5 Tips for Making Connections in the Technology Industry

24 January 2021
Student using a computer in class

DePaul University is committed to student engagement and career success – and part of that commitment is shown through the many events that the University’s departments host with industry professionals.

Because of DePaul’s connections to industries throughout Chicago, our students can network with and learn from leaders at some of the largest global companies located here in Chicago. These connections help students prepare for careers in whatever field they choose.

One example of this type of connection is a HerCDM event that Global Gateway Program Director Dr. Gretchen Frickx attended. HerCDM is a DePaul student organization for female students in the College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM) and helps to connect its members to meaningful engagement in the technology industry. Dr. Frickx attended this event to learn about jobs in this field and to share the speaker’s insights with her GGP students.

A recruiter from a staffing company that recruits for the technology industry met with Dr. Frickx and students from DePaul. They spoke about the top seven jobs in this industry, which are:

  • Business Analysis
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Science and Data Analysis
  • Infrastructure Support
  • Project Management/Change Management
  • Quality Assurance and Software Testing
  • Software Engineering
  • UX/UI Design

Top Five Tips for Interviewing for Tech Roles

The recruiter shared tips about preparing your resume, targeting the employers you want to work for, and interviewing tips for tech positions. Here are some top tips for interviewing:

1. Be able to talk about your work. Understand how the work you have done in class applies to the real world.

Your portfolio may only have school projects in it – and that is fine. Be able to talk about the programs you know and the technical skills you have. At DePaul, you get real world experience in the classroom, so be sure to point that out in an interview!

2. Not all jobs in technology are “heads down coding” Learn what other skills are needed and talk about those.

For example, project management positions require organizational and leadership skills. Talk about the experience you have in these areas. Also, business analytics requires strong writing skills, think about projects when you were the technical writer, or any other writing experience you have.

3. How do you keep current in the industry?

This question is really important because tech is constantly evolving. What do you do to keep up Are you involved in industry groups? Meet ups? LinkedIn communities? Do you listen to podcasts or attend webinars? Whatever you do to keep current, be ready to talk about the last thing you did.

4. Research the company you are interviewing with before you get there.

What does the company do? Where are the headquarters? What division are you interviewing in? If you know who you are interviewing with, look them up on LinkedIn. This gives you more information and makes you look well informed.

5. Prepare for the STAR interviewing.

Employers will ask you to describe your experiences in school or at work. For example, they may ask you to describe a time when you were faced with a challenge. Answer this question by using the STAR method. STAR stands for: Situation, Task at hand, Action you took, and Result. Explain a situation where you faced a challenge: what task were you trying to accomplish? What action did you take? What was the result? If you think about these questions and be prepared to answer them, you will be ready to interview like a pro!

A big thank you goes out to the students at HerCDM for offering such a great event! Within the College of Computing and Digital Media, DePaul offers over 25 degrees across three Schools in computing and digital media, design, and the cinematic arts.

Are you ready to learn more about DePaul’s commitment to your success in academics and your future career? Click here to inquire now.