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Surviving Your First Quarter

By Victoria Lord '14  |  october, 2013, Issue 2
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Victoria Lord


Welcome to Booth. Feeling overwhelmed yet?

As you've quickly learned, business school is a busy time. You have classes, deadlines, a million group meetings a week and corporate events. Plus a social life to manage, the occasional errand to run and, for some, an internship or job.

Besides feeling uncertainty around how to juggle everything, you're probably feeling some anxiety about recruiting. I know it may seem overwhelming now, and the calendar of corporate events may cause your eye to twitch, but it's all going to be okay. Really.

To help you keep your cool during the recruiting frenzy, here are a couple tips.

1. Be confident. You have an impressive background, amazing pre-Booth experiences and you're now at one of the best b-schools in the world. You have a lot going for you and employers will want you.

2. Keep it in perspective. Even if you don't immediately land the internship of your dreams, you're going to have a great summer experience. Trust the process and keep the big picture in mind. Your summer internship is a small fraction of your professional career and but one piece of your MBA experience.

3. Ambiguity is the name of the game. As Boothies, we love data. If you could give me a set of charts graphing internship trends for the past 5 years, I'd probably read them avidly. But the recruiting data isn't always easy to capture or report. Just because we can't say definitively that "πœ‹^3% of former consultants successfully transition into banking," we can tell you that the transition happens successfully and often. That's good news, so don't let the lack of precise data trouble you.*

4. Have fun. I know I've just lost some of you, but to the extent you can, I'd encourage you to try to enjoy the process. How often will you get to talk to so many people about what they do? How many other times will you have access to so many different opportunities? Find ways to make the process more fun – request an informational interview with that illustrious alum you want to meet, practice your elevator pitch with friends, apply for the random internship that intrigues you and find ways to celebrate all the wins along the way. All of these things will make the process more fun and your excitement about recruiting will come across as you interact with companies – both good outcomes.

It's your first quarter of business school. It's a crazy, overwhelming, challenging time, and it's so much fun. Best of luck. Enjoy the experience!

* I shouldn't have to say this, but πœ‹^3 is an obviously ridiculous number and not an indicator of what the transition rate may be. We don't track transitions like that; it's too difficult. Remember: The numbers aren't important; the messages – like the fact that successful career changes happen – are.

Last Updated 10/21/13
Last Updated 10/21/13