Courtney Crosby and Kelly Ayers are your MPA Peer Career Consultants. They’ve successfully navigated the MPA recruiting process and want to help you do the same. Check out their posts here each week for valuable recruiting tips.
As the school year comes to a close, office visits are right around the corner. Office visits provide an opportunity for students and employers to finalize their assessments and selection decisions. The following provides some general information and advice based on my previous office visit experience:
- Scheduling: Each firm will work with you regarding driving, flying, and hotel information, but it is best to make sure you handle this as soon as you receive the information. If you have questions, immediately reach out to a recruiter. Typically each firm will have multiple office visit time frames as multiple schools will often be in attendance. I had two one week and two the next which I liked as it allowed me to spread things out and not feel overwhelmed by the end. However, many students like to schedule them all at the same time in order to make side by side comparisons. The events usually will not overlap, but again if you foresee any challenges contact your recruiter.
- Structure: When you arrive for the office visit, you will check in at your hotel and all meet in the lobby before heading out to dinner. Some firms will divide you by practice and take you to smaller group dinners while others might take everyone to a single location. The night prior is really about allowing you to reconnect with the people you have met during recruiting and making you feel comfortable. The next day you will typically go to the office and receive a full tour. You will usually be assigned a buddy for the day to escort you around and answer any questions that you have. The day will consist of presentations, networking, and final interviews.
- Final Interview: Sometimes you might have just one interview while other times you will meet with multiple people. The individuals you meet with might be people you have become well-acquainted with, but they could also be a new face. The final office interview typically involves the employer assessing where you are at in your thought process and if there is anything more they can do to help sway your decision or solidify things. This final interview is a chance for you to talk with the employer and ask all the last minute questions you might have. The office interviews are typically very conversational, so your preparation will consist of reviewing your time with each firm and drafting some final questions that will assist you in making an informed decision.
- Advice: Having an office visit does not guarantee an offer. Some firms might distribute offers at the office visit, but others will wait until the conclusion to make their selections. Therefore, you will want to continue putting your best foot forward and conveying why the firm should ultimately choose you to join their team. The office visits can be an exhausting process, especially if you do them all back to back. However, you need to remain fully engaged and interested no matter how tired you might be. This is the final impression you will give the firm, so it is imperative to make it a good one!
Office visits immerse you in the city, office environment, and people of the firm you could potentially be working with and provide you with perspective to help in making your final decision. Utilize your time with each firm and enjoy the process!
Courtney Crosby and I will be offering you words of advice throughout your recruiting journey this semester, so be sure to check out our posts in the newsletter each week! And, as always, if you have any questions about recruiting and want to talk about how to prepare, please feel free to email us at [email protected] or come to our walk-in hours on Tuesday 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 – 5 p.m., Wednesday 9 – 11 a.m., and Thursday 11 a.m. – Noon. Until next week…best of luck!
Submitted by Kelly Ayers