Locking Down an Interview Before the Career Fair

With the Career Fair quickly approaching, Career Fair Pro, Luis, provides alternative tips to meeting with recruiters prior to the “big event.” 

Career Fairs can sometimes be scary; the long lines, recruiters and a professional suit that just doesn’t feel right on you. A room full of students looking for the exact same opportunities that you are. It is not a walk in the park. However, finding a job does not need to be as hard as this, especially if you are interested in working at a Fortune 100, Bank or Big 4. Would you believe me if I told you that you could have an interview locked down even before the career fair comes? Well it is possible.

The Background

While Ohio State is one of the biggest undergraduate business schools in the nation, it is constantly placing high in rankings. This combination is ideal for companies looking to recruit in the Ohio area, as these can find both high quality and vast amounts of quantity of good potential new hires. It is not a surprise then that a survey conducted by Bloomberg shows Fisher as the 7th most preferred school for recruiters in the nation. For these exact same reasons, recruiters cannot afford to limit their recruiting efforts to the career fair. They are aware that only one day a semester is not enough to find their new recruits. Because of this, companies compile a list of students that they will be sending interview invitations even before the career fair day comes. The career fair thus becomes just another opportunity for companies to interact with students, but it is not THE opportunity.

How it Works

These companies spend extensive resources into getting to know students outside career fairs; student organizations, case competitions, company workshops, and Fisher’s special programs, such as Industry Clusters, Emergent Consultants, and Fisher Futures, are just a few examples of events where companies try to reach out to students. In fact, as President of the Hispanic Business Student Association, I am constantly meeting with recruiters that are interested in attending our meetings so that they can interact with students. One of our members, for example, met JPMorgan Chase during one of our spring meetings and was later invited to a networking session in their Polaris Office.

Make it to the List

Making it to the list is not any easier than it would be at the career fair. You will still need a competitive GPA, some level of leadership experiences, and a professional attitude. However, you will not feel the same pressure as you would at the career fair, as far less students attend this networking/student organization events and you have plenty of time to share your story. If you attend more than one event where a given company is present, eventually they will start to recognize you, and by the time you see them at the career fair, you will be greeted personally.

Visit FisherU and read This Week in Schoenbaum to make sure you know when companies come around!

End of Internship Recap

Hey guys,

So the internship went horribly. What a lousy waste of time, can’t believe I ever signed up for that awful experience. I learned nothing, didn’t experience any real corporate culture, and came out so much worse for wear than I came in. If I were trying to tell you the exact opposite of my experience, those would be my words to describe my summer internship 🙂

Fidelity was a great company to work for, and the tech program gave great insight into what being a tech professional is like. My internship wasn’t the coding type of tech- to be honest, the best way I could describe it is that the tech field is exactly like the business field, you need the same skills to deal with people and solve problems. The only difference is that the subject matter and critical items you are dealing with are a lot different. So even if I wasn’t always completely comfortable in a back office role, this internship gave me great exposure to what a systems analyst role is like, and that was extremely interesting because I still felt like I learned so many general skills that can be applicable in more than just a tech role.

If I were to give one crucial piece of advice that became radiantly clear over the internship, and what I feel can bring you farthest in your career, it is this- ask questions. Don’t just ask if you can go to the bathroom (you usually can), or if you can take a break for lunch (decide that one yourself)  but any time a question that might influence how your final deliverable will come out, that question needs to be verbalized so that it becomes actionable. My partner almost never asked questions, he always let our boss do the talking when they had their weekly meetings. This inability to clear up important issues is why his final document came out with the word “DRAFT” bolded on the front page, and mine did not. Why do I think this was? Because where he was complacent and shy in his meetings, I was basically peppering our boss with more questions than she could handle. Sure, some didn’t make me look too bright, but that’s a normal part of the process and your boss always knows more than you and always will be willing to help you understand what you need to make your project click.

