TechSesh 18: UCD’s student-run networking eventOn Monday the 1st October, UCD saw the launch of ElecSoc’s new annual event, “Technology Sessions.” This was held in the atrium of the Old Student Centre. The committee thought of it in the early summer and rigorously planned it over several months - it was undoubtedly a highly successful inaugural event. The society had a mandate for developing this career event as an environment where students could directly interact with professionals in technical roles, to get a feel for the type of career they might pursue. The hundreds of students who passed through the event benefited from a relaxed atmosphere. Students and companies were encouraged to engage in conversation over tea and coffee.The companies were particularly excited by the idea. As student organisers, we understood on a more fundamental level, the needs of students. We used our inside knowledge to create the format of the event to make it conducive to productive conversations between students and prospective employers.On the day, we were delighted to welcome eight companies to engage with students. The companies chosen to participate covered a diverse range of industries in which STEM graduates can work. From biomedical engineering to insurance for tech companies every base was covered. The final participants were Analog Devices, Arup, Boston Scientific, FireEye, Maxim Integrated, Qualcomm, S3 Semiconductors, and Willis Towers Watson.Of these, Qualcomm, S3 Semiconductors and Analogue Devices offered to host technology sessions talks. These were well received and well attended by UCD students.These talks were: Qualcomm – “The Move to 5G” – Aaron Hogan, Principal Engineer/ManagerS3 Semiconductors – “Micro-controllers and Analog IC Chip Design”- Noel O’Riordan, Senior Staff Engineer.Analogue Devices – “Company Overview, Co-op and Graduate Opportunities” – Marcus Kelly, Talent Acquisition Specialist We spoke to the companies involved afterwards. It was clear that there is an appetite for this type of event moving forward. They were impressed by the level of genuine interest expressed by students who engaged in conversation. They had felt this was often lacking at traditional career fairs. The CV database, which ElecSoc had compiled from students interested in working with the companies, was also cited as a major benefit.From a student perspective, the event was a major success. Many students said they were looking forward to a return next year. The society is looking forward to building on this year’s success and to seeing you all at TechSesh 19!