2020 has been filled with many adjustments for the business world. Uncertainty lurks around every corner. Opportunities for university recruiting are one of those uncertainties.
Traditionally, Full-Time MBA students spend their fall semester running from event to event in order to keep up with a demanding recruiting schedule. In the virtual environment of this fall semester, the feeling of the recruiting season has shifted from drinking out of a firehose to sipping from a trickling stream.
The Russell Palmer Career Management Center has witnessed this shift. Marla McGraw, director of career management at Broad, shared that “right now, some employers are finding it more difficult to know how many full-time hires or interns they’ll bring on board as conditions continue to change. Many are hopeful that they’ll have more open roles in the spring as there will likely be more reasons to be optimistic (vaccines, etc.).”
Even with this uncertainty, our students have risen to the challenge and have begun to strategize and adjust to this new recruiting environment. Students have to consider additional factors before sitting down at the “interview table,” in addition to the usual interview concerns. Interviewees have been advised to check their technology prior to speaking with recruiters, to appear “camera ready” and to look into the camera rather than at the interviewer when speaking.
An additional element to the complexity of COVID-19 virtual recruiting is the orchestration of typical career fairs. The Reaching Out LGBTQ+ MBA (ROMBA) and National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) career fairs, among others, have had to adjust to increased numbers and virtual booths.
As a second-year student, Katherine Klein ’21 has attended both the virtual and in-person ROMBA career development convention. “While none of the virtual career fairs provided the exact same experience as in-person, the ROMBA career fair still provided genuine connections through the computer screen and still led to a variety of career opportunities,” she said.
Klein, like many Full-Time MBA students and corporations, has taken the virtual changes in stride.
While this year has been anything but normal, the abundance of alumni support has been incredible. The Palmer Center has gone above and beyond to host webinars and panels filled with alumni wanting to help support students during this challenging time. One positive effect is that, because virtual travel time is so efficient, students have had the opportunity to sit, listen and ask questions of alumni such as Abhinav Iyer (MBA ’19) and Pete Godbole (MBA ’90) in a variety of forums.