With recruiting season in full swing, most of us second-year MLHR folks are considering our job offers and whether or not we want to keep interviewing with other companies in the hopes of getting a better offer. As I think about my own options I wonder- how do you determine whether your decision will be personal or business?
Recap of my summer: I sought out Alcoa Aluminum Inc. at the 2009 Fall Career Fair and persuaded them to hire a graduate level intern instead of the undergraduate level intern position that they were recruiting for. Lesson: if you really want to work for a company, seek them out whether or not they’re looking for someone like you. I spent my summer doing a corporate human resources internship in Cleveland, where one of Alcoa’s business units is headquartered. The experience gave me unique exposure to Alcoa’s business leaders and most of my projects were assigned by the Senior VP of Human Resources. I was certainly a bit nervous to be working on corporate initiatives and special-interest projects, but the experience helped me to become more confident in myself and my ideas. Last year there were some companies that told me I wasn’t experienced enough to intern with them, but Alcoa believed in me and offered me an internship and recently offered me a full-time position!
As I ponder my full-time employment options, I realize that my decision is going to be less about “business” and more about the personal side of things. My advice to all prospective students and first-year MLHR students for this week: Spend some time thinking about how you balance the personal/business sides of your decisions. Sometimes your best decisions will be the result of calculating the level of risk, making pros/cons lists, and doing what makes the most sense on paper. Other times your best decisions will be the result of thinking at a very personal level, considering what’s at stake and what’s personally pleasing to you. As you consider graduate schools, summer internships, and eventually full-time job offers, ask yourself- “is this personal, or business, or both?”