Why We Are Reinventing the Career Fair

By John Capecelatro

As quickly as the Startup Institute Boston’s inaugural summer class began, it is fast drawing to a close. Participating in classes across four tracks (sales/business development, technical marketing, product & design, and web development), our students have learned many of the concrete skills necessary to become immediately valuable to startups looking to hire high-quality talent. From working on projects with our hiring partners to solving the current economic crisis (just kidding…), we have been able to watch our students hone their craft and prepare to enter the startup ecosystem. It is now time for startups in the larger community to learn just how valuable these students can be, and be prepared for them to join their teams.

We envisioned our end of program hiring event to be something radically different, much more meaningful, and frankly better, than a traditional career fair. Traditional career fairs are stuffy, and full of stale food, awkward conversation, and lame business cards. Students have very little opportunity to paint a fair picture on who they are and what they have to offer. The past six weeks has been a very unique experience for all involved, and true to our goal, we want to give our students a meaningful opportunity to join the Boston startup ecosystem - an opportunity that more fairly portrays them and their skills.

The Startup Institute Student Expose will be held on Wednesday, August 1st from 9AM-2PM. The day will kick off with a morning coffee mingle, allowing companies and students to chat and meet each other informally. Following keynotes by Katie Rae, Managing Director of TechStars Boston,  and Aaron O’Hearn, the Director of the Startup Institute Boston, we will move into the main event: the student pitches. Students will have 30-60 seconds to deliver an elevator pitch on who they are and why they believe they are an awesome hire. This is shaping up to be every bit as bold, provocative, and informative as it sounds. After their pitches, students and companies will yet again mingle and continue conversations around available positions.

Michael Tsidulko, a former Fulbright scholar in Bulgaria and current student at the Startup Institute,  maintains that this is better than a traditional career fair because “the roles are reversed. The tables have turned, and instead of us trying to garner companies’ attention, they’ll be gunning for ours. Ultimately, the event is different emotionally - we’re all super excited and proud to display what we’ve learned.”

For any startup looking to add their next great team member(s), this is an event that you cannot afford to miss. For more information and to register, please visit http://bit.ly/BSS2012Expose.