A Quick Recruiting Guide for Taking Control of Your Search
By Simran Reen '13, Career Advisor | november, 2012, Issue 1
Simran Reen '13
A first-year student is talking with a friend and overheard saying, "I am sorry but I have to go; I have to rush to my Nth corporate conversation today. I am so tired and stressed; I will talk to you later." A lot of you may be feeling this way right now, and finding it difficult to balance classes, recruiting, family and life in general. But don't worry, you can (and will) feel in control again and we are here to help you find that control. Here are a few steps that can help you in this process.
Recruiting is an integral part of your MBA experience. So take a breath and look around. Look at all the amazing opportunities that are here for you to explore. EXPLORE THEM!!! Then, look around at all your classmates who are with you on this amazing journey. Get to know them, share your experiences with each other, and enjoy this overall experience as friends. Your classmates will become your pillars of support to lean on through the ups and downs of recruiting.
I mentioned "exploring" and corporate conversations are an incredible opportunity to learn more about the roles and companies you are interested in pursuing. However, attending these events can also be overwhelming if you don't take the time to do some self-assessment and focus on what you really want to do. While you're exploring, you should quickly realize what roles and industries are a good fit for you and which ones are not. It's important to pay attention to these signals along the way.
Having a Plan A and a Plan B for roles is important, but it's equally important to focus and work on each plan to be successful. The amount of effort you put into your Plan B should be dependent upon opportunities and the probability of success you anticipate in achieving your Plan A. Having a focus is critical, although it isn't wise to put all your eggs in one basket, hoping they will hatch. Hedge your odds through having a Plan B, but don't make your Plan B too broad that it loses its value.
Career Services provides you with various tools to support your research. Make a list of target companies for both your Plan A/B. Refer to the Employment Reports to see where Booth students have landed for internships and full time, as well as pay attention to the number of students that got hired by a particular company for a specific role. You should also utilize previous years' interview information in GTS to identify companies that come to recruit on campus and/or which have an interest in Booth talent. This will help you focus and prepare accordingly. Employment Reports, Career Services website, and off-campus job postings in GTS are all important sources of information which can help you compile a list of companies that don't recruit on campus.
Corporate conversations will show you where opportunities exist, but you define your path to approach them. Reach out to second years who interned at companies you are interested in and learn from their experiences. Get in touch with alumni, both from Chicago Booth as well as those from institutions you previously attended. You will be pleasantly surprised how supportive your alumni network is. Contact alumni early in the process to give yourself time to build relationships which you can leverage later throughout your search.
REPLY and RESPOND
It might feel very useless to write a "thank you" email, but the fact is, alumni and company representatives are not required to talk with you. They're doing it because they want to. So be courteous and respectful, make your school proud, and thank them for their time. A thank you note is yet another opportunity to connect. And remember, a personalized note that is unique to the individual is much more impactful than a generic all-encompassing one.
Lastly, you will maximize your results if you are focused and proactive in your search.