On-campus Recruiting Recap

Andrew M. - T'14, March 13, 2013 | 0 comments
Tags: career, career development office, career switch, recruiting, first year, internship

The winter term is now over and, with it, the on-campus recruiting process that has occupied most of my non-class time since mid-September.  I came on campus unsure of how on-campus recruiting would go (my goal is to switch careers into management consulting) but, with the help of T13's and the Career Development Office, felt that the process went fairly well.  Because, coming into Tuck, I was a bit uncertain of how this process would go, I thought it would be helpful to describe my experience.  For admitted students, there’s an upcoming online chat on the career search process that will be a great resource for more information (or leave a comment and I’ll do my best to respond).

Since this was my biggest source of anxiety going into Tuck, I wanted to get started on the process as soon as I could.  Over the summer, Tuck provided access to Career Leader, a website that provides "aptitude tests" for skills, preferences, and capabilities that give you a better look at who you are and what jobs would be good fits.  I also worked on my resume and started reading The Economist to become more familiar with current business events.  I kept feeling that there was more that I could be doing, but, in retrospect, I think I did the right amount (mostly, I took the summer off to relax).
During Orientation, the CDO had a few presentations focused on the job search process.  We also were asked to create a resume for inclusion in Resume Books provided to recruiters.  Once Fall A began, things began to move quickly.  The first week of Fall A is just classes; the second week introduces clubs and groups (with the arrival of the second years); the third week introduces career activities, such as Sector Smarts and company briefings.  Going from 4-8 each day, recruiting took up a lot of time, with info sessions and receptions.  The amount of time required surprised me, and it didn't let up (as a result, though, my Economist-reading habit took an extended pause).  During the five-day break between Fall A and Fall B, I went on the consulting trek to Boston to visit firm offices and learn more about their work (keeping eyes peeled during the visits provides a unique look into each firm's culture).  In addition to attending these events, I also made a few one-on-one meetings with a CDO counselor—the advice and guidance I received really helped me as I prepared for interviews.
Fall B involved a lot of prep events spread out at a slower pace, from consulting club activities to firm-sponsored events such as mock interviews, case preparation, and issue-specific briefings (like social sector work), as well as social events (like a wine tasting).  A few classmates and I participated in a multi-school London Trek over the Thanksgiving break, which provided a nice way to meet companies in London, meet other business school students, and enjoy the sights and sounds of London (a classmate and I went to see “One Man, Two Guvnors” and almost died laughing).  The "getting to know you" phase culminated with resume submissions almost immediately after Thanksgiving break, followed by closed-list notifications (just as exams were winding down in mid-December).  As November changed into December, I spent a lot of time with classmates practicing cases and fit interview responses.
Winter break involved a little case practice and thinking about bid strategies in preparation for the bid deadline (the first of which was the day after the winter term began).  A bunch of last-minute prep in anticipation of the on-campus interviews followed, and I definitely over-prepped the case interviews—after a week where I did around 15 cases, I found it very difficult to get excited about the upcoming case interviews (my advice would be to do no more than two a day, with several hours between each).  Finally, first round interviews were here.  Interview times start at 12:30 and can end as late as 8 or so, and it’s definitely possible to have multiple interviews in a given day, which makes previous preparation critical.  The timing of second-round interviews depends on firm and office, and I found that I had interviews from mid-January (two days after my first interview) through February 15--a much longer period than I had anticipated.  The timing of second rounds was generally outside of my control (one firm had no flexibility, many firms had some flexibility, and two firms gave me my choice of dates), so I appreciated the faculty’s understanding when I had to miss class in order to attend an interview.
I was lucky to receive a few offers and, while it was difficult to choose between them, I am looking forward to spending my summer in Philadelphia working for a great firm.  I remember, while sitting in September’s info sessions, listening to the campus recruiter tell us that interviews will happen in late January—four long months away!  Looking back on it, it was a long time but, like most other things at Tuck, it seemed to fly by.
Throughout the recruiting process, I received a lot of support from classmates, second-years, alums, and the CDO.  Having only experienced Tuck, it’s hard to compare what this experience would be like at other schools, but I felt that it worked out perfectly for me.  And, though getting a good internship was my #1 priority coming into Tuck, I also was able to prioritize skiing (as an Atlanta native, skiing wasn’t something I did much of while growing up): between November and spring break, I was on the slopes about once a week (on average). 

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