Career Connections Series : Mark Thomas – Career Preparation

It’s the second week of school. I should be focused on getting to know my classmates, trying not to fall behind in classes, or discovering Atlanta. Instead, I’m rummaging through my closet looking for a suit* because our first career event is in a matter of days. I still don’t know where the quad is and I’m already being asked to focus on the job search. What I thought was two years away is looming only two days away.

The romantic in me likes to think that we’re all here for the pure enjoyment of learning. That naïveté is quickly dissipating. We’re all here to better our professional prospects—simply put, to find a job. Every student is making a large commitment of time, money, and effort with the understanding that we’ll come out the other side better prepared for the rest of our career. (In fact, we learned the concept of NPV by mathematically proving that business school was a financially sound decision.)

Fortunately, we have an incredible cadre of people looking out for our professional interests—the Career Management Center. If you think I’m biased, go look up the employment stats. The CMC has organized an interesting event to ease us into the stressful process of job hunting. At the end of this week we have Goizueta Career Connection. It has billed to us as the opportunity to interact with recruiters and company representatives in a low-risk environment. I can’t speak for every first-year student, but my elevator pitch and networking skills could use some work before we hit the primetime stretch of recruiting later this semester.

And so it begins. If school, clubs, and friends weren’t enough, it’s time to start thinking about what I want to do when I grow up. I’ll be sure to report back on how much my schmoozing skills improved.

*I realize this is trivial for most people; however, I have been working from home for the past few years so my idea of business formal is anything that I didn’t sleep in.