Getting my First Job Offers

The past two months have been a little hectic for me, as I threw myself headfirst into the recruiting process. However, now after what feels like a million interviews, I can happily say I have a job lined up for after my graduation from the Specialized Master in Finance program. Today, I thought I would share what the recruiting process looked like for me and give you some tips that I picked up along the way.

For me, the recruiting process started at the Fall Fisher Career in September. With over 100 employers there, my first step was to read over the list of companies and positions they were offering and shortlist a couple that I knew I wanted to talk to. I ended up having about 8 companies that I really wanted to talk to, so I did a little research on each one, so that way I knew what I wanted to talk to the recruiters about. On the day of the fair, I grabbed my padfolio and some copies of my resume and made a beeline straight for the booths I had planned. At each one I engaged with the recruiter, being sure to ask meaningful questions that demonstrated my interest in the company.

Immediately after the fair, 2 of the companies I had spoken to already wanted to set up on campus interviews in the next couple of days. Out of the 6 remaining, I decided I was not interested in further pursuing any opportunities with 3 of them, and the other 3 I went ahead and submitted an online application. By making a good impression at the career fair, I was able to get a first round interview with all 3 of the companies that I submitted online applications for. In total, I completed 5 first round interviews over the span of about a month. The main focus of most of these interviews was behavioral questions and they tended to be in the 30 minutes to a 1-hour long range.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the final round for all 5 of the companies with which I had completed a first round interview. What enabled me to have so much success in the first round was the STAR interview method, which helped me to ace any behavioral question, as I could effectively apply my own experiences to the questions being asked. If you are unfamiliar with the STAR method, I recommend you learn more about it.

Of the 5 final round invites I received, I only ended up accepting 4, as I did not feel one of the positions I was interviewing for would be the best possible fit for me. Out of the 4 that I did accept, 2 took place in person and 2 took place online. The two that took place online, both were about six hours long and consisted of a mix of behavioral interviews, case studies, information sessions, and group activities. One of the in-person ones was 3-day event in Pittsburgh, so I drove down there and got the chance to see their facilities and interact with senior leadership, on top of the traditional behavioral interviews, case studies, information sessions, and group activities. The other in person interview took place in Chicago, so I drove there right after I left Pittsburgh, however this one only spanned 2 days. Looking back, I think the in-person final rounds were an awesome experience, as they allowed me to get to know the company far better than I could through Zoom.

In the end, I ended up getting employment offers from 3 out of the 4 companies I did a final round interview with. I think a lot of my success in these final round interviews can be attributed to preparedness. Not only was I ready for any behavioral question with the STAR method, but I had also practiced articulating my thoughts relating to technical and case questions. Also, I had an arsenal of questions ready to ask after I wrapped up each interview.

With 3 offers on the table, it was now decision time for me. I weighed out the pros and cons of each offer, looking at things like compensation, benefits, growth opportunities, company culture, and location. In the end, I decided to accept an offer to join Navistar’s Finance and Accounting Leadership Development Program, starting in June 2022. I feel like it will be a great fit for me, and I am looking forward to getting started after graduation.

While this is just my experience with the recruiting process, I hope you were able to get something out of it that will help you when you are in my shoes. My last piece of advice is pretty simple: don’t give up. The recruiting process is exhausting, strenuous, and sometimes even demoralizing; however, if you keep powering through you will get the results you are looking for eventually.