A group of our graduate students traveled to Atlanta for the National Black MBA Association conference. Students were able to network with representatives of top companies as well as graduate students from around the country. After the weekend of events, speakers, and interviews the group came away better prepared for their future job searches and careers.

Tim Cooley, one of our MBA students, wrote the following article about his experience.

“If you are undecided about going to a job conference I hope by the end of this article I have encouraged you to go!

I went to NBMBAA, National Black MBA Association, Conference in Atlanta Georgia with the goal of finding a role for myself in a larger organization.  The world of entrepreneurship is quite appealing to me.  I enjoy creating, working with my hands and seeing something I have built, designed, and thought about coming to life.   I knew going to this conference was going to be difficult considering these companies were established and not necessarily looking for new or innovative ideas.  Regardless, I knew the job conference was something I needed to be a part of and was excited to head off to Atlanta.

After landing, I wanted to explore the city of Atlanta and took MARTA, Atlanta’s version of the UTA Trax system.  If you ever want to know what a city is like, start talking to people on public transportation.  Networking with random people has always been a struggle for me, so I decided I was going to make an effort in changing this personal limitation, hence talking with people on the MARTA.  The guy I met ended up running his own consulting company in network security.  I didn’t get the vibe he enjoyed his job, but it gave us something to talk about for 30 minutes.

The following morning Kelly set up a breakfast meeting with Todd Hayes, a business school alumni from the University of Utah.  He is AMAZING. Todd was so open to helping us prepare for the Job Conference.  He talked about areas he felt new students should focus their resumes on and specifically to not call yourself an “Innovative Leader.”  His advice was priceless.  Talking with my classmates we all felt pumped and empowered going into the conference. Then the conference started.

I decided to take the advice of going to a “burner company”.  This is a company one goes to in order to practice their pitch, so the next one is better.  Let’s just say I am glad I went that route.  I bombed the first introduction.  I was so nervous.  I am pretty confident in what I can do, I just don’t enjoy bragging to random strangers about how awesome I am.  I found this whole process to