In business school, you spend a large fraction of fall quarter recruiting, and even more time in winter interviewing with companies you hope to intern for. What doesn’t get discussed as much is what takes place after the offer, as the company (or several companies, if you’re lucky) attempt to entice you with a weekend getaway that will leave you with a favorable impression of the firm and your potential colleagues.
I still remember my first Sell Weekend as if it were yesterday. Because of Booth’s academic rigor in analytics and marketing, I was fortunate to receive an offer for the Walmart 2019 Summer Merchandising Internship.
Marketed as a cross-functional training program for future business leaders, Walmart’s ten-week merchandising internship gives students a taste in spearheading data-driven recommendations. During Sell Weekend, I visited Walmart’s Bentonville headquarters and even joined a fireside chat with its CEO Doug McMillon. And although I ultimately chose a different summer opportunity, the experience left me both inspired and humbled.
Fast forward to the beginning of my second-year, I chose to recruit for consulting and I later received an offer from Accenture Strategy. To my surprise, I was invited to attend the firm’s celebration weekend in New Orleans. I had yet to travel to the Big Easy. I imagined it would be the perfect getaway from the somewhat more frigid Chicago weather.
Upon my Friday arrival, my partner and I were whisked away to a Welcome Reception and Dinner. There we bonded with consultants and their partners, who I hope to see in the local New York office next year. On Saturday, I attended four panels highlighting the Accenture Strategy Consultant Development Program (ASCDP) and its rotational opportunities; career progression from a young mother’s perspective; due diligence in healthcare; and Accenture’s commitment to Smart Cities and sustainability.
During one of the breaks, us prospectives were encouraged to play a round of ‘Get to Know Each Other’ bingo. I had to find someone who was a veteran to check off one of the squares on the board. Because Chicago Booth encourages students to form study groups with those from various backgrounds, I felt less anxious when introducing myself to other members of the Accenture cohort to complete the icebreaker.
That evening, I participated in an umbrella parasol decorating contest. Each team had to elect one of its members to twirl the umbrella around, dance, and incite applause. We settled on a Swamp Queen theme, but lost to a break dancer. With our umbrellas in hand, we paraded throughout the French Quarter with a second line band. The last stop was a Celebration Dinner Reception with the most amazing Creole food outside of Popeye’s.
Sell Weekends are an amazing way to get to know a company and your future colleagues in a habitat that encourages a bit of informality. And if you come to a school like Booth, chances are, you will have several opportunities to attend such weekend-long events and have your tough questions answered. More importantly, you can gauge your fit with a company’s culture and make a well-rounded decision on how and where you choose to spend your time.