Still having trouble making connections and finding opportunities? Well you’re not the only one. As recruiting season comes to an end, many students are fortunate to have received offers while others are still in the process. Whether you’re in one group or the other, don’t give up. From networking to achieving a positive interview experience, these Haas alums have been there and share their advice below:
Kevin Crow BS 93’ Show enthusiasm! Show energy! Interviewers aren’t just looking for highly qualified people they want to know how well a potential candidate will fit in their organization and if they can drive results. Too many interviewees are overly timid and the same applies for networking. Energy will get you a long way. Don’t just ask to exchange contact information. That doesn’t qualify as ‘networking’. Leave an impression and gain an impression. Develop relationships. Book quarterly 1-1s on your calendar early and keep them!
Kimberly Lacovella BS 02’ One bit of advice I would give is to try to not attend networking/recruiting events with anyone (i.e., good to go solo), so you’re that much more compelled to establish connections quickly
Nicholas Livingston MBA 14’ Have a complimentary professional online presence. This can be a portfolio, a blog or even a track record of meetups or organizations you’re involved with. Employers want to know that you’re truly interested in your industry and that your job is not simply a 9-5 commitment. These outlets not only show you’re more than your resume, but they are more ways in which recruiters can find you. Many employers are no longer relying on the traditional job boards (Monster/Careerbuilder/Hotjobs), so it’s important that you can be found through other online channels. Think about SEO and building your own unique brand.
Hilary Weber MBA 93’ One piece of ad vice is to be thinking (and asking) “What can I do for you?” versus focusing only on finding what you are seeking (a job, connections, etc.). If you are open and generous with people, you will be well received, conversations will flow easily, and no doubt, along the way you will learn about opportunities and connections that will help you. Think “Win-Win”!
David Rodriguez BS 08’ This may be a bit pedestrian, but industry events (ie, panels, speaker series, ‘best practice’ type seminars) are all good places to meet people and start conversations. One thing I like to do is learn something about someone’s interest (or company) and if I run across an article of interest I’ll email it to them, and just ask how things are going. No clue if thats what your lookin for but hope it helps!
Annie Lau BS 10’ I came across some awkward moments during networking and recruiting even now as a first-year Master. I think the best way is to enjoy the conversation. Really get to know the person, don’t see it as “networking” to try to get a job, rather, enjoy the conversation and maybe you will find something interesting about the person, the company and the job. I also find hard to get out of the conversation especially when people are paying so much attention, but it’s totally fine to leave the conversation and say you would want to talk other people, the recruiter/employers will totally understand.
Mauri Schwartz MBA Here’s at tip for getting started at a networking event – Scan the group for someone who is standing alone and go up to that person and introduce yourself. They will really appreciate it and you’ll be on your way. Also, even though it’s sometimes difficult when you’re nervous, smile. This goes for interviews and networking events. When you’re on your way to an interview, smile and say hello to the person sharing your elevator. They will smile back and you’ll both feel better. I have more helpful tips to interview and network successfully.
Remember these 2 points of etiquette:
1. If the person has agreed to give you a set amount of time, such as 20 or 30 minutes, you should keep track of the time. When you’re near the end, say, “I see we’re approaching the end of the time you scheduled. May I contact you again in the future? Thank you so much for your time and insights.” There is a chance that the person may say that they have more time, but don’t let the time slip by and hope they don’t notice.
2. Always send a thank you email immediately after the conversation.
Jerry Lin BS 99’ Go out and make friends because you’ll never know where it will lead you. Don’t be too serious and don’t let the venue scare you. Meet some people with common interests and be sure to stay connected. Ask questions and tell some stories that will help people remember you. Most importantly, have some FUN! Your career will always continue to evolve. There is such a vast number of opportunities available to you. Go out and find the people you love to be around who are doing what you would like to do. Life is LONG so be sure to find people you want to spend it with. Your careers will shift and your area’s of interest will always be changing. Go out and make some friends (NOT CONNECTIONS) and don’t get caught up in the “Networking” stigma.
Chareen Goodman, PMP BS 86’ It’s all about the lifestyle! First, know what you want out of life and write a job description that reflects that. Make that your goal. Search out people you can talk too. If you’re “shy” begin with the people you know. But get over the “shy” thing quickly. You have too much potential and too much value to offer this world to let “shy” get in your way. Conduct informational meetings – NOT INTERVIEWS with people at companies you are interested. Have an engaging conversation with them. Ask questions about the company, where it’s going, it’s challenges, the culture, etc. What do you want to know so you can make a determination if that is a company you want to spend time at. Afterwards, spend time reflecting on the conversation. What were the nuggets? What experiences do you want to gain, are they at this company? Will they be? I could go on and on, but that may be enough to get people started 🙂
Ed Chen BS 99’ Do lots of informational interviews to figure out what you really want to do. It’s easy to fall into a career path because it’s popular or it’s what your peers are doing, but is it really right for you? Do you really click with the people you’ve spoken with? Even within an industry, there’s far more diversity between firms than you’d expect. Figure that out before you commit and you’ll be much happier.