Thursday, September 23, 2010

One set of exams . . . and then another?

To summarize: Term I exams done (sweet). But the real test has been this week: Can I get a company to like me so much that I get an internship offer? It's very easy to forget at Darden that the main goal of this place is to help you find a career that fits well with who you are. Or as I like to put, I came to Darden to figure out what I want to be when i grow up (note: estimated date of growing up is somewhere in the 2020 to 2030 range right now). And that is where this Briefings Week comes into play. There are no classes, no cases, no Learning Team, just me, my peers and more than 30 companies. It's like Speed Dating except instead of likes & dislikes you are talking about "fit", "lifestyle" and "skill sets". It's kind of exciting to hear from people who are experts in their field and world class companies.

For example, in one day yesterday I went to presentations by Target, UPS, 3M and a couple of top consulting firms. And these weren't presentations by an HR rep and a few recent employees, these were senior level employees including, directors, partners, and vice presidents. It's amazing to me that these people would come all the way to Charlottesville because they are interested in hiring me. "Me" being any Darden student, trust me they are definitely not looking for me.

As cool as the presentations are, it’s important to remember they still are a test. These companies are looking to see that you not only have an interest, but also are willing to do detailed research and engage with them. That part is daunting and “pit diving” is definitely scarier than the first time I jumped off the diving board into my neighbor’s pool when I was a kid. “Pit Diving” by the way, essentially means talking to the recruiters/presenters have the briefing (I know, I need to do a blog dictionary, its coming soon). There are basically three ways it can go: good, bad, or the recruiter doesn’t even remember talking to you. For right now, I think I’m fine being that last one because I am still trying to figure what exactly I’m supposed to say and do.

So wish me luck as I leave to go dive into some murky waters. I’m pretty sure I did ok on my actual class exams, but I have no idea how I am doing on the most important one of all.

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