Every year, Uncubed hosts a 1-day conference (NYC Uncubed) featuring a fair to connect people with start-up and tech careers. I attended the event in Brooklyn with data science positions in mind and here’s what I learned.
Bring physical copies your resume.
- Print out a few copies of your resume for the event because HR personnel like to mark it up with notes as they speak to you.
- You can be as aggressive with this as you want. I saw a lot of people with fancy folders filled to the brim with resumes. I brought 5 copies and that was plenty. The amount you bring should be reflective of how interested you are in the hiring companies announced ahead of the event.
Lower your expectations.
- Don’t expect every single recruiter to blow your mind with the work you’ll be doing. Uncubed talks about how this is ‘New York City’s Top Recruiting Event for Digital Talent’, but the reality is that most companies in attendance weren’t revolutionary. If handling health insurance data floats your boat, this might be the conference for you.
- Not every company is there to offer technical roles. Only a handful of companies out of the total 44 in attendance had openings in data science.
- Instead of speaking to you about open roles, some companies will simply tell you to refer to their job boards because they’re not sure what specific openings are available.
- This event isn’t going to change your life if you’re looking for entry-level positions. People straight up want you to have 3-5 years experience for many of the technical roles.
Prepare to be judged.
- Get ready for: “Have you considered attending a bootcamp?” followed by “Where did you even take these classes?” and “I don’t see how any of this experience is relevant.”
- Telling recruiters that you’re self-taught can freak them out. Some people are super nice and understanding, while others can’t fathom the possibility that you might be changing careers.
You don’t need to stay the whole time.
- The event has a content session from 10:00 AM-1:00 PM and the employer showcase from 1:00 PM-5:00 PM, followed by a casual networking session.
- The content sessions are something that’s nice, but not essential. It’s mostly people talking about the work they do for their companies in various positions, including data science, human resources, and marketing.
- Four hours is a bit excessive for the company showcase. If you’re looking for a role in a specific field, it’s best to give yourself 1 to 2 hours to speak to employers. I was finished visiting the companies with data analyst openings by 3 PM.
It was an educational experience to learn the expectations of recruiters and to attend the content sessions. Honestly, I don’t see myself attending NYC Uncubed again. Instead, I’ll focus on industry-specific talks and networking events as future professional growth opportunities.