Monday, January 12, 2009

Career Services at the GSB (aka Booth)

Gradually trying to retrain myself to say Booth. It's slow going.

Today I had a one-on-one meeting with one of our career librarians and thought I might pen a few thoughts on the subject of career services. From bits and pieces that I hear, it seems that the school gets high marks in rankings and such for career services. I have absolutely no reference for comparison but I have been very satisfied with career services here.

How career services is organized

You can thinking of career services in terms of 3 primary branches:
  1. Career advisers - 2nd year students who have gone through a selection and training process at the end of their first year and represent various career tracks. First starting place for first years who are trying to sort out their options, get resume feedback, mock interviews, etc. Each advisor holds office hours during the week and you just schedule a time to meet with them.
  2. Career coaches - professionals hired by the school to help with any and all aspects of the job search process: resume reviews, life path dilemmas, negotiating salary, search strategy. Some students have expressed dissatisfaction with coaching meetings but I feel that successful coaching is very illusive. It's just not that easy to help someone figure out how to achieve their life passion. Best used for more practical issues, I think.
  3. Career resource center (our library) - staffed by two of the nicest, most helpful women at the GSB who maintain books, periodicals and electronic databases to help you prepare for interviews, research career paths, craft target lists, what have you.

Career Services Activities

  1. First Year: fall quarter has regular weekly sessions to get students familiar with the resources available to them, build a resume, think about interests/passions/career paths, etc. (Student groups do lots of career prep events too.) Winter quarter kicks off with a major Saturday event with mock interviews to get you ready for interviews. A lot of focus is on on-campus recruiting for the remainder of the quarter. By spring the focus has switched towards off campus recruiting, either for folks unlucky in the on campus process or those who did not participate in on-campus at all. Monthly newsletter all the while keeps us updated on the environment and happenings and dispenses tips. Career services also manages all the recruiting events, day or evening.
  2. Second year: resume prep starts up in the summer during the internship and recruiting starts up right away in the fall quarter. Career service folk traipse around the world over the summer meeting with interns and getting a sense of how things are going for students. Since the 2nd years know what they're doing (logistically, if not career wise ;) there isn't much in the way of scheduled programming but there is lots of regular communication about the current environment and what career services is hearing from recruiters. Activity dies down in the winter quarter (in time for the first-years to keep the interview rooms buzzing) and will pick up again in the spring with more last minute hirers.
  3. Post graduation - I don't know a lot about this but support continues after graduation as well. Certainly, one can access the coaches over the summer (I imagine) but I think there may be some support for even older grads as well. Even if just in the form of the occasional workshop or something. (I don't know that you can just call them up for a phone consult.) Career services was very proud of quickly triaging the Lehman folk this fall and getting them all new jobs within a matter of months. (Lehman was a huge recruiter on campus. R.I.P. Lehman) There also, of course, is the alumnae magazine and community directory and various networking events and such that can help folks with ongoing career management.


Fourforme said...

I am just excited to find another blogger with children and aspirations that listens to Amy Winehouse and Nina Simone. I was so shocked and proud that I had to post. Cheers to you for your ultra busy life and for being a mom.

Deadhedge said...

I'm impressed to hear that you've been happy with career services. Wharton really had to revamp their career services when I was there 5 years ago. They brought in more industry experts who could really evaluate the content and less standard resume proof readers.

I had one career coach, review my cover letter and tell me that I needed to mention my career goals. When I pointed to my career goals in the last paragraph she told me that she couldn't see it since she wasn't wearing her glasses. Needless to say, I ended our session quickly.

MaybeMBA said...

Thanks, Fourforme! :)

Deadhedge - yikes! Yeah, I don't know if I'm just not being critical enough about career services or they really are doing an especially good job. Your comments actually made me think of a second post that I'd like to pen on this issue ...