ONE-YEAR AT GOIZUETA: ERIN NUSBAUM REHM – Before Holiday Season, there is Recruiting Season

Well, friends, we are officially in full-tilt recruiting season! Company representatives (and usually some alumni) are visiting our little corner of the world to show what their companies have to offer and what kinds of jobs they have available. These presentations are usually followed by a day of interviews for the afore-mentioned job opportunities.  Doing the math with my hp12c calculator (that I bought for school and now use as a paperweight), I have calculated that ambitious students can have up to 10 interviews a week! Most don’t, but there is a buzz around campus about who is interviewing for what positions.

Diversity conferences go hand in hand with on-campus recruiting. The two largest ones are sponsored by the National Black MBA and National Society of Hispanic MBA Associations. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be Black or Hispanic to attend (though most people do wear black… suits). These conferences are open to all and feature several days of career fairs and other activities. These fairs are especially helpful for individuals who are interested in jobs outside of Atlanta, and several of my classmates interviewed and received job offers on the spot! I am concentrating my job search in the metro area, so I did not attend. However, in order to unravel the enigma (and to inform you) of the diversity conference experience, I polled a few of my brave classmates who made the trek down to Texas.

Question: How did you prepare for the conference?

“I prepared by applying ahead of time and reading the company description of the roles I was interested in – primarily finance related. I applied to 6-8 jobs. I had a couple of phone interviews prior to the conference.” – Frank Chang

“Since I’m an international student, the preparation started with sorting out the companies that sponsor international students.”– Art Tantipakdee

“I prepared by reviewing job postings available – what I liked about the position, the skills I had that they were looking for, as well as researching the company.  I made sure to have a question or two for each.” – Linda Brown

Question: What was the actual career fair like?

“The conference was very large.  If you’ve done something similar before, you won’t think that it is a big deal at all. I had 4 interviews, but only 3 of the interviews were for an actual position they were ready to dish out offers for if you performed well.” – Frank

“The first day that I arrived at the event seemed hectic with the registration. Once this was done, the process was quite straightforward. People just entered the hall and talked to the companies that they’re interested in.” – Art

“In general, a good opportunity to practice the 30 second ‘elevator pitch’ and interview for jobs”. – Jimmy Huang

Question: What was the best part or what surprised you?

“I actually bumped into friends from college (in Taiwan) who are now studying MBA at other schools!  The best part was definitely the shopping at the end (souvenirs from each booth: drinks, bags, food, snacks, cups, vitamins, dental floss, T-shirts…)” – Jimmy

“What surprised me the most was that I met two people from my past life! I saw a former coworker who is now a VP. I also ran into my friend from high school, who now goes to Duke. It’s such a large conference and in general the people are extremely friendly as we’re all in the same boat!” – Frank

“The best part was that I got to network with the recruiters whose HQ weren’t in Atlanta. Many of these were happy to talk to students who were from the schools outside their area.” – Art

Well, there you have it folks. Thanks to Frank, Art, Linda and Jimmy for providing excellent feedback! Next time we talk, I may or may not have a job – that is just the way things are going these days!