Thursday, February 23, 2012

Recruiting from an International Perspective

Hi everyone!

This week at TBE we are proud to bring you the 2nd installment in our “Day in the Life” video series. This week, we follow Cosme Salazar, a 2nd year student from Houston, TX who moved to Chicago with his wife and three children. Come join Cosme for a bike ride down Lakeshore Drive, a day at Harper Center, and an evening hanging out with fellow LEAD facils!

In today’s blog, we check back in with Nupur to get her reflections on recruiting, and in particular recruiting as an international student, especially now that she has landed her dream summer internship in Singapore!

Thanks for reading!


Hi Everyone,

Now that on–campus recruiting season has started to slow down, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the recruiting process as I experienced it, particularly with regard to international recruiting as that’s the path that I’ve pursued. I am happy to report that I’ll be headed back to Singapore to work at one of my top choice consulting firms. I thought it might be helpful to break down the process of landing a position abroad in the different phases that I experienced while at Booth: the pre-school season, fall quarter networking, interview season and (everyone’s favorite part) the offer process. =)

The pre- school season:

Living in Singapore, I was invited to pre-MBA networking events by firms in Singapore as soon as I registered my interest in consulting with Booth. The larger consulting firms who have offices globally are well networked in their recruiting efforts and make a concerted effort to reach out to future MBAs from a few key global business schools. This was my first engagement with my future employers, and was integral as it allowed me to meet the individuals that I subsequently reached out to once I arrived in Chicago. One of them even gave me a profile of my interviewers before I had my actual second round interviews.

Fall Quarter Networking:

During the fall quarter, international recruiting comprised of three parallel efforts. First, the mega consulting firms with scale and global presence typically brought representatives from various international offices to Chicago. It was really great to see so many firms make the special effort to send staff all the way out to Booth to get to know us better! In fact, all of the major firms I was interested in hosted Southeast Asia networking nights/dinners where I was able to meet more partners, principals and consultants to learn more about the firm’s global presence. For the smaller firms, I typically reached out to the Southeast Asia recruiters through their Chicago counterparts. Finally, During December break, the Asia Pacific student group organized a trek for students to meet recruiters in Singapore. While I did not go on the trek myself, a few of my classmates did and they found the interactions extremely useful.

Interview Season:

The application process for all consulting firms is the same and you specify your office choices on the application form. After that, the shortlisting of candidates for closed lists (by the office you applied for and the Booth recruiting teams) begins. International location recruiting for me and all my other classmates happened off-campus. Some of us had first rounds in Chicago at the firm offices, by partners and principals from the region/office we had applied to who had flown down for the recruitment process, while others had their first and second round interviews in Boston, New York, Mexico City etc depending on the office you applied to. I had my first round interviews in Boston, New York and Chicago. Almost all the firms gave their decision on the same day within a couple of hours and then second round interviews were held the same afternoon or next day. The second round decisions with offers were also made within the day.

Offer Process:

As soon as the firm makes you a verbal offer, expect congratulatory notes by the Booth recruiting teams and other people from the office you have applied to, especially alumni who want to both congratulate you and show you how you can make the most of the internship experience. I was floored by the number of people who were willing to help me and speak to me about their summer experiences at their firms. Sell weekends are an opportunity to get to know the firm better where representatives from the firm at various levels candidly share their experiences and the value that the firm has brought to their careers. They are usually at the office where you have been made an offer and it is the time you get to meet all the other candidates who will become part of your summer class. In my case the offeree weekend was held in San Francisco and was combined with the offerees from China and Australia.

I know that my friends who applied to offices in Latin America and Europe had similar experiences. In fact for quite a few of them, representatives from their office proactively reached out to them and helped with case prep sessions. The career services team also proactively seeks international internship opportunities and blogs about them. I know I kept a close watch for all Asian postings.

Now that I’ve accepted the offer, I’m very excited about the summer that lies ahead and am looking at making the most of what is left of my winter quarter at Booth. Post-recruiting season was kicked off with Winter Formal which was a masquerade ball this year and an absolute blast! I’m now looking forward to spring break and traveling with my classmates.

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