Getting my Career in Gear

     

Despite my best intentions, it has been incredibly easy in my first 3 months here to focus on classes and clubs, putting off "the career stuff" for another time. Recently, though, our Career Services Office (CSO) hosted a two day conference that forced me to stop and think about my career plans. Because it was held during the week between Fall A and Fall B, I was able to participate in this conference without the pressure of classes and without sacrificing a much-deserved weekend off from class work. It was a much-needed 48 hours of clarifying my goals and working on my marketability without any distractions or excuses!

 
There were workshops, resume advice sessions, keynotes...but far and away the most valuable aspect of the conference for me were mock interviews. I was paired with two other first years interested in technology, and a second year career coach who had interned at Facebook over the summer. The real-time feedback this session provided was tremendously helpful in calibrating my perceived strengths and uncovering the areas I still need to work on. For example, I thought I had bombed a few behavioral questions, only to find out that my interviewer and peers thought I did really well. Meanwhile, I thought I nailed the mini-marketing case study, only to receive a lot of constructive feedback about how I might better approach this kind of question. I walked out of there more confident in my interviewing skills and with a clear idea of where to focus my energy in future interview prep.
 
Career planning isn't nearly as exciting as many of the other activities that have occupied my time at Haas, but it's arguably the most important. I think it's easy to under-estimate the value of the career resources available through school, and I know that I didn't emphasize that in my b-school search. Fortunately, I lucked out. CSO has not only helped me plan and provided relevant feedback, but they're also supporting my progression, so that I don't wake up in January--or April--feeling overwhelmed about tackling the "career stuff."

—Eve A.

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