National Black MBA Association Career Fair (aka National Black) –
What is it? Why should I go?
The National Black MBA Association Conference (National Black) is the largest conference and career fair in the country held for business students each fall. National Black has over 9,000 attendees each year, making it one of the largest job recruitment events in the nation.
At the conference, students interact with recruiters (and in several cases, executives) from large national and international companies. The company list crosses all industries and sizes, from large organizations like Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, Dell and Intel, and consulting firms like Deloitte, Accenture, and Boston Consulting Group, all the way to small regional banks and utility companies. Students also conduct interviews with companies during the conference. In past years, Jenkins MBAs have secured dozens of interviews and some job offers from attending National Black.
● Bang for your buck: National Black is the best chance for MBA’s to interview with a number of many nationally-recognized companies in such a short time period. The conference is a great opportunity for all MBAs to pursue a large number of leads with national companies.
● Unique Access: The conference provides MBAs the chance to pitch and network with companies who traditionally have not recruited at NC State, including those that exclusively recruit at these types of career fairs, rather than individual schools.
● Networking: National Black gives Jenkins MBA students a platform to develop business relationships with companies and industry leaders. The conference is one of the very few events/venues where executives, industry leaders, and thought leaders gather at one place at one time.
● Confidence and Skills: Attending the conference, conducting interviews and participating in events helps students bolster their confidence to perform well in interviews. By practicing their pitch before and during the conference, students increase their comfort with delivery. Although everyone would love to get a job from the conference, MBAs will gain a lot of experience and bolster their skills simply by attending.
Washington DC (specific location TBA as of 5/1/20)
Conference Dates: Sep 26 – 30, 2020
Career Expo Dates and Times: TBA as of 5/1/20)
Read here for more information
Key Preparation Dates:
● Registration dates TBA as of 5/1/20.
● Diversity Career Prep and Mock Career Fair TBA as of 5/1/20.
● If you cannot participate, please make an appointment on 12Twenty for a one-on-one tutorial with your career coach.
● The Jenkins Graduate Career Center is forwarding a résumé book to attending employers. If you are attending and want your résumé included, the submission deadline in 12Twenty is TBA. Click here [link TBA] to submit. (Students must have previously qualified for on-campus recruiting, and have résumé approved by their career coach)
Conference Attire, Schedule & Costs
Conference attire is Business Dress
Click here for conference schedule (including career expo) when it is announced
The National Black Conference starts on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018. The career expo is on Thursday and Friday, Sept 27 and 28, 2018. Most Jenkins MBAs attend just the two-day career expo, which is a sub-event within the conference. Conference attendees have access to keynote speakers, and meet-the-expert, industry insights, and professional development breakout sessions at a greater cost.
Costs TBA. Unavailable as of 5/1/20.The Jenkins MBA is offering a $250 stipend to all students. Stipend is dependent on eligibility requirements. Click here [needs link to stipend document]for details.
Other estimated costs:
$TBD – Round-trip airfare to Washington DC
$TBD – per night per room near the venue (not yet quoted from the conference website). Click here to reserve through the conference website when available
$100 – $250 – Food and Other Expenses
Lodging costs can be a bit high if staying at the conference hotels, but there may be opportunities to share space with fellow Jenkins MBA students. The MBASA may set up room sharing and carpooling resources after the start of classes.
Fieldwork is work performed in the field to gain practical experience and knowledge through firsthand observation. The majority of opportunities are unpaid and the fieldwork opportunities are typically associated with a class (examples of fieldwork courses at Rutgers-Newark includes Psychology and Social Work).
What is it like?
Students spend most of their time at the Career Expo time visiting the various individual booths to network with prospective employers, exchange information, share career goals, conduct in-person interviews, and set up future interviews.
If you go, the most important period is the first three hours of the first day of the career expo!!!
On the first day of the two-day expo, Thu, Sep 27, many of the companies will be searching for candidates to fill up their interview slots for the following day, Fri, Sep 28. Because some employers will redirect applicants to apply online on the second day of their interview slots have already been filled, students are strongly encouraged to reach out to their target companies as soon as possible during the first day to increase their chance of securing an interview slot.
