Business school can generally be broken down into three main components; studying, socializing, and soliciting (a job). While the first two are fairly straightforward in aims and objectives, that third prong can often be the cause of the greatest variance and corresponding stress levels.
There is no good way to avoid that reality. Finding meaningful full-time employment following a large investment in getting an MBA can be a daunting task, and one that doesn’t always have a clear solution or light at the end of the tunnel.
You may be overwhelmed with the number of avenues and companies available to you. A goal may feel unattainable because a lack of previous experience or a competitive landscape. Or your own preferences may shift after being introduced to new material.
I’m not here to tell you it’ll all be ok (it will without a doubt). I also don’t have specific methods to reducing that stress. But I’m here to point out the really great aspects of recruiting, and why a lot of that perceived trial and tribulation is a result of premium opportunity.
Chicago Booth is, by any measure, one of the best schools in the world to receive an MBA. And like many top programs, it has a competitive admissions process resulting in a really skilled and intelligent student body (plus me, for whatever reason).
There are a multitude of benefits to having that type of top tier landscape but as it relates to this topic, the quality of employers that also want your talent is incredible. I remember progressing through recruiting in my first year and feeling amazed at the names I saw holding events.
These companies covered nearly every industry imaginable, from the traditional consulting and banking routes to the more specialized venture capital and impact investing options. The best part, I learned, was that they were really eager to hire Booth students!
It certainly gives you a sense of confidence to know when you walk into a room that you have the backing of a school with numerous resources and a deep alumni base. The people before us have proven that graduates of Booth’s program do great work thereafter.
Having the opportunity to be in that interview room itself is why the MBA made sense to me. I knew there’d be opportunities that would slip away from me. And there would be others that I felt great about that may not have converted. But what I realized throughout the process is that there were more recruiters than I could remember who gave me a shot. Why? Largely because I went to Booth.
Lastly, the joys of recruiting lie with your very own classmates. It creates a bond between us that cannot easily be replicated. As much anxiety as you feel you’re dealing with, just remember that there are several others who are on the same path. In fact, many of those people will be the ones helping you get into shape for your own interviews.
Recruiting may not appear to be fun on the front. But as a member of the Booth community, you will be part of an elite category of candidates. You have proven yourself before you even step into an interview room. So be confident, be comprehensive, and be commendable. And always keep in mind that you’re never on your own to try and figure it all out!