Tuesday, February 19, 2013

“How I survived On-Campus Recruiting with Career Advancement’s Help” –by Elaine Gu

As a senior at the University of Chicago, I recently survived the fall on-campus recruiting season. Seven very stressful weeks, 14 first-round interviews, and four final-rounds later, I am overjoyed to have gotten an offer to be a consultant (my dream profession) in New York City starting next September.

Reflecting upon my recruiting experience, I have some tips for those of you who will be going through the same thing in the future. It’s an extremely hectic process, but it’s all worth it in the end.
  1. Network – while it’s nice to believe that things in life are based on merit, that’s unfortunately not how recruiting works. You might have an almost perfect GPA and a stellar extra-curricular track, but if you don’t network, you could lose an interview/position to someone with much less impressive accomplishments but engaged in extensive networking.  Unless you come from a very well-connected family or you have some powerful friends, the employer information sessions at Career Advancement are your best source for networking your way to that initial interview. 
  2. Work those information sessions – don’t get distracted by the tempting food that employers bring, you’re there on a mission. Try to talk to a variety of people, from the big shots to the recent graduates to the recruiters (depending on the firm, each of these types of people has varying power in deciding who to interview). Be aggressive but not overly dominating. Don’t ask dumb questions (yes, those do exist) and introduce yourself before you speak so that people can remember you. Also, ask for business cards so you can follow up afterwards.