In the midst of four midterms came McCombs Career Connections. Career Connections is a career fair that includes an evening reception the night before, allowing second year MBAs to recruit for full-time positions and first year MBAs to start building relationships with top companies for summer internships. It may seem early on during the semester to start recruiting, but the career fair gives us a great opportunity to start the conversation with companies and narrow down which companies in which sector in which industry appeal most to what we want to do. I also believe that it helps me practice my elevator pitch, make adjustments on attire and mannerisms, and become more polished as the semester goes on.
Managing my time efficiently has been a must since starting school in August and much more so in these past few weeks. Here are my lessons learned:
I front-loaded studying as much as possible in the beginning of the semester, so I didn’t stack up work during recruiting. It’ll only get busier, and I’m so glad that I did all my accounting homework for the semester during my first week of class. Sure, it’s four hours of my Saturday, but it’s also 30 minutes here and there that I don’t need to take.
I wished I had researched companies that interested me before starting school. Recruiters and company reps are impressed by genuine interest and knowledge of the industry, and here I am, up until 3am the week-of, studying company histories and future trends. At the end of the day, the research has to be done.
Write ‘Thank You’ Notes.
As much as my feet hurt in four inch heels (just bought flats & still need to crop my business suits), the recruiters and company reps are taking time from their responsibilities to stand for six hours and speak with me. I made sure to do my part by collecting their business cards and sending a ‘thank you’ note.
My take: keep it colloquial and still professional, remind them of something memorable about your experience, and thank them for their time.
Take Advantage of the McCombs Alumni Network.
This is something I ignored during undergrad and am so happy to take advantage of now. I’ve never met a single Texas graduate who wasn’t insanely jealous of the fact that I get to go back to school and enjoy UT and Austin. As such, Texas alumni, specifically McCombs alumni, were more than happy to speak with me about their recruiting experience during the career fair and over coffee later on. That makes me pretty thankful that I picked McCombs, and McCombs picked me.
Despite the super-hectic week, I had a great time. Being at McCombs reminds me of what I put in one of my applications essays:
Sometimes you work really hard and don’t get the results you want. Occasionally, you labor at a task but don’t feel mentally challenged or satisfied. At McCombs, you work your butt off, and as you’re wearily dragging yourself back to your apartment after a long, arduous day, your soul is vibrating with energy because of what you accomplished and with whom you were able to do so.
Sounds about right!