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Career opportunities, one one-on-one meeting at a time

It’s no secret that job interviews carry a lot of pressure. You want to make a good impression and stand out. You want to ask the right questions and avoid asking others. And you want to walk in with a sharp resumé and a strong understanding of the company and the industry.

Northeastern’s Employer in Residence program provides students a venue to meet individually with employer representatives—either in-person or virtually via Skype—in an informal setting to gather useful information before stepping foot into an interview or even applying for a job.

There are four Employer in Residence events this week—one on Tuesday (First Derivatives plc), Wednesday (GE), Thursday (Raytheon), and Friday (Eliot Community Human Services)—as well as several others throughout the rest of the semester. Students can learn more about these events through the Career Development calendar, and they can schedule a meeting with an Employer in Residence by calling 617.373.6548.

Through the program, employers hold informational meetings in which students can ask questions about the company, a specific job within the organization, or the industry in general. They can gain employer insights into how to improve their chances of landing a job and how to prepare for their long-term career goals. And they can even get pointers on improving their resumés and ask questions they might not feel comfortable asking in an interview.

“At the heart of this program is the one-on-one interaction with an employer,” says Steve Johnson, associate director of employer relations in the Office of Career Development. “It’s not a job interview. It’s an opportunity for students to ask the questions.”

The program, which launched in 2009, features several different models. For many visits, employers want to focus conversations on their organizations and career opportunities posted in the career management portal NUcareers. Then, a students reserve a 15- or 30-minute meeting so they can learn more about the organization, position and if they want to apply.

Another format is designed for students to ask not only job- and company-specific questions but also questions about the industry as a whole, as well as about general career and job search advice on topics such as interviewing and salary negotiation.

Some meeting times have a more targeted scope. For example, one that’s focused on entrepreneurship gives students the opportunity to speak with professionals working at startups to learn about specific jobs as well as what it’s like to work in the field. Another is centered on careers for international students. The Employer in Residence program also brings in representatives from government agencies to meet with students. And the Office of Career Development is developing a model specifically designed for student veterans.

Two employers—Raytheon and the Peace Corps—are currently Employers in  Residence on a recurring basis and hold hours throughout the semester. In addition to scheduled appointments, Raytheon offers walk-in hours as well.

“There are a lot of ways students can meet with employers, and ways they can benefit,” says Johnson.

Students interested in more information about the Employer in Residence program can contact Steve Johnson, associate director of employer relations in the Office of Career Development, at 617.373.3404 or st.johnson@neu.edu.