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Career Coach: SIGGRAPH 2003

This month the Career Coach Pamela Kleibrink Thompson suggests what you need to get the most out of SIGGRAPH 2003, what to take and what attitudes to leave home.

SIGGRAPH, one of the biggest conferences for computer graphics takes place July 27 31, 2003 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California.

I'm sure you're familiar with the scene where a devil and an angel hover over the head of a character, offering conflicting advice. Here are some tips from the guy with the pitchfork and horns.

"Don't bring any business cards with you. If they can't remember your name and number, who needs them?"

"A convention is a great place to break in a new pair of shoes. Try the spike heels so you'll be able to see over the crowd."

"Party all night. You can sleep during the day."

"Don't bother with a plan or floor map. All the exhibits look the same anyway."

"You only need one copy of your résumé to post in the Career Center. Let interested companies take notes from there."

"Make sure your résumé doesn't have any contact information on it. You don't want employers you don't know getting your number."

"Skip the seminars and workshops, but collect the free t-shirts."

"Don't bother researching the companies before you go. You can find out everything you need to know by hanging out in their booth for two or three hours. Better yet hang out in their hospitality suite. Find the company with the best free food and drinks. That's my kind of research."

"Blow off appointments with companies they'll never miss you in the crowd."

"Bring only one demo tape (your original) and tell the company you'll wait while they watch it."

"Buy lots of heavy books and lug them around all day. Then if a stranger sits next to you at lunch or waiting for a class to begin, you can read instead of talk."

"Go with people from the office and stick to that group your contact manager program is too full already."

"Lose your inhibitions at the hospitality suites. Companies are looking for people who know how to enjoy a martini."

"Why bother following up with anyone you meet? What can a person at a different company with a different job do for you anyway?"

"Take time off from the show for sightseeing. After all, when is the next time you'll get to San Diego?"

"Remember you're out of town at a convention. This is your chance to paint the town red. You'll probably never see these people again."

Remember these tips and you're sure to have a devil of a time.

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a career coach, recruiter and hiring strategist. She frequently speaks at colleges, universities and conferences. Her advice: prepare yourself well, wear comfortable shoes and clothes, bring more business cards and résumés than you think you'll need, meet lots of new people, and if you want to see the San Diego Zoo, do it after the conference is over.

For more info about the SIGGRAPH conference see