Many employers who interview at Northern like to schedule pre-recruitment meetings - usually called "premeets." These events give them an opportunity to describe their organizations and the career opportunities they have to offer, saving you time and effort in preparing for your interviews.
Do you have to go?
Closed premeets are scheduled by employers who want to talk only to those students who have interview appointments, usually for the next day. Make every effort to attend these meetings - your prospective boss asked you to be there, and your competition is going to be there. Unless noted as an Open House activity, all premeets are considered to be closed.
There are two basic types of premeets:
1) A social event. There will usually be several employer representatives, refreshments may be served, and the tone of the event is fairly relaxed. At some point one or more of the representatives will talk about the company, career opportunities, etc., and then you will have an opportunity to ask questions. Want to look like a star candidate? Ask a question. It shows you're paying attention and aren't intimidated by the situation.
2) A business seminar. There is usually only one employer representative. He or she will describe the job for which you are applying and provide background information on the company. You will be given plenty of opportunity to ask questions.
Appropriate attire for pre-recruitment activities is usually "business casual" even if it is billed as "informal". Business casual means slacks, sport coats/sweaters, and sport shirts with or without a tie for the men, and dresses or skirts/slacks and jackets for the women.
You will never be expected to miss class so that you can attend a premeet. If there is more than one section of your class, see if you can attend an alternate section. If you have a part-time job and are scheduled to work at the time of a premeet, try to trade hours with someone, but don't jeopardize your income or that good reference you're probably hoping for.
Since a premeet is, from the employer's perspective, an integral part of the interview process, you must inform them in advance if you will be unable to attend. If they find that more than just a few students can't attend, they may change the time or date of the event.