Recruiting season is here! For first-year students, the last 10+ weeks have been a flurry of networking, cover letter revisions, and resume tweaks in preparation for summer internships “drops.” Second-year students have been a huge help by sharing their experiences, providing mock interviews, and giving tough but honest feedback. Keep in mind that all of this has occurred on top of an already demanding schedule of classes and extracurricular activities.

Going through this process for the first time, I’m still impressed by the number and variety of companies that recruit on campus at Fuqua. Positions range from the classic MBA jobs like consulting and banking to more niche positions in social impact. Check out the full list of companies here! But in spite of the abundance of options, sometimes your dream company doesn’t recruit on campus.

The off-campus recruiting process is difficult, unstructured and rather daunting. Luckily, the Fuqua Career Management Center (CMC) does an excellent job preparing us for off-campus recruiting during our first two terms. The CMC teaches first-year students the most effective ways to find and approach alumni and turn contacts into advocates at our target companies.

I’m doing on-campus recruiting, but there are off-campus opportunities that I’m also pursuing. It isn’t easy, but this process has proved something important: network matters. I love the Fuqua network – we’re everywhere! When I search for alumni on LinkedIn, there are almost always Fuqua alums working at my target companies. Many are willing to share their experiences and insights and put me in contact with others in the organization. During this process I’ve been able to speak with alumni at cool tech companies like Airbnb, Twitter, Square, and Facebook as well as traditional CPG companies like Procter & Gamble and Clorox. The access to companies I’ve gained through the Fuqua network is incredible!

For many students, the off-campus search may also involve a self-organized Week-In-Cities-style visit to alumni at specific companies. These visits are great chance to get a feel for the company culture while showing dedication and excitement for the summer internship.

The recruiting process is quickly winding down. The first students with summer internship offers are the investment bankers and consultants. CPG is next followed by technology, start-ups, and other sectors whose recruiting timelines continue into the spring. I’m taking a fairly broad approach to recruiting, and targeting technology or CPG companies in both marketing and finance roles. Stay tuned for a future post to see how it all turns out!