Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Navigating the Recruiting Maze

Hi everyone! This week we take a look inside Recruiting at Chicago Booth. In our Wednesdays in the Winter Garden video segment, we ask 2nd years and 1st years about how their experiences at Booth have helped shape their career ambitions, and how Booth’s community has helped in their career transitions. In this week’s blog, Nupur writes about learning to navigate the recruiting process as a 1st year.


You’ve heard it before: Your job hunt at business school starts before you even get there – my mentor mentioned this to me before I came to Booth – and having been in school for 10 weeks now, I can tell you how true this is from my own experience. As soon I accepted my Booth offer, I began receiving invites to pre-MBA networking sessions at firms in the industry I was hoping to break into post Booth. The value of the Booth brand was on display even before I arrived at Hyde Park! Having left a job at UBS that I quite enjoyed a little over 3 months prior, I did not expect the recruiting process to pick up so soon! The process itself is intense and particularly informative if you are exploring alternate career paths or switching careers. Booth however has a great support system and infrastructure in place to help navigate the process - from the impressive career services team to second years and alumni, all of whom are extremely eager to help you navigate the process. The strong reputation of Booth’s Career Services staff was a key factor in my decision to come here, and I’m pleased to report that the resources and training made available to me to date has far exceeded my expectations.

Formal Programming and Resources

Each week we have a designated 3 hour slot for career services programming. These sessions cover a wide variety of topics ranging from crafting resume bullets, to building your elevator pitch (refer to Chloe’s earlier blog on mocktails) and conducting informational interviews. Last week I had a session on drafting cover letters, and I’m finding it extremely useful to go through the various templates that were shared as I begin drafting my own! Additionally the career services team has a librarian dedicated to helping you conduct research on the firms you are recruiting for. She helped me reduce the number of hours I was spending researching firms significantly and I have class mates looking at starting new ventures who have gotten a lot of their consumer data quickly by just approaching her. This week I’m looking forward to the session on conducting informal and formal interviews.

Companies on Campus and Booth Alumni support

Every day as I walk into the Harper Center, I glance at the various TV screens that display the day’s on-campus events, and continue to be amazed by the number and diversity of companies that Booth attracts. In the last three months I must have attended over 50 corporate presentations, networking nights, lunch and learn, and breakfast and learn events (free Starbucks at 7am is awesome!). Most firms visit campus several times within one quarter, and this allows us to engage with senior Partners from a variety of different backgrounds. It really allows you to gain a holistic perspective of a firm: what type of work you might do, what type of people you might work with, and whereabouts in the country (or abroad!) you might like to work.

In addition to all the phenomenal on-campus networking opportunities that exist, several firms are eager to host Booth students at their company sites to really get an up-close look at specific opportunities. Last week I visited a firm headquartered outside Chicago where Booth alumni had organized a full day of events exclusively for current Booth students interested in interning at the firm. They brought in several senior executives to talk to us exclusively and, perhaps most telling, at the lunch event, 6 of us Booth first years had the opportunity to speak to over 15 Booth alumni who were more than happy to share their experiences with us and help us through the recruiting process.

Second year students

The alums are an integral part of the Booth community that eagerly provides support and assistance in your career search, and staying on that theme, so are second year students! Second years have been an amazing resource for me, not just in terms of learning about the firms that they spent their summer at, but also in terms of helping improve my profile and fit for the companies I am targeting. Sitting with a second year Career Advisor for just 30 minutes completely transformed my resume (just a side note, count on having about 20 different versions of your resume while you’re here!). The second years have also been extremely approachable and willing to be a source of advice not just for careers, but for life here in Chicago. In spite of their own hectic recruiting schedules, second years are always looking to help in whatever way they can. There is really a pay it forward mentality here, and I look forward to doing the same next year!!


The various industry clubs at Booth are yet another fantastic platform to meet more firms and get advice on recruiting. The co-chairs of these clubs are very well networked with the HR teams of most firms in their respective industries, and they help organize a multitude of events. Each club also organized a resume review session with their members, which was especially helpful. Last week I attended a session organized by one of the clubs on interview preparation and leveraging my resume during informational sessions with firms.

Resumes, cover letters, informational interviews, coffee chats, corporate conversations, case interviews, fit interviews, closed lists, recruiting events, lunch n learns, breakfast n learns, cocktails, mocktails… the list goes on; but with the resources at hand I feel confident that I will be well prepared to tackle interview season!


Below are pictures from a conference recently held by the Marketing Group, an example of one of many career-oriented events put on by students to connect with prominent industry leaders and alumni.

The conference was held at the University Club of Chicago

Pictured here: Panel on Innovation. Panelists included executives from American Express, PepsiCo, Groupon, and Campbell's. The panel was moderated by Professor Waverly Deutsch, of the Entrepreneurship department.

The evening concluded with a networking cocktail hour between students and representatives from sponsor companies.

Congratulations to the 2011-2012 Marketing Group Co-chairs on a successful event! Click here to learn more about the Marketing Group.

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