School started up again in mid January after nearly a month off. Since then, to be completely honest, I’m not sure whether I’ve been here first as a student or as a job seeker. These last few weeks have been a whirlwind of interviews, dinners, phone calls, plane rides, hotels, super days, and thank you notes. I wish I could say that I’m all done at this point, but I’m still working it out. Fortunately, I have options and options are never a bad thing.
Coming into this year’s recruiting cycle, I knew I wanted to cast my net as widely as possible. I genuinely wasn’t sure how much traction I was going to get in terms of first round interviews, let alone follow-up interviews. But I was pleasantly surprised to end up with many first round interviews (I’m very good at walking people through my resume now … and talking about my biggest weakness). Of that, I flew out for a hand-full of final round interviews. The most intense final round day I had was 10 interviews back-to-back combined with a 45-minute presentation on a company pitch that I was assigned a week before hand.
The interview prep, travel, actual interviewing, and thank you noting combined with my usual school responsibilities kept me extremely busy over the last few weeks. I have probably missed more class in the last 4 weeks than I’ll miss in the next 4 terms, but through it all my professors have been understanding, my team supportive, and most importantly, my wife has been a champ. Seems like every Sunday evening I’d give her an overview of the week to come — what city I’ll be in, which companies, and how much time I’ll be needing at school to prep. Even though I was away in some distant city, she still packed up our 2 kids and made it to every Fuqua Friday without me!
I also want to give some praise to the Career Management Center. They don’t exactly get in your face before each interview, but if you want help they’re absolutely there and very helpful. I’m not sure I fully realized this until the recently weeks. They’ve been extremely informative through the process and are also excellent people to bounce interview or offer strategies off of. After all, they do this for a living and so they’ve generally seen it all at this point. The myth (and naïve hope) at any business school is that the career center basically lines up top companies and simply gives you jobs like candy (at least, I sort of thought that). But what I found was that the career center ends up being a strategic partner — you work WITH them (rather than them working FOR you) and when you learn to work together, the opportunities roll in.