Monday, December 3, 2012

My Job-Hunting Journey

With graduation just around the corner for me (May 2013), a gnawing question plagues my mind: What am I going to do?

I've found that this formidable question becomes a much easier pill to swallow after deciding between graduate school now and work experience later, or vise versa.  I have decided to get some relevant work experience under my belt before getting into the grad-school scene.  

Once that decision was made, I was free to devote my energy to finding a full-time job. The first thing I did was visit Career Services in the basement of the University Inn.  Maren Stromberg got me set up on Career Aggie (which I now check religiously) and helped me polish up my resume before sending it out.

And then came the hard part.

Applying, applying, applying. I must have filled out more than 50 applications in the months of September and August; most all of which I found on Career Aggie. I started going to recruiting sessions and took off work to go to the Tech Expo and Career Fair. It took about a month before I started seeing replies to all of my applications. Most people said that they were looking for somebody to start in the winter, but to check back in the spring.  

However, I did get the worm on a couple of companies. Northwest Farm Credit Services and Goldman, Sachs & Co. both held info sessions and accepted applications for full-time work starting next May. I applied and luckily landed interviews with both companies.

To hone in some of my interviewing skills, I went to one of the resume activities during LinkedIn Week, where I talked to Prof. Chris Fawson. I asked for some interviewing tips for my interviews and he gave me some great advice: read a current business book and use its key points to frame your answers to difficult questions.

I read the book Drive by Daniel Pink and even had a mock interview with a good friend, Thomas Funk, in preparation. Sure enough, at my Goldman Sachs interview, I was asked an ambiguous question about one of my work experiences, I was able to impress my interviewers by both referencing a popular business book and having a well structured response.

All of my hard work paid off as I was recently offered the job I applied for at Goldman Sachs. I know that my chances increased at least tenfold by preparing well and implementing some great advice from a faculty member who values my success.  

- Carter Holm

Carter Holm is a double major in finance and international business at the Huntsman School of Business. He is a member of the Huntsman School Business Council.