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Consulting Job Search: Maurice Solomon

So, even before i came to SI, I knew i wanted to get a job in consulting... i had turned down industry jobs to leave for a summer internship in DC, a year in japan and grad school... now, my second time through the recruiting process, I was filled with trepidation. Recruiting here at UM is very standardized, and its a process, which I really only locked down by the end of it. Consulting recruiting started as soon as the winter semester go tinto swing, with invitations coming from firms to attend their dinners and the like. These came because i had attended their events in the past, stayed to talk with people, applied to their summer internships last year, had made contacts at firms, etc.

The resume drops are very standard: you can't get into iMpacts drop function, so you need to watch the calendar like a hwak, and email the recruiter directly. "Hello, My name is Maurice Solomon, and im an information economics student here at the Unveristy. My degree is like an MBA, focused on strategy and competitive dynamics surrounding information..." Standing in front of the mirror, practicing that over and over. Keeping a "recruiting" folder full of killer interview questions to read on the bus every morning. Meeting friends for mock interviews in the library and at coffee shops. An MBA friend helped me, meeting with me everyweek to strategize about which firms to target. Career services saw 7 drafts of my resume. You think thats too much... overkill... until you realize that *everyone* is doing it, and youre just keeping up.

You go to fancy dinners, you go to fancy flyouts, you pull stupid shit like forgeting important names, sending emails to the wrong recruiter. You are mostly alone during the process: in the interview room, waking up in high-rise hotel rooms just before all day interviews, sitting and deliberating offers, blank stare over a steaming cup of coffee. Your friends back you up, mock interviews, sending you up to the minute info, offering to rush you home from the airport when two interviews stack onto the same day.

My advice for SI students fighting for MBA jobs:

* The "you need to have at least two years industry experience to qualify for an MBA interview, if not youll be at the same level as the BBAs" line is true, but sometimes it isnt. This will be my first real job, but my "two years experience" was explaining dynamic capabilities to the head of IBM strategy for 10 minutes. Just those 10 minutes justified my entire two years at grad school intellectually and financially. (note: SI doesn't teach dynamic capabilities, or RBV, or any strategy framework - future consultants should take Afuah's strategy core class and Ethiraj's Tech Strategy course at the bschool)

* Sign up to iMpact, TODAY. The other "best decision" i made all recruiting season.

* Don't apply to everything. Strategize, get a short list, dont back down from your top firms. Its tons more fun with a friend to talk over things with, who can get your back at recruiting events.

* Have fun. When i was deep in the recruiting process, it took some effort to pull my head up and look at the bigger picture. I spent 20+ hours a week on recruiting over Nov. If your not having fun doing while doing it.....

Posted by solomonm at April 14, 2006 03:24 PM

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