Archive for November, 2010

NSHMBA Update

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Many of you who could not be with us in Chicago for the National Society of Hispanic MBA career fair were, in fact, represented there. I made a very conscientious effort to print copies of your resumes from Freeman Link (those of you who had approved resumes in Freeman Link) and distribute them to at least your top 3 companies of interest during the career fair.

It proved quite a daunting task! Your response was great and the logistics of the project were, therefore, complex. But we made it happen. And, it proved to be an interesting lead-in to conversations with recruiters. “Silly me, I volunteered to bring resumes from candidates who could not come to NSHMBA… and would you just look at all these resumes!” The sympathy factor was an effective icebreaker.

This effort was a learning experience for me and beneficial in growing my network and my arsenal of up-to-date, real-world recruiter feedback.

Please note: If there is any feedback or information specifically for you based on our outreach efforts at NSHMBA, you will receive or have received correspondence via phone or e-mail directly from Donn, me or someone else from the CMC. If you don’t hear from us, you can rest assured your resumes were delivered, but no specific interest, feedback or next steps resulted.

We prepared and delivered more than 50 custom resume packets containing Freeman MBA resumes to companies you identified. The following are some of the general pointers and pearls of wisdom we garnered:

- Apply Online

“Did they apply online?” was the number 1 question I was asked when approaching recruiters at the fair about Freeman candidates. No one wants to hear it, but the truth is, nearly every single company we spoke with is handling most of their human resource functions through the careers page on their Web sites and these are the absolute, can’t-skip-it, must-do-it, portal by which to access job opportunities at the company, end of story. This fact does not mitigate the importance of research and building your network within the company to help push you through the process. But it is often an essential first step in the process.  Sometimes, companies offer unpublished web addresses during these conferences that link to a private (not found through search engines or they homepage) page geared toward the conference attendees and the jobs they are looking to fill at these career fairs. In those cases, we’ll publish the link on Freeman Link so you can access it. Otherwise, one of your first steps in any search will be the career page of your target companies’ Web sites. Many recruiters reassured me that these sites are no the vast wasteland of resumes they used to be. Although not all companies take the time to follow up with any type of notice or response to all applicants, most companies DO review EVERY online application and either accept or dismiss it based on their unique list of must-have qualifications and resume specifications… Said specifications are typically right in line with what your Freeman CMC counselor is telling you!

Also, note that in very rare cases, some of our recruiting contacts do not want you to apply online because that takes you out of their internal referral process and puts you into their every-man-for-himself recruiting process. In those cases we will always notify you in the job posting in Freeman Link!

- Use NSHMBA’s online career center

The organization’s Web site provides an online career center where you can view open jobs at the exhibiting  companies and apply for those jobs. I would venture to say it is foolishness not to do so as part of your standard operating procedure well in advance of the career fair (one month or more). These are the jobs the companies are there to fill. Apply for them! Foolishness not to. You can still get a lot out of a trip to these career fairs, but being able to start a conversation with the recruiters with “I am interested for ____ position and I applied for it online about a month ago” is the best way to start the conversation.

- Apply early

Just to reiterate a previous point with a little more emphasis, our beloved alumnae Teresa Davies from P&G said they begin looking at resumes weeks in advance of the career fair. So if you have applied online weeks before the career fair (4 weeks or more), then your resume is one of those that is being reviewed and you stand that much better chance of getting an interview during the fair if they like your application.

- For our International students

You are already well aware of the additional challenges you face in your search as international candidates. Companies are ever more reluctant to sponsor internationals because of the financial and time investments. Financial institutions who accepted TARP money from the government are forbidden from hiring internationals unless they can meticulously document that there was not an equally well-suited candidate who is American. A short list of companies are publicly reporting to be hiring internationals and sponsoring H1B’s. Our quest to find more of them continues. Some companies I spoke with at NSHMBA who said they do hire internationals were: Bank of America, P&G (some divisions), Dell (some divisions, but not Finance), Microsoft (some divisions), American Airlines, Monsanto, Marsh & McLennan, Laureate Education, Colgate-Palmolive.


Where’s Kara?

Monday, November 8th, 2010

My eager readers are probably asking themselves that very question. Sorry for the short absence. I temporarily fell out of the blogosphere after several consecutive days on the road, but don’t worry… Kara is back!

Back from NSHMBA in Chicago, where I garnered a great deal of valuable information for our MBAs. Back from some exciting companies right here in Louisiana (e.g. Iberia Bank in Lafayette and JP Morgan Private Wealth Management in Baton Rouge) who are looking for BSMs and MFINs. Back from a growing public accounting firm in Baton Rouge that wants busy season MACCNT interns. And back from a few interesting meetings in Charlotte and Atlanta with the likes of Duke Energy, Wells Fargo, Coca Cola and Georgia Commerce Bank.

The resounding message from the road remains that there are ample recruiting opportunities for undergraduate candidates. Companies are hiring MBAs, but it’s tough out there and you really have to work it and do a significant amount of networking if you are to distinguish yourself from the competition.

It has been a whirlwind! But this week I’ll be hunkered down closer to the home front and catching you up on what you missed at NSHMBA and my other recent visits. Tune in!



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