Some things never change. 3DEXPERIENCE World is SOLIDWORKS World under another name, and students of all ages are still able to attend the most exciting tech conference in the world for free! Students 18 and older can attend the full three-day event, and we have a special Student Day set up on Wednesday, February 12, for students who are 17 and under.
Last year, Nikhil Potabatti attended SOLIDWORKS World 2019 as a student and the experience changed his life. Now a Cloud Solutions Consultant at DASSAULT SYSTEMES (DS), Nikhil learned about the conference while working as a Product Management Intern at DS. Though he’d been an avid SOLIDWORKS user at that point, using the software to help his Formula SAE team as an undergrad and while getting his Master’s degree from Purdue University, Indianapolis, he’d never heard of SOLIDWORKS World before. Now, he’s one of its biggest fans and encourages all students to head to Nashville for 3DEXPERIENCE World.
“I learned about [SOLIDWORKS World 2019] from my manager and I’m really grateful for that advice,” he said. “I got a lot of opportunities in terms of networking, career opportunities, meeting new people, exploring new technologies, and getting inspired by people who are doing great stuff in the technology field.”
Registering for the conference as a student was incredibly easy. “I just had to send in scans of my student documents, show that I was currently enrolled in school. As an international student, I had to show proof that I was a valid student in the US,” Nikhil recalled. “Just two or three documents, and I had my conference pass. I just had to pay for my accommodations and the travel. That’s it.”
Even food was included with Nikhil’s conference pass. And the meals were some of the best places for networking. “The best part [of SOLIDWORKS World 2019] was that over lunch and dinner you meet a lot of people, and they’re all doing something incredible,” he said. At lunch one day, Nikhil ended up sitting next to the Inside Sales Director of 3D Systems. After introducing himself and chatting for a while, the director gave Nikhil his card and said to call him if he was looking for a job.
“So a note for students who will be attending 3DEXPERIENCE World,” Nikhil said. “Introduce yourself to as many people as possible during lunch and dinner. Do your networking.”
A lot happened for Nikhil while attending SOLIDWORKS World 2019 as a student. He was able to attend the Life After School: A SOLIDWORKS Customer Panel Discussion, and he spoke with every single company present at the Student Job Fair. “There were around 20, 25 companies there,” he recalled. “They were offering internships and full time positions to students. I got to know some companies I did not know about before. And I made some great connections.” Nikhil left SOLIDWORKS World 2019 with three offers to set up job interviews.
He says meeting so many people and seeing all the fascinating technologies inspired him. After the conference, he founded a SOLIDWORKS User Group (SWUGN) at Purdue, sharing his passion with his classmates. Posting about his experience and his SWUGN group on LinkedIn gave him a lot of exposure, and the connections he made at the conference helped him and his friends gain career opportunities. He also became a Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional at SOLIDWORKS World 2019, and strongly encourages anyone attending 3DEXPERIENCE World to take the free exams in Nashville.
This year Nikhil is attending 3DEXPERIENCE World as a DS employee, and he is excited to see all the students who will be attending. He also has some advice. “If you’re 18 or older, you should attend all three days because networking is done over a period of time. If you spend more time there, you’ll meet more people. Talk to as many people as possible. Do your research about what companies will be in the 3DEXPERIENCE Playground, the new Partner Pavilion, and meet as many people as you can.”
He also says students should be prepared for when they meet all the professionals who will be attending. “Make sure your resume is up to date, and bring your work samples with you. Keep your work samples or portfolio handy. If someone is interested in you, you might get a job offer right away.”
And although Nikhil was over 18 when he attended SOLIDWORKS World 2019, he thinks it would have been an amazing experience for him when he was 17 or younger, and encourages those young students to attend Student Day. “I think 3DEXPERIENCE World would be a great learning experience for high school students. There will be so many companies there, especially 3D printing companies. You can meet people in person and just talk to them, get advice, maybe ask if you can do a small project with someone. If you have a startup idea at 17, this would be a great place to get feedback on it.”
“I really relished the experience I had at SOLIDWORKS World 2019, and I think people will love the first 3DEXPERIENCE World,” Nikhil said. “There will be more people attending, it’s so much bigger but still has all the stuff I loved about SOLIDWORKS World. I met so many people, I got more efficient. Attending the conference made me so much more motivated as a student and as an engineer.”
Students still have time to register and say they attended the first ever 3DEXPERIENCE World. Students who are 17 and under can register until Friday, January 24, and students who are 18 and older can register until Wednesday, January 29. Space is limited for students, so register and pick your sessions early. Jump-start your career at 3DEXPERIENCE World and find your path to success!