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BY Joel Junker

Commonly Asked Questions About the Cameron-Brooks June 2020 Virtual Conference

“What then is to be done? To make the best of what is in our power, and take the rest as it naturally happens.” – Epictetus 

Covid-19. Turbulent economy. Unemployment rate at historic levels. Travel restrictions.  What do we do about it? The Greek Stoic philosopher said it best above, we move forward.  The obstacle in front of us is the way.

While other military recruiting organizations and events continue to delay/cancel events or change them to virtual meet and greets, our June 2020 Conference will take place virtually June 12th – 16th.  When the Covid-19 Pandemic disrupted all of our personal and professional lives in March, we replicated every single event of our in-person Conference and had a largely successful virtual April Conference.  With lessons learned and the experience of one virtual conference behind us, we are doing it again – doing what is in our power, adapting and making the best of the situation.

Here are some of the most common questions I’ve been asked about the virtual conference and the current economy…

  1. Will companies be hiring?
    Yes, companies always need leaders.  Cameron-Brooks has never canceled a conference in our 55+ year history.  We have deep relationships with hundreds of companies and thousands of hiring managers.  We will find the openings and managers that value the JMO.
  2. How many interviews can I expect?
    The June Conference candidates will average 8 interviews with hiring managers who have open positions.  They are recruiting for their most critical positions.  This is not a job fair where the June candidates will share a resume and have an informational interview.  EVERY interview has an associated open position (or several).
  3. What types of companies are hiring?
    The companies include: a leading biopharmaceutical manufacturer who has contracts with multiple companies to make the Covid-19 vaccine; the fastest growing cardiac rhythm management company in the US; a semiconductor solutions company; one of the top pharmaceutical companies in the world; a fast growing renewable energy company; a photonic innovations company that provides photonic products for the auto, consumer, defense, aerospace and medical industries; a privately held construction consulting firm; an IT consulting firm whose clients include 35% of the FORTUNE 1000 list; and more.
  4. Will I be able to do a career search and see multiple types of positions?
    Absolutely.  There will be fewer interviews than prior to March, but the variety remains the same.  Positions include: Sales Representative; Production Manager; Engineering Supervisor; Product Marketing Engineer; Operations Manager; Lean Six Sigma Analyst; Field Clinical Specialist; Quality Team Leader; Business Analyst; IT Consultant; Maintenance Manager; Global Supply Chain Specialist; Product Line Manager; and more.
  5. What about locations?
    Location is a priority concern for many JMOs.  We have always advocated for exploring your full marketability and not narrowing on location.  With 13%+ unemployment, now is the time to think about prioritizing the opportunity and getting your foot in the door.  Start with a great company and in a development role.  In 3 years, you will be SO MUCH MORE marketable to business. You can navigate to the ideal location. We know location is important.  We do our best to match your preferences but in the end, we have to go with the market is offering.  Locations represented at our June Conference include: Northern California; Southern California; Indianapolis; Bloomington, IN; Texas; North Carolina; New York City; Upstate New York; North and South Carolina; Madison, WI; Florida; Phoenix, AZ; and more.
  6. I am concerned I won’t get a feel for the company and position by not meeting with the people or doing a follow up interview onsite.  How will that be replicated?
    This concern is valid.  Everyone wants you to make a good decision.  During our April Career Conference, our client companies did a great job innovating.  Here are some of the ways companies adapted: Sent corporate marketing videos and homemade videos using their phone of the work environment; created PowerPoint presentations loaded with pictures; conducted virtual lunches giving candidates a gift card for Uber Eats and then meeting them on Zoom to talk about the company and position; and set up a video chats with C-B Alumni working at the company where candidates were free to ask any questions they wanted.  The candidates and companies felt very comfortable with their decisions.
  7. What will I miss out on with the conference being virtual versus in-person?
    Mediocre hotel food.  Uncomfortable beds.  The opportunity to meet me in-person.  Just kidding.  The real answer is very little.  Yes, we want to be in person but we made every effort to replicate every single conference event. This includes one-on-one impromptu coaching.  Meaning, at any time a candidate wants to ask for advice, all they have to do is click on my Zoom room URL.  If I am not giving a presentation, I will be there answering questions.  Just like the in-person conference, you can track me down in the “hallway” if I am not in a meeting.  Additionally, we are trying to innovate ways to help the candidates network more with one another.  This piece is a work in-progress.

I am excited and proud to be part of the June Conference.  If someone would have asked me about the June Conference in mid-April, I would have said, “We are having one but with so much uncertainty, I have no idea what the average number of interviews will be.”  Eight real interviews is amazing.  It only takes 1 good fit to launch a career.  I am also proud of our June Conference candidates.  They have worked hard by reading multiple books, practicing video interviews and through working with study partners.  I have seen amazing progress in their preparation.  They are ready!

You can follow the June Conference on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.  We will publish the conference results next week.