Open E-mail to the First Year Class
To: First-year student
From: Qinzheng Tian, second-year Career Advisor
Subject: Navigating First Year Recruiting
I hope this email finds you well! Sorry that I haven't had much time to hang out since school started. Second year has been quite busy. As a career advisor, I've talked to quite a few of your classmates, many of them have very interesting backgrounds; from meeting a classmate who was a special agent in Afghanistan and reported directly to the White House, to another who had gone to Burning Man for 10 consecutive years. Although I still think my class is cooler, there are indeed some exceptional individuals among the first-year class!
You mentioned that you were getting stressed out about recruiting the last time I saw you in the Winter Garden. It is hard to believe that I was in your shoes just a year ago, but here are a few pieces of advice I'd like to share with you, and hope they will help.
Networking can be a challenging and tedious process. Go with a clear objective and be disciplined in doing it. There are two phases of networking: the inbound and the outbound phase. The objective of the first phase is to understand your interest and lock in your target firms, while the second phase is to let your target firm(s) know about your interest and credentials.
Phase 1: Inbound Phase. During this phase, talk to as many people as possible and explore your options. There simply won't be another time in your life when so many firms are willing to talk to you about what they do. Enjoy their stories and picture yourself in their roles. This is the time when you need to answer some hard questions about yourself, such as: Who am I? What type of life do I want to lead? What are my passions? Remember to be honest with yourself and be courageous. Follow your own unique path, and not the herd.
Phase 2: Outbound Phase: This phase is all about execution. Stay focused and be disciplined. By now, you should have already developed a list of target firms and established connections with many of the recruiters and representatives. Find the decision makers within the organization through the network you've established in Phase 1, and make sure they understand your interest. Draft your cover letters at the beginning of this phase so you understand what information you need to collect, and your questions will be more targeted and meaningful.
The most important piece of advice is to remember that the recruiting process can be a roller coaster, with plenty of ups and downs. I'd highly recommend going to Kingston Mines when you feel down; this jazz club is full of magic. The musicians will lift your spirit, and can help put the entire recruiting process in perspective.