Where Top CEOs Went to Business School


Using Networking Events to Increase Your Chances of Getting a Consulting Job

Most children grow up dreaming of becoming quarterbacks, astronauts, or rock stars. By the time business school rolls around, visions of fat signing bonuses and touring the globe keep the MBA set warm at night. Sure, a consultant’s nomadic lifestyle might dissuade some. But the high expectations held by consulting firms are often the real barrier to entry. The McKinseys and Deloittes can usually pick from the best-of-the-best. If you’re not at the top of your class, do you really have a shot?

According to Stephen Pidgeon, associate director of career development at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, one strategy is to take advantage of networking events. In a recent column with The Financial Times, Pidgeon shared how you can leave a positive and lasting impression with recruiters. Here is some of his advice for making the most of these events:

Give Them Space: “When recruiters walk into an event, they are instantly surrounded by scores of aspiring candidates. We call it the “circle of death”… To minimise pain and maximise usefulness in this situation, listen and wait your turn, have a brief, friendly conversation, then get out politely. Do not monopolise their time.

When a recruiter is evaluating a potential consultant at a business school networking event, the question they are really asking themselves is not “Who got the most of my time?” but “Do I want this person on my team?”, and “Would I trust him or her with my most valuable client?

Treat the Meeting Like an Interview: “Each networking opportunity is, in essence, a mini-interview, and in the words of a partner at Bain who oversees recruiting, “a chance to either gain or lose share” with that company.

Behaviour that loses share includes asking negative or aggressive questions, for instance, dwelling on the perceived downsides of the job such as long hours. The best way to gain share is to ensure that both the recruiter and your fellow students have a good interaction. So if in doubt, play the role of facilitator and introduce the students next to you to the recruiter.”

Be Yourself: “Do not sell yourself. Being yourself is good, but being your best self is better…Think of these events in the same way – you are simply using the same social skills that get you through every day. Be polite, nice and inquisitive. Talk about yourself a little and ask lots of friendly and insightful questions about the person you are getting to know.

Most likely, recruiters will remember the most interesting and the most obnoxious candidates from any particular event. It is obviously ideal to be the former, but it is most important not to be the latter.”

For additional insights from Pidgeon, click on The Financial Times link below.

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Source: Financial Times

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