Smartly dressed students entered Dixon Hall on the Tulane University uptown campus for the annual free Career Wave event on Saturday morning (Jan. 23).
“I figured if I could get a bunch of college kids up at 8 o’clock for this event, then Career Wave is really something students want to take part in,” said James MacLaren, dean of Newcomb-Tulane College, which hosted the event.
This year, over 1,000 Tulane students signed up for Career Wave, an event consisting of workshops, speeches and conversations with senior executives, network experts and rising members of the postgrad working world. Many speakers and panel participants were members of the Tulane alumni and parent community.
Career Wave events help students understand how to enter the seemingly intimidating job market and learn how to network “like a rock star,” an expression dubbed by Career Wave keynote speaker and author Jaymin Patel. Patel used to work as a managing consultant at Booz & Co., where he experienced recruiting from the other side.
“The best type of question you can ever ask is a follow-up question,” said Patel, giving students some tips and tricks on networking and catching recruiter’s eyes. “The most important thing is to be genuine in your curiosity.”
Students got to converse with panels of executives and up-and-coming leaders, and participate in industry-specific conversations to gain advice, insights and possible connections.
“I knew what I wanted to do very early on” said panelist and Tulane alumna Rachel Rapkin, who works for VICE Media after majoring in digital media and communications. “You just have to remember to be persistent.”
The event ended with an information session about Jobtreks, a startup program that helps students organize their job opportunities.
“Because of networking I ended up going in a different direction than what I would have guessed early on,” said Tulane University President Mike Fitts. “When you come to Tulane, you become part of a network, and I want to underscore, a network of not only parents and alumni, but also your classmates.”
Claire Davenport is a sophomore at Tulane University, majoring in English and political science.