“So, tell me about yourself…”

The Communication Job and Internship Fair is coming up fast. If you plan to attend you should be preparing your resume, researching the firms and agencies you are interested in working for and getting your business casual outfit pressed and ready. Part of the preparation for any career fair or speed networking setting is your elevator speech.

Guest speaker, Matt Berndt, director of Communication Career Services in the College of Communication at UT Austin, clued in members on the top three points of what makes a great and memorable elevator speech.

The Alan Scott Chapter and local communication industry professionals teamed up at the fourth meeting for an interactive elevator speech workshop to prepare for Communication Job and Internship fair. An elevator speech is a one-minute presentation about yourself, your background and your career goals that you should be able to pitch in any setting because you may make a connection for your next internship- even in an elevator!

The three key things to keep in mind when preparing a successful and memorable elevator speech:

1. Introduce Yourself

Start with a good, firm handshake (no floppy fish hands). Be sure to relax, yet continue to exude confidence in your body language. Body language and tonality are extremely important when you first meet someone- so own it!

2. Position Yourself

Choose content to share about yourself that will separate you from other students and offer something unique to contribute to the firm you are interested in working for.

3. Engage in Conversation

Make sure it’s a two-way conversation. Don’t be so stiff that you appear mechanical, actually interact with the recruiter and ask questions. Ask them “when you hire people, what are some of the main issues you need them to help with? This creates a conversation and allows you to position yourself as the person who can fix the agency’s problems.

After Matt’s presentation, members broke off into groups to present their elevator speech to our guest industry professionals: Patrick Jackson of Market Sense Inc., Megan Hirshey of Fleishman-Hillard, Samantha Sipowicz of Composed Communications, Jenifer Sarver of Burson-Marsteller and Matt Berndt of Communication Career Services.

Megan Hirshey, Managing Supervisor at Fleishman-Hillard, emphasized engaging the recruiter in conversation, not just pitching yourself at them.

Everyone was a little gun-shy at first, but once members started presenting their elevator speeches, the room was buzzing. This part of the workshop really helped students feel more comfortable and fine tune their self-presentations with the professionals insider tips.

Samantha Sipowicz of Composed Communications, LLC offers advice to a few of our members during the breakout session.

If you missed the meeting you can find more tips about how to be prepared for the career fair here.

At our next chapter meeting we will have a panel of recruiters that will clue in members on what agencies are looking for in interns and what makes an applicant stand out. Don’t miss this great prep the day before the job and internship fair! Our next meeting is Tuesday, October 25, 2011 in Student Activity Center, Room 1.106.

Written by Alysse Fisher, Vice President

Edited by Rachael Sperling, President