The eagerness to ask questions is just one component of the many dimensions I learned about for me as a person and a professional during my first internship. I really can’t say how much more ready it made me for the work force when I graduate in 2017 (gulp) but I would strongly recommend you put everything you can into finding an internship because the work will pay dividends. Unfortunately I won’t go into crazy detail in this blog post, but I offer up my email (kononenko.3@osu.edu) if anyone wants to meet and discuss. I know a candid conversation with internshipees helped me along my interview process, and I am more than happy if you want to reach out.

Best of Luck,

Trevor

HR Interview & Resume Tips

Hi Everyone! I wrote this post about 2 weeks ago but wasn’t able to post it. Hopefully this will work now! Last week HR had a Resume & Interview Workshop where all of the interns got to ask about any questions we had. So below I’ve listed 10 things HR mentioned that I think are very important, hope you think the same!

1. Cover letters: Only submit a cover letter for two reasons. 1) The employer specifically asks for one. Most of the time they have at least 200 applications for one position. They barely have enough time to skim your resume, yet alone read a whole cover letter. 2) You have to explain something they might not understand about you from your resume. For example, if you are moving to a new state because of your family, they can better understand why you are applying to that location.
2. Company Culture: Ask and be observant about the company culture while interviewing. If each person you interview from one company describes the culture in a drastically different way, it is probably not a good sign. Find a place to work that you would fit in and enjoy! Make sure to look at their social media to get an insight of the atmosphere!

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3. Career Fairs: When approaching a company at a career fair, make sure that you have done your research. Come prepared with questions and know what you are looking for in an internship. Obviously you want a job, but be specific and confident!

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4. Free stuff: When at a career fair and a recruiter offers you some free swag, always take it and say thank you! The recruiters don’t personally pay for the swag and they brought it there for you. Be excited and grateful. Also, don’t throw the gifts away in the trash at the fair. People from HR are everywhere and will remember if they see you trashing everything you just took!

5. Resume: First off, you probably don’t need an objective statement. Your objective is to get the job you’re applying for. An objective statement is probably just taking up space where you could write more about your experience.
6. Tailoring: If have a lot of experience make sure to tailor your resume. For example, if you are applying for an internship at DSW make sure to include your experience as a sales associate in a store. If you are applying to a bank, add some extra bullets under your VP Finance position for your student org. But always remember if you are applying to many companies at once, don’t write the wrong company name! No one at Deloitte wants to hire someone who writes in their email how much they would love to work at PWC. Always proof read!
7. Salary: Looking for a full time job and want to ask for a higher starting salary? HR at DSW said this isn’t rude, it actually shows how much you want to make this position work. Instead of accepting an okay job with a good offer, you want their job and are finding a way to get it. Just make sure to be respectful, they still have the right to say no. I suggest looking at Fisher Career Data Central, so you can bring in documentation of what other Fisher students of your major are earning after graduation. This is great to show how you have done your research!

8. Be transparent: If you have other offers, don’t lie to your potential employer. They appreciate transparency and might even expedite an offer if they think you might go to another company!
9. LinkedIn: HR told us that they look at 80-90% of candidates LinkedIn profiles. What does that mean for you? Make sure your profile is always updated! A great thing about LinkedIn is that you can go into much greater detail than you would normally do on a 1-page resume.
10. Reach out: Curious about a position? Connect with someone in Recruiting at the company you are interested in. HR at DSW said they get requests and messages all of the time on LinkedIn and many times even set up exploratory conversations with potential new hires.

*Fun Fact: DSW has the BEST food! Their cafeteria is amazing and has tons of options for breakfast and lunch everyday. It has great prices and some of the best melty chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had!

**Tip of the day: Write what you do! You don’t have to start a blog or anything, just make a bulleted list in your phone of any tasks or projects you complete. This will come in handy when you update your resume and LinkedIn profile!

***Embarrassing moment: I have a confession to make…I have an irrational fear of birds. Their beady little eyes and ability to fly out of nowhere is terrifying. Anyway, I arrived at the parking lot at DSW the other day and saw a bird on the car across from mine. Getting ready to run inside away from the bird, it then flew onto my driver’s side mirror and stared at me for 5 straight minutes. The bird refused to move even after me blasting my music and honking my horn. Yes, I realize I sound slightly crazy, but it was staring into my soul!

