experts who share the ups and downs of their work. These discussions potentially save time, money, and energy before committing to one career. By enabling students to spend more time thinking long term, students can get an idea of what it’s like to be successful and happy when pursuing their passions.