Monday, October 2, 2017

Tips for GHC First Timers

Just in time for your last-minute packing, here are some amazing tips for first-timers to GHC written by fellow committee member Faye Cheng.

GHC Swag

01) Push yourself out of your comfort zone

GHC provides a unique and invaluable opportunity to form genuine connections and conversations with fellow attendees. This conference brings together people from all over the world, and you can explore various tech-related topics and conversations with pretty much anyone -- and chances are they’re equally excited to chat with you too! Everyone has a unique background and experience, and you can certainly learn something meaningful from each encounter. So don’t be afraid to charter your own path and make GHC your own experience: Go to sessions by yourself! Say hi to someone new in line! You never know what opportunities you’ll find, what memorable conversations you’ll have, or what interesting and inspiring people you’ll meet.

02) Come prepared

The Expo floor is one of the main events at the conference, and it is fairly easy to feel overwhelmed. Whether you’re looking for an internship, a job offer, or new connections, it is always a good idea to prepare ahead of time to put yourself in the best position possible. I would recommend becoming extremely familiar with your resume (and have more copies than you think you’ll need!), and practicing your elevator pitch (which should contain references to key experiences on your resume). You’ll want to discuss experiences that make you stand out, and your passion for a particular project or involvement will help your conversation be more memorable. Recruiters are going to be meeting with many interested candidates, so it is in your best interest to help them identify what opportunities you’re interested in and what experiences you have that are relevant for them.

03) Remember who you meet

It is a good practice to keep in touch with the people you meet to maintain connections and follow-up after the conference. GHC is a very hectic and busy time, so don’t be discouraged if people aren’t the most responsive right after the conference. Though it may seem a bit outdated, business cards are a really quick and easy way to exchange information with the people you meet (and is more professional than using your phone). An efficient way to keep track of the people you meet is to immediately jot down key points from your conversation on the back of their business card, which you can later reference in your follow-up.

04) Be comfortable, and be ready to walk a lot

You’re going to be on your feet for most of the day and walking all over the convention center. You should wear whatever makes you the most comfortable. I would highly recommend wearing comfortable shoes and bringing a light jacket. While it will certainly be warm outside, convention centers tend to crank up the AC quite high.

05) Pack lightly

I am definitely guilty of over-packing for trips, but one piece of advice is to leave a lot of room for the incredible amounts of swag you’re going to be bringing back from the conference. Companies will be giving out more t-shirts than you’ll ever need, so make sure you have room for everything for the trip home!

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