Leafing through the recruitment guide for the Booth Tech Group, I noticed my employer was not listed among the names of other top tech firms recruiting from Booth. It was now early into the Winter quarter when I came to this realization and took it upon myself to reach out to the recruiters within my company. Unfortunately I was too late. The recruiters were now finished with their on campus visits and were no longer interested in exploring more candidates. Had I known that tech was a major interest on campus, I would have done more to bring them here; however, I was unaware that my Full-Time counterparts were already searching for internships. As a result, I was unable to leverage my current role in a top tech company to aid those students during recruitment.
I mentioned this ordeal up to a fellow evening student, and, to my surprise, they had experienced something similar. A Full-Time student was interviewing at a prominent firm that the evening student had been working for the last eight years; moreover, the interviewer was a hired into the firm by the evening student. What an awesome opportunity for this full-time student to gain an inside scoop of the firm and ace the interview with killer background knowledge, right? No, unfortunately none of this was tapped into.
As Booth continues to expand its global brand and notoriety among the other top MBA programs, we compete heavily against our rival schools in many areas, but one area that many of our peer top programs are unable to match is our current on-campus network of students working for many top firms. Across the three program areas, there is a vast amount of opportunity for students to network directly into top organizations. Many Full-Time students left prestigious firms to make a strategic move in their career. Evening and Weekend students tend to have on average 6 years of work experience, with many holding positions at the very same firms that many students are looking to join post MBA. Finally, the Executive Program students have on average 13 years of experience, with many candidates holding highly influential positions within their firms. To me, it was evident that there is a major opportunity for the student body to tap into this existing network to maximize the total value brought to the student body as a whole. What would be better than to be a first year student seeking an opportunity at a top firm with an “insider” advocating for you during recruitment.
Unfortunately, as a community, we are not doing much to tap into this powerful network that would differentiate our school from our rivals. Many student activities are left isolated within each program. I have yet to meet an Executive student, even though they do fly into Chicago and take classes at Gleacher. Moreover, I know Evening students who have never met a Full Time student, and I know Full Time students who have never taken a class at Gleacher with Evening students.
With top students and alumni in all three programs: Satya Nadella a former Evening-Weekend student, David Booth a former Full-Time student, and George Conrades a former XP student; we have an enormous opportunity to build networks across all programs and strengthen not only the Booth brand but to maximize our own career potential.
Instead of working as isolated groups, we should work together to build the larger Booth community and strengthen the network across all programs. Ultimately building a value that would be unmatched by any other top MBA program on the globe.
Sean-William is a Business Systems Senior Advisor for Dell, working in their Technical Healthcare Application Management group.