Attend Six Industry Events

The purpose of this exercise is to meet people in industry, on a social level, that are already doing the neat stuff you want to do in industry.

Aim to do three in second year and three more in third year. Keep going to the ones you like, however the exercise is to attend six different industry events, not the same event two to six times.

Use the Industry Events Blog to get a feel for what other students found when they explored industry events.

Industry Events are...

Industry events are events targeted at industry people. At industry events, networking with the industry person sitting next to you is easy.

In contrast Student events are targeted at students. At Student events, trying to find an industry person is hard and the industry person up the front, is working, not relaxing.

Industry events offer several benefits:

  • Interesting tech topics that you will not cover in your studies.
  • Personal project support from industry people.
  • Interesting conversations, both on the tech and exploring what working in industry is like.
  • Easy way to increase your industry connections.
  • Demonstrates you are pro-active in pursuit of your interests (great for interviews).
  • Employers use Meetups as a recruiting tool.

Of course, they should also be interesting. Do not blame the program if you choose boring topics!

What events should I use for this?

In short, pick events where more than half the people present are likely to be from industry. Online events are extremely poor for networking, so do not count as far as the WE program is concerned.

A rich source of events is Meetup.com. Currently they list 180+ groups in Wellington on Tech topics.

  1. Select the Search field on https://www.meetup.com/find/groups/,
  2. then select (do not type!) Tech from the drop down.

You will find topics as diverse as your favourite language or framework, to IoT, js, css, React, robotics, blockchain, AWS, UX, game developers, Docker, OWASP, Agile - and many more.

You can and of course should keep returning to groups you like, but only one attendance counts for your reflective report.

Tech MeetUps as an employment strategy

This is not as straight forward as turning up to a tech MeetUp with a CV. Everyone else will be there to talk to interesting people about their favourite tech topic. You will definitely stand out if you turn up, vaguely claim that you are interested and leave after handing your CV or business card around.

When tech MeetUps are used as a recruitment strategy, employers are looking to identify people that are engaged, enthusiastic and doing stuff. Turning up once, does not typically cut it. What does work is turning up regularly, learning, putting it into practice and talking about your wins and frustrations with others

There is effort required to do this, but if you find the right topic and crowd it won't feel like it.

Follow your interests, stay for a while if it remains interesting, otherwise move on and follow your next interest. Think of MeetUps as part of your journey in tech, rather than a destination merely to tick an academic box.

Reports

There are two options, either a report detailing up to three events (~300 words each) or you can contribute to the Industry Events blog after each event.

The format in both cases should be the same.

  • Some context for the event
  • Discussion around your networking (this is the important bit)

Note that it is ok to be nervous and not all attempts at networking will work, but you will get better with practice. This is not about Networking 'success'. It is about having a go and practising your networking in safe environments where everyone there is interested in the same stuff as you are.

For the report(s)/blog(s):
  • Do not duplicate events. For example, only one 'Meetup' with a specific Ruby on Rails group
  • Face-to-face events only, online events are poor for networking
  • Only one industry 'Meet and Greet' event (typically the October Summer of Tech event)
  • CV and Interview workshops are not industry events.

Blog

Reflective Report Templates