Just when you’d mastered the art of attending virtual classes, meetings, conferences, and recruiting and admissions events, many organizations returned to hosting in-person gatherings. Forté is among them, embracing the ability to bring undergraduate women together face to face to develop leadership skills, network, and learn from remarkable women business leaders. We have some tips and tricks that will help you stand out at our College Fast Track to Finance Conference (Sept. 30, 2022) and our Undergraduate Women of Color Leadership Symposium (Oct. 21, 2022). For more information, visit the College Fast Track to Finance FAQ page or the Women of Color FAQ page. Before the Event Because the events are offline and in person, you won’t need to worry about technical considerations on your end. You will need to do a little homework ahead of time so you can hit the ground running and get the most out of the conference. Research the companies and speakers. Visit the event websites to find out who will be participating. Use that information to familiarize yourself with their work, including any recent news. Make contact a few days in advance. If there are recruiters or executives you’re really hoping to connect with during the event, email them beforehand and request an in-person, one-on-one conversation during the event. This shows initiative and puts you on their radar. Rehearse your elevator pitch. Craft and memorize a brief synopsis you can recite about your background, experience, and professional goals. It’s an opportunity to highlight the key strengths you possess that will make a recruiter, executive, business leader, or fellow undergrad want to talk to you more in the future. Ask questions. Make sure you have a couple key questions to ask the people you want to meet. The questions you ask will help you glean what a particular recruiter, executive, or business leader needs. Once you know, you can package your experience and skillset to align with those needs. That’s how you move from being a strong candidate to an ideal candidate. Update your résumé and LinkedIn profile. Print out a few copies of your résumé to take to the conference and reference your LinkedIn address on your résumé. Check in with Forté’s community of talented women leaders. Connect with Forté Fellows or other Forté role models who work in your industry or are alumnae of your business school. They may have valuable insights. Dress the part. When virtual events were the norm, many of us became accustomed to a very relaxed dress code. Dig out your business casual attire and make sure it fits you properly before you head to an in-person conference. Add important event details to your calendar. You don’t want to miss any meetings you’ve set up or sessions you’ve registered for. During the Event Shut off any potential distractions. Put your phone away and silence it or make sure it’s on vibrate to avoid an embarrassing disruption. Listen actively during sessions, meetings, and networking opportunities. Add thoughtful insight when appropriate and be sure to share contact information with people you want to follow up with. Take notes. You can do this the old-fashioned way with a notebook and pen. Or you can record audio or video on your phone to reference after the event. Make an impression. Share an interesting story or anecdote with a recruiter, executive, business leader, or fellow undergrad that will stick with them. After the Event Say thank you. Time your follow-up message strategically. If sending an email, it’s not always best to contact a recruiter or hiring manager right after an event. They often get flooded, so waiting 24 to 48 hours is best. You could also mail a thank you note to get their attention. Ask follow-up questions. In your email or note, share specific points from your conversation and ask a follow-up question or two. This will encourage an open and continuing conversation. Connect on LinkedIn. If your new contacts are open to it, connect with them on LinkedIn. Share a post about the industry or their firm to show your interest in a unique way. While you’re at it, be sure you’re following Forté!