On October 27, the Pakistan Student Association (PSA) at Illinois Tech hosted an informative, virtual alumni panel for students to attend and learn about life after graduation and tips students should follow to get the job they want. The panelists included:
- Ahmer Rizwan (Applications Engineer at Fusion OEM, BS Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering Class of 2020)
- Hamza Khan (Software Engineer at GrubHub, BS Computer Engineering Class of 2019)
- Saad Maqsood (Project Engineer at RTM Engineering, MS Electrical Engineering Class of 2018)
- Shanza Riaz (Project Services Analyst at BP, BS Chemical Engineering Class of 2019)
- Syed Bilal Ahmed (Information Security Analyst at Northwestern Medicine, MS Computer Science Class of 2018)
- Zahra Khawaja (Peer Career Coach, BS Architectural Engineering and ME Urban Systems Engineering)
The panel was co-hosted by Naveed Hussain (PSA Content Manager) and Areej Siddiqui (PSA Vice President). Topics that were discussed included the personal experience of panelists with job applications, how to prepare for interviews, the importance of networking, and recommendations on navigating the job market during a pandemic.
Participants attending the panel were able to receive first-hand knowledge about the best way to
apply for a job. Examples included: following up with a recruiter after a career fair, knowing how to market yourself and your skills to make yourself stand out in front of a recruiter, not relying solely on online applications, and taking the extra steps to connect with employees at the company you are applying for. For international students, an interesting tip was networking and applying to jobs where visa sponsorship opportunities are not explicitly mentioned, as some employers are willing to sponsor if you are an exceptional candidate. The panelists also gave students tips on what to include in your resume and what was successful content from their experiences — such as projects that represent your skills.
Khuwaja, a peer career coach at Career Services, wrapped up the session with an informative section for students to reach out to the Career Services office at Illinois Tech, which offers interview preparation (including mock interviews), networking strategies, resume reviews and more.
The event was a success and accomplished PSA’s aim of educating students that are gearing up for the application season that is coming up soon. The next event will be the second GBM on Tuesday, November 17. A game of Kahoot! has been set up and students will win prizes if they win! The PSA team can be reached on Presence, Instagram (@psa_iit) and Facebook (@techpsa). Stay tuned for future events!