Words of Wisdom for Off-Campus Recruiting

By John Brennan, Class of 2017 Career Adviser

By John Brennan, Class of 2017 Career Adviser

As winter quarter kicks off and the consulting and banking offers begin to cascade down on Harper, it’s a good time for those students involved in less traditional recruiting to keep perspective and double down on your searches.

While most who are focused off-campus have enjoyed avoiding the frantic pace of coffee chats and “suited-up” networking activities of the fall, that self-reassuring mantra that “my recruiting happens late” starts to carry less weight when it starts to feel…late.

So here are four simple tips for those who will be on the internship hunt well into spring.

You still have time. With about 23 weeks before heading out for the summer, you have plenty of opportunities to seek out and pursue your first, second, and third tier choices.  There are second-years who recruited well into May and June, and it’s not evident that there is any correlation between getting an internship early and job satisfaction. For example, Tom Brady didn’t get a job until the end of the 2000 draft, and he seems pretty happy. You made a decision at some point that you wanted to recruit off-campus, and you did so with the understanding that there would be more uncertainty in your process.  Don’t freak out about not having a job because you’re actually right on schedule.

Put your foot on the gas. You likely spent much of the fall laying out a strategy, but now is the time to start executing.  If you want to do venture capital in San Francisco, you need to be out there talking to founders and investors; if you want to work for a start-up in Chicago, you should be a regular at 1871 (222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza). Start grinding through that list of contacts you found on LinkedIn, cash in any chits that you’ve been saving, and if you have any obvious gaps, aggressively address them.

...it’s not evident that there’s any correlation between getting an internship early and job satisfaction.

It’s going to be OK. Internship placement was 100% last year; you are very unlikely to be an unwilling exception here.  You may not get your dream job, but there are a ton of ways to gain valuable experience, and the broader your definitions of success and happiness are, the more likely you are to feel good about your result.  It’s just a ten-week internship – this is as good a time to take a chance on something less traditional, so have fun with it!

Ask for help. There are plenty of people on campus who have dealt with the uncertainties and insecurities that are part of this wonderful recruiting process.  Talk to second years who followed a similar path, and use the stories of their successes and failures to optimize on your recruiting strategy.

Being at Booth, you are already in a great position to pursue your dream job, and while the stresses of recruiting are real, keeping that perspective will help maintain sanity throughout the process. If you view this time as an opportunity rather than as an obstacle, you will be just fine come June.

John is always happy to help with career advice--whether you are participating in on-campus or off-campus recruiting.

Spring Job Search: The Best Might Just Come Last

Cathy Hsu '16, Career Advisor

Cathy Hsu '16, Career Advisor

From the mountains of Kilimanjaro, to the Dead Sea, Boothies have been all over the world this past spring break! For those who already nailed down full-time positions and summer internships — congratulations!  Make sure you join different groups to explore all the interesting, non-recruiting related events that the Booth community has to offer. For those who are still searching, I’d like to share a few tips with you from my own experience as a spring recruit. 

Narrow your target. 

While you still have a good chunk of time for recruiting, 10 weeks can go by quickly. Therefore, you should have clear preferences for roles and locations so that you can spend your time focused on a short list of ideal firms. While a great tool, resist the urge to rely solely on GTS. Instead, utilize external job boards and company websites to check if full-time/ internship positions recently posted. Don’t worry if your qualifications don’t fit the description entirely. The most important thing for you is to have an understanding about the company, and know why you want to work there and your goals. 

Be specific in email communications.

When proactively approaching your contacts in the company, make sure your email contains the following 3 main points: who you are, what you want, and why an interest in the company. For small start-ups, a unique answer for “why this company” is a must-have. Also, be concise. No one has time to read a lengthy email from an MBA student, so optimize your email for the reader so that they can identify your intentions within the first few sentences. It not only saves them time reading, but also saves you time waiting for a response —they can quickly give you a yes or no response.

No worries.

No worries.

Get peer support.

Find friends who share the same agenda as you. Joining a job search crew is a great idea, but creating your own group can also work. Share information and ideas, hold each other accountable, and practice with your peers to improve your interview skills.

Keep an eye on the Career Services Blog.

Unique opportunities show up on the CS blog all the time. Make sure you subscribe and set up an RSS feed to keep abreast of new and time-sensitive opportunities that may be appealing.

I hope these tips help you during your specialized search. Success is closer than you might think. Enjoy your spring quarter!

 

Cathy Hsu, a second-year Entrepreneurship Career Advisor, bought two nice business suits before Booth thinking she’d wear them every day. She recently realized she probably wore them less than ten times over the past two years. #moneywasted

Don’t Give Up the (Intern)ship

Eric Klein '16, Career Advisor

Eric Klein '16, Career Advisor

On January 8, 2005, the attack submarine USS SAN FRANCISCO (SSN-711) was transiting submerged at flank speed from Guam to Brisbane for a much-needed liberty stop. This Saturday morning was unfolding normally by all measures, as the crew cleaned their spaces and prepared for an afternoon drill set. Suddenly, at 11:42am, an earth-shattering crash rocked the ship’s hull, ejecting the crew twenty or more feet from their seats. Recognizing a collision had occurred, the Officer of the Deck ordered the Diving Officer to emergency surface the ship, and although the forward main ballast tanks had ruptured and were leaking air, the diving officer managed to surface the ship using an emergency blow to the aft main ballast tanks. One sailor, Machinist's Mate Second Class Joseph Allen Ashley of Akron, Ohio, tragically lost his life due to injuries from the collision, but the other 114 members of the crew were saved.

Much like USS SAN FRANCISCO struck an uncharted underwater seamount, unplanned events and sheer bad luck can affect even the most prepared. But the Principles of Shipboard Damage Control can help you get back on track in your internship or full-time search, even if you feel like you are floundering.

Know how to use and maintain damage control equipment. Ensure you are using all available job search resources to their fullest extent.

  • GTS Job Postings contain hundreds of new job opportunities, with new ones posted every day. For example, at the time this article went to press, GTS contained 456 full-time and 151 internship job postings.

  • In addition to the public Employment Report, Career Services also publishes an internal Employment Report containing five years of data on where specific students accepted internship and full-time offers. You can access this report through the Career Services webpage on the Booth Intranet. This can help you in identifying companies that may not be on your radar, but ones that have hired from Booth in the past.  

  • Booth has reciprocity agreements with several other top MBA programs, which gives you the ability to view job postings at partner schools, if you are willing to visit in person. You can email crc@lists.ChicagoBooth.edu to arrange an appointment.

  • Career Advisors and Career Coaches offer their time throughout the Spring and can help you refine your search strategy.

Know your way around the ship, even in the dark. Continue to refine your elevator pitch, your “walk me through your resume” story, and your SOAR frameworks. Solicit and apply feedback on these stories from your peers.

Have confidence in your ship’s ability to withstand severe damage. You’ve trained for this moment, and no one else has put in the work that you have. Remember that you are a student at the world’s premier MBA program, Chicago Booth.

Finally, remember the 10th Principle: Keep cool – don’t give up the ship.


Eric recalls passing a placard of these principles countless times on his daily pre-watch inspection.