The Wake-Up Call From The National Black MBA Conference 2009

So our first week of classes ended last Thursday, and I was hoping to get a break to relax after a very grueling 2 days of classes. Instead, I immediately hoped on a plane with 10 other first year students to fly to New Orleans for the 31st annual National Black MBA Conference. The National Black MBA Conference has a multifaceted mission, which you can discover from their website, but my main mission was to start networking and try to find a internship for this summer. The most surprising thing I learned, was that, wow! finding an internship was going to be a little harder than I thought! The conference really put into perspective how competitive the MBA job space was. Although there were more than 400 corporate sponsors and recruiters, over the course of the conference, about 5,000 MBAs were rambling through the career fair (you can find other conference statistics here). Especially when you got to very desirable companies like Disney, Microsoft and Ogilvy, the lines to wait to talk to a recruiter could stretch beyond a half hour. And when you did get to talk to a recruiter there was a varied mix of responses ranging fromĀ  people who were very interested in your career goals, people who wanted to just run through your resume, people who wanted to just direct you to their company’s career website and people who were actually doing on the spot first-round interviews. I felt mostly though that the Conference’s career fair was quite a wake-up call/ reality check that just handing out your resume is not enough, especially when it is sitting on a mixed off-white, cream, eggshell white pile of 500 other resumes. The rest of the conference besides the career fair was fun too, and New Orleans was a very fun city, with lots to see and do, all in all a very worth while experience, although running on 4 hours of sleep 4 days in a row is very hard! Can’t wait for next year’s NBMBAA Conference in Los Angeles!



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