CAREER CONNECTIONS SERIES : MARK THOMAS – The Goizueta Career Connection Event

Prior to the Goizueta Career Connection—our first foray into the world of formal recruiting—my approach to these events was to keep my head down and hope any faux pas committed went unobserved. I’m proud to report that not only did I survive and get a few free drinks (possibly correlated), but I’m emboldened by the event as I stare down the rest of the recruiting process. To give everyone a better idea of how it helped me, I’ve provided a brief recap of the event.

We spent the first half of the evening rotating through a series of structured small group sessions with representatives from a variety of employers. The employers fell across the spectrum of personal interest. Counterintuitively, I found the most value in the exchanges with employers in which I had little interest; with less interest came less pressure to impress, freeing me to experiment with genuineness, an approach I now highly recommend.

I took advantage of the downtime between the two sessions to check out Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, on display at the High Museum of Art, our institutional host for the event. I’m afraid this initial exposure has spoiled me, leading me to expect world class art at all recruiting events.

The night ended with a cocktail reception, providing the first-year students the opportunity to mingle with company representatives in a more relaxed setting. The new-to-grad-school, and therefore lacking-disposable-income, version of me greatly appreciated the full catering spread and open bar. The open bar was a strategic victory on behalf of the Career Management Center as it made the always awkward cold approach to company representatives far less intimidating.

In full disclosure, I doubt many students walked away with a job offer at the end of the night. But that wasn’t the point. We all needed a kiddie pool version of recruiting before we get to the heart of the process later this fall and into the spring. And this was a perfect introduction.