So I backed out of my spot and it flew onto the hood of my car. I then proceeded to drive around the parking lot and it stayed on my hood like I was its ride! I was going to be late, so I parked, crawled through my car and went out the passenger’s side door. My day started with me defeated by a bird and praying no one saw what just happened.

Also, that bird has since come back to my car 5 times this summer! I’m not joking. I think I need a restraining order.

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Internship Reflection & Advice

Next week I will finish my work here, after which I will be back to Ohio State to finish my curriculum and dedicate the rest of my time there to the Ambassador program, DSP, the Finance department as a tutor and my chapter of ALPFA HBSA. I will be coming back with an offer from PwC, to work in the banking and capital markets industry of the auditing service line. My networking efforts culminated today with an interview with the Private Equity Valuation group of the firm, which I was able to obtain because of referrals from a mentor of mine and my CFA exam successful results. I am leaving New York knowing that the growth opportunities within this city, within this PwC office itself, are very extensive. I am leaving knowing that I am a lucky person, since not only do I enjoy what I study, but I also was able to find a job in the emblematic city of NY with it.
Looking back at this internship, I can tell you that auditing is more about business processes, regulation, and corporate governance than it is about accounting. At least that is the way it is in Manhattan. It is necessary to know accounting, as the audit goal is to trace the source of every financial statement item line in a 10-k to its point of origin (at a very high level). But I can also tell you that there is not as much math or market awareness as I would like there to be in my career going forward. Regardless, because of the continuous growth in regulation from part of the SEC, FINRA, FED, and other agencies, the regulatory and financial background acquired in this position are highly searched for in the banking and corporate world. Getting into a big 4 in NYC is also easier than landing a front office role at a financial institution, and you learn more than you would at back office. I plan to accept my offer, keep learning throughout my academic career, and start studying for the CFA level 2 now.

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Now I want to leave a piece of advice. If you want something, go and get it. There is no such thing as something being “hard”, every objective has a price, and is up to you to the math and see if you are willing to pay that price. It may mean long hours of study, trips to other cities to network with employees from companies you are interested, or simply maintaining a 4.0 GPA to just be considered for the same position that someone from a private school may be with a 3.5. Whatever it is, if you really want it, then just go for it. If it seems hard and you want to quit, then there is a good chance that that is not what you really want to do with your life, which would signal that you need to go back to the white board.

Buckeye Network

I wanted to use this blog to talk about how much being an Ohio State student has helped me during my internship. To begin with, I have encountered six different OSU graduates while in NYC. Within my daily work I see two OSU faces all the time. One of the two managers in my engagement team graduated from Fisher’s masters in accounting program in 2008, while the controller of the banking holding company that functions as US representative of the bank graduated from Fisher in 2002. This point in common has helped me start conversations with the client (to better understand his relationship with the Fed) and to find a supportive member in the audit group through my manager. While in NYC, I have also seen some familiar faces in the streets, two Fisher rising seniors and one just graduated alumni, who happened to be in the city for training. I have also gone out on weekends with many OSU friends, DSP brothers and other friends from school.

I had the opportunity to meet with experienced Buckeye coworkers here at PwC. I first met Jordan Payne, OSU graduate from 2009. Jordan works for the PwC Consumer Banking advisory group in Columbus, and came to NY to meet with a client. He is also a brother of mine from Delta Sigma Pi. Jordan and I spent an hour or so catching up. I also had the opportunity to meet Jim and Carl, 2014 and 2013 graduates from Ohio State’s Fisher Futures program. They now both work in the valuations arm of PwC, and helped me further understand where I can take my career here with PwC.

Finally, as an Ohio State student I am often thought of as a good intern by default. Everyone is familiar with the buckeyes and I often get jokingly corrected when I say that I am from Ohio State with someone in the group saying “THE Ohio State”. Being a Buckeye has been far more helpful than I originally expected. The network is real.