The conference also has various panels and discussions. On the evening of Thu, Sep 27, many companies host networking events. Most events are by invitation only. These invitations are usually made when students visit the company’s booth. Jenkins MBA students have leveraged networking events to obtain interviews with companies, some at the Career Expo and others after the Career Expo.
The best way to work the career fair at National Black is to research jobs and apply to them in advance of the conference. The earlier you register, the sooner you get access to the conference job bank.
Click here [needs hot link] for company profiles.
While walking the career expo, be sure to have enough copies of your resume handy for impromptu interviews/conversations. A considerable number of interviews comes as a result of spontaneous interactions.
While the best outcome of the National Black conference is of course landing an offer, the more likely outcome for students is the chance to advance opportunities with an employer.
Although students are not encouraged to pursue opportunities with companies that are completely unaligned with their interests, it can still be helpful to have conversations with companies in industries you are interested in even if they are not hiring so you can make a connection for later.
Students are also encouraged to network with other attendees who can also provide valuable information about employers at the conference.
How will the CMC support me?
CMC staff will be at the career expo to help students navigate the expo floor, facilitate connections, and ensure that students optimize their experience.
Bev Porter, Director, Poole College of Management Career Center: firstname.lastname@example.org
John Hutchings, Associate Director, Poole College of Management Career Center: email@example.com
Before the conference, the career center will work with students to prepare resumes for the Jenkins resume book. The deadline for the resume book is TBA. The career coaches will help to ensure your resume and cover letters are tailored to reflect the needs of the prospective employers you are looking to meet.
The career center will also help students practice pitches, identify and target companies, and plan schedules.
In addition to working with coaches, the career center will facilitate a formal discussion and practice the best ways to elevate your presence at the career expo –
Linked to Workshop – last year’s was – National Career Fair Preparedness Workshop, Hosted by Eaton – Friday, Sep 13, 2019, 4:30 pm-6:00 pm ET, 2405 Nelson Hall. Click here to RSVP on 12Twenty.
1. Register – Early registration ends TBA. After registering, you will get access to the job board and any other resources to get ready and answer questions for the conference. While you can view the board prior to registration, you will have to be registered to attend in order to apply for jobs through the Conference Job Match.
2. Arrange your transportation and lodging. The conference has reserved rooms; however, you may choose to make alternative lodging arrangements.
3. Tell the career center that you intend to come. Click here to add your name to the attendee list.
4. [For Working Professionals] Make yourself eligible for on-campus recruiting and employer engagement. You can technically sign up for the career expo without the career center knowing; however, your ROI will be much greater if you collaborate with us in your preparation.
5. Resume Prep – Prepare your résumé, pitch, and approach strategy and meet with your career coach – Jane Mehringer (FY MBAs), Caren Howley (SY MBAs), Ed Kato (WP MBAs), or John Hutchings (WP MBAs). You should have a targeted résumé and pitch for each company you plan on approaching. You also want to review and update your cover letters. Most companies require you to have a cover letter when applying to jobs via the NBMBAA Job Board
6. Post resume in 12Twenty. You also need to make sure you take the time to update your resume after reviewing with your career coach, and upload by TBA. Click here for the submission box in 12Twenty (you won’t be able to see this link until you are eligible for on-campus recruiting). We are taking a resume book to the career fair. The resume book is a collection of resumes of attending students which we will distribute to companies at the conference.
7. Explore the National Black website and job board, plot your target company approach strategy. Research companies. Many companies are lining up their interview schedules NOW before the career expo.
8. Apply for the $250 reimbursement stipend.
9. Practice your interview skills with your career coach and the InterviewStream virtual interview tool [link]
10. Plan to attend the Diversity Career Prep and Mock Career Fair – TBA. Click here to RSVP on 12Twenty (Working Professionals – work with a coach if you cannot attend).