I write this from the study room on the ground level of Huntsman, amid the clicking of dozens of other keyboards. Multicolored umbrellas are bobbing past me outside, sheltering the students beneath them from the gentle late November drizzle. But precipitation isn't the only thing raining down upon us. Ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to introduce: RECRUITING.
My first couple of weeks here were so exciting, so intellectually stimulating, so fun. But as they were going by, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was forgetting something. And I was. Well, not "forgetting" so much as "blissfully unaware of". And here I am, several coffee chats, EISs, company receptions, and DOJs later. (I'll explain the acronyms in a moment.) (No, I'll explain them now: Employer Information Sessions and Days On the Job, which I'm trying, so far unsuccessfully, to encourage people to pronounce with a soft "J".)
When we checked in two entries (and almost three months!) ago, I was very vaguely stating my recruiting intentions ("Strategy...ish... in a small company... that
does... something...") and eating banana chips by the truckload. Why? Well, I was eating the banana chips because banana chips are delicious, but I was being vague because I was afraid. I didn't want to put my hopes on paper (or whatever material the internet is made of) and then have them not pan out. Well, too bad. Here goes:
I, Lindsay Anne Miller, am a marketingaholic.
And I'm not going to deny it any longer.
(Gentle late November drizzle has become significantly less gentle. Speed of umbrella-bobbing has increased dramatically.)
I feel bad even whining about recruiting since marketing is so much less abusive of a process than some of the others (read: investment banking). Recruiting for marketing is actually fantastic, because the people are nice and they give you all sorts of goodies at the info sessions. I highly recommend it. But I guess there's a difference between recruiting and RECRUITING. The former is just talking to people and learning about different companies, which is kind of fun. The latter is a dark cloud of stress and business casual that makes people sad. Everything takes on this hefty significance and sense of urgency, which seems ridiculous when you step back and realize that these things we're all fighting over (whether explicitly or implicitly) are jobs. You know, those things that we couldn't wait to quit and get away from for two years.
So, for a sense of timeline, the EISs have mostly wrapped up, at least for marketing. The majority of them spanned the 2 or 3 weeks before we left for Thanksgiving break, and coffee chats with people from the company typically took place earlier that day. Now I have a few more DOJs to attend, which is where you go to the office and see what they do and how they do it. Very helpful. The next huge thing to tackle? Cover letters. Actually, probably more like COVER LETTERS.
I know I just have to come to terms with it and do them, but it brings back all kinds of itchy memories of applying to business school, which is unfortunate because my main motivation at the time was the knowledge that "at least I'll never have to do this again!" I may also be particularly sensitive to this process because I've never... exactly... had to write a cover letter before. Potentially a disadvantage, since I suspect it's something you get better at with practice. Or... maybe everyone has within them some maximum amount of cover letter brilliance, and my tank is totally full! Sure. Let's say it's that one.
Okay, so a cover letter and a resume is the bulk of an application, most of which (again, at least for me) are due in early January. And what you're applying for is an interview, most of which take place during DIP (the Dedicated Interview Period), which is at the end of January. So fairly quick. The companies vary a bit-- some have one round of interviews, some more-- but my understanding is that you find out pretty soon afterward whether or not you've received an offer. At which point one either does some sort of jubilant dance or, I suppose, starts fresh. I've heard that between 40 and 50% of students' internships come out of DIP, but not everyone is going through it (either because their on-campus recruiting cycle occurs later in the year or because they're recruiting off-campus), so I guess that puts the odds in favor of jubilance (if, as I occasionally imagine, internships are assigned by random draws from a large hat).
Even though I know it doesn't exactly work that way, I really have been thinking of it as a 50/50 shot: I'll either get an offer or I won't. It's tempting to think of things more strategically-- how many people trying? for how many spots? at how many companies?-- but I find this kind of thinking unhelpful at best and destructive at worst. I'll keep you posted, but I'm feeling cautiously optimistic, and overall just very excited to see where my friends and I end up.
Next time I'll talk about my Q2 classes and (inspired by my DOJs) try to give you a sense of a day in the life of a Wharton MBA. If you have any specific questions, send 'em on over to email@example.com, I'd be happy to answer them (good practice for Welcome Committee!).
P.S. - I'm very proud to say that I'm also writing for Bloomberg Businessweek! I've dreamed of this day since I bravely portrayed Lois Lane in my kindergarten play.