MBA Diversity Conferences and Why You Should Attend

Ed Gagen

Ed focuses on the Healthcare, Pharmaceutical, Biotech and Medical Devices sectors as an Associate Director for the Career Development Office at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Ed earned his Bachelor’s degree from Shepherd University and his Master’s from Gannon University. He also has previous higher education experience having worked in Residence Life/Student Affairs at the University of Delaware, early in his career.

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Each fall, several national MBA affinity organizations hold conferences, and a component of each is a Career Expo.

Carey has been an active participant in these events as an academic sponsor and by encouraging students to attend.

The major events (with location) are the National Black MBA Association (Atlanta), the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (Philadelphia), Asian MBA International (NYC) and National Association of Women MBAs (DC). The events are organized and run by the sponsoring organization but open to all MBA students. You do not need to be a member of the affinity group to attend.

During the Career Expo portion of the conference, which usually lasts a day or two, employers have booths where you can meet with company representatives, learn more about the organization and potentially secure an on-site interview for either an internship or a full time job. Companies use these events to extend their reach to schools where they do not have an on campus presence. Company representation at these events can run up to 300 at the large events and at least 100+ at the smaller conferences.

The Career Development Office is available to help you prepare for these events; make sure your resume is up-to-date, your “pitch” is ready to go and you are interview-ready. It is a great opportunity for you to interact with employers that you might not have thought about or have not had a chance to interact with directly. Attend a pre-conference workshop or make an appointment with a CDO representative to learn more.

Check out the organization website for details and if it works for your schedule, register to attend. The Career Expo for each of these events is typically on Friday/Saturday so there should be minimal disruption to your academic schedule.

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