An inside look at the organization behind the TOC

Did you know that the Technical Opportunities Conference (TOC) is almost completely organized and managed by Carnegie Mellon students?

The Tartan took an inside look into the efforts that go into putting together this popular career fair, which is crucial in helping students network with various companies, and ultimately finding the right job.

Planning for the TOC begins in the spring semester. “It starts off with the previous year’s committee selecting two directors,” said Arushi Chawla, one of the directors of the TOC committee and a senior economics and electrical and computer engineering double major.

Erin Persson, a junior civil and environmental engineering and engineering and public policy double major, is the second director.

“After that, we send out an application to all Society of Women Engineers (SWE) members, since SWE and the College of Engineering collaborate on putting together the TOC,” Chawla said.

After a rigorous interview process, about ten committee members are selected and assigned to one of four teams — corporate relations, public relations, human resources, and operations.

These teams work on different timelines based on their function. The corporate relations team begins reaching out to companies at the end of the spring semester.

They work throughout the summer to discuss logistics with each company’s recruiting team, in order to get all interested companies registered by an early August deadline.

Once the fall semester begins, the remaining teams take over. Public relations is responsible for publicizing the event, which involves putting up posters, talking to media, and generating awareness about the TOC.

“It’s kind of like explaining what the TOC is and recommending that freshmen attend for the experience,” said Patricia Pan, a member of the TOC public relations team, and a sophomore chemical engineering and biomedical engineering double major.

The human resources team within the TOC committee is responsible for recruiting and managing students volunteers who help out during the event.

Before the TOC opens to students, these volunteers help the company recruiters with parking, registration, and setup for their booths.

Volunteers also help with any issues that may arise during the day and tear down at the end of the day. During the event itself, the operations team is responsible for ensuring that everything runs smoothly.

Before the TOC, the team ensures that all the logistics are in place, including parking, catering, bag check-in, and other things.

The team also handles issues that arise during the event, like non-functional equipment at booths, and delayed arrivals of packages mailed to Carnegie Mellon by the companies, among others.

Pulling off an event of this magnitude involves a great deal of careful planning, and long hours put in by the TOC committee.

With the event spanning three days (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday) this year, rather than the usual two days, their work has increased a great deal, due to the need to spread awareness about this schedule change, and to coordinate an extra day of the career fair.

However, their well-established teams and procedures are sure to be effective in tackling these challenges, and providing students with a successful career fair next week.