For many students, college graduation is right around the corner, and with graduation comes the stressful yet exciting phase of finding a career. For many in the marketing, communications, PR, and advertising industries that can be a tough transition from college to the professional world. However, there are many networking events such as the 2022 Student Advertising Summit that can help with that transition.

The 2022 Student Advertising Summit was a networking event for students and young professionals just starting out in the marketing, communications, PR, and advertising industries. It was held at the University of Minnesota, McNamara Alumni Center on February 18th, from 9 AM – 3 PM.

There were unique opportunities to hear from diverse and inspiring keynote speakers, engage with diverse panelists, network in numerous breakout sessions, and more. You also had the chance to meet industry veterans, engage in conversation with like-minded young professionals, as well as have some great food.

Although I graduated from college a few years back. I thought this was a great opportunity to attend and learn more about the marketing, communications and PR industries as well as stay in touch with professionals young and old.

Here is what I learned from attending the summit that can help young professionals just graduating college or starting out their career:

  • This should be obvious, but make sure when going to a professional networking event, you are dressed your best. You don’t have to be in all out formal dress code, but understand the environment you’re going to and dress for the occasion. Usually business casual will work, but some places might be more formal.
  • Before attending any networking event, you should have a goal or two in mind. Is it to land your dream job, is it to just network and gain some new professional friends? Having a goal will ensure that you are focused and have topics to discuss so you won’t have social anxiety (for those that do). One of the goals I had in mind before attending this networking event was to be able to connect with different professionals young and old in the industry, you never know where a connection could lead down the road.
  • A benefit for some of the connections I made was that I spoke to two professionals that were also part of planning the Student Ad Summit. I asked them about the event, and how I could possibly attend more events like it. They were able to connect me with some other members that also planned the event. From there I was able to join a board that assists with the planning of future Ad Summits.
  • I also made great connections with some of the young professionals attending the event, particularly I met a student that was interested in a career in advertising and marketing. Although he was just finishing his sophomore year at the University of Minnesota, he had a lot of knowledge in advertising, even running his own digital agency.
  • Something else to do is to look at the lineup of companies, speakers, and professionals that will be there. This can help you in preparing potential questions that you could ask and have you stand out from the rest of the people that are also there to network. It could also help you prepare an elevator pitch if you are looking for a potential employer. An elevator pitch is a brief speech (short enough that you can have it in an elevator), that describes you, your background and professional experience and what you’re looking for.

Before I attended, I looked at the lineup and saw that there would be many different companies in the marketing industry that I’m familiar with. I also saw that there would be great topics discussed about industry trends in advertising, PR, and marketing by the keynote speakers and panelists.

  • When I got to the summit I noticed an association I’m familiar with called MnSearch. MnSearch is short for The Minnesota Search Engine Marketing Association. According to their very own words, they aim to raise the standards and awareness of search marketing and digital marketing.

I attended their booth, just hoping to ask some questions and learn more about being a member and what it means. Luckily for me, they were having a special for members joining at the summit. The special was a low one-time fee of $15, usually, it is priced in the hundreds of dollars. I also won a free ticket to an event they are hosting in June.

Overall it was definitely worth attending the 2022 Student Advertising Summit. To summarize again here is my takeaway from attending the summit.

  • Make sure to always dress your best when attending any professional networking event.
  • Have a goal or two in mind for what you hope to get out of attending these networking events.
  • Look at the attendees that will be attending the networking event, from professionals to speakers, panelists, companies, etc.
  • Prep potential questions to ask and have an elevator pitch about yourself so that you can stand out from the rest of the attendees.

Hopefully these tips are useful in helping you prepare for your next networking event!

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