Monday, April 7, 2014

Hire Power Conference

Are you a 3rd or 4th year student? Or are you a recent U of T grad (undergraduate or graduate studies)? Are you thinking about what lies ahead after graduation in the work world? Well you are in luck friend because do I have news for you – the Hire Power conference is just around the corner!

What is Hire Power you may ask? It’s an interactive conference offered by the Academic Advising & Career Centre that helps future and recent U of T graduates equip themselves with navigating the new and uncertain waters of the hiring and employment process.  This three-day conference gives students a look into how a real professional conference is laid out as well as gives them the essential tools, strategies, skills and know-how of finding and keeping work.  You will learn a variety of employment tactics including (but not limited to!) building and targeting your resume and cover letter for specific jobs, creating a personal branding platform, interview strategies and etiquette, networking techniques and SO MUCH MORE!

I recently got a chance to sit down with E-Lin, one of our Career Counsellors at the AA&CC, who answered some burning questions that I, as a soon-to-be graduate, had about the upcoming conference: 

What are the benefits for students to attend the Hire Power Conference?

There are two main benefits to students attending Hire Power. The first is content - the actual topics covered during the conference are beneficial to students. These topics include self-assessment for employment, job search strategies, industry job trends, professionalism and communication techniques and so much more. The level of content that is offered during the conference is amazing and it's one of the main draws of the conference. A conference like this typically would be valued at a $500 cost but it's completely free to our students and it includes lunch as well as prizes!

The second benefit to attending is for students to understand that they are not alone. It can be overwhelming and at times isolating when students think of what lies ahead for them after graduation. At the conference there is a sense of camaraderie because you're with your peers for the duration of the conference which is an added bonus that isn't often advertised. This will let students make a real connection and friends for life.

What makes this conference stand out from other events/workshops that are usually offered on campus?

Hire Power is different in that it's a three day conference. The reason for this is that it was the AA&CC's intent to have the conference imitate a typical work day's 9 to 5 schedule. With this in mind, we do ask students to stay committed to stay for the whole conference. We also see it as different because we want students to dress professionally so that they truly get into the mindset of the conference. Additionally, we do bring in a lot of external resources with the presence of panels, speakers and recruiters to partake and present in the conference.

As an UTSC student in the Arts, I always had the impression that the Hire Power Conference was for Management students. Is that the case?

I can see why students would feel that way, especially since we are promoting attendees to dress in business attire; however that is not the case. The conference is for students from all programs because all industries look to hire from different backgrounds. Your specialist/major/minor doesn't always reflect your career path. For example, even at a bank the employer could look for employees that come from an arts or science background. We also do tailor our job search sessions according to different disciplines which is laid out in the itinerary for the conference that can be found on the AA&CC website.

What are some notable sessions/ or speakers at this year's conference?

This year is our 5th year anniversary of Hire Power which is going to be a lot of fun. I think one of the highlights is that we have the founder of TalentEgg, Lauren Friese, coming in to deliver one of our keynote speeches. She's a young entrepreneur with an amazing job search website that is student-focused. Conference attendees will really enjoy the opportunity to hear her words of wisdom. We also have several representative from the CGA also presenting (they are graciously sponsoring us after all!) as well as a few other surprise speakers that we're going to keep under lock and key for now. 

What kinds of networking opportunities are available during the conference?

Students will get to meet people from industry, CGA professionals, the external speakers that we have coming in, U of T based staff, departmental staff and some U of T alums. All of these opportunities will be present during various points in the conference but most focused during the Networking Café session and the Mix & Mingle session. 

A big bonus to this conference is that participants can also go to Leader2Leader, an event at which you can network with and learn from industry professionals and established alumni who are leaders in their fields. The theme this year is “A New Breed: Leading the C-Suite”, and the speakers and guests are emphasizing innovation and entrepreneurship. You will hear from Preet Bannerjee, a personal finance expert who you’ve probably seen on TV, and Loretta Marcoccia, Manager Director and COO of Merrill-Lynch Canada. Hire Power attendees go to L2L for free! Check it out at:

Don’t worry about registering there – you’ll register for L2L when you register for Hire Power.

Can students bring a friend with them to the conference?

We encourage students to have their friends sign up to attend the conference as long as they are also a U of T student (any campus!) with at least 15.0 credits or more.

Well there you have it folks! The Hire Power conference is slated to be the workplace event of the season! Remember that spaces are limited so register on CLN right now (seriously, don't delay - pause whatever you're doing right now and register). 

For additional information regarding Hire Power, an itinerary of sessions and a step-by-step guide on how to register, click on the link below:

Hire Power is brought to you by:


All the best,


No comments: