All the data supports the fact that the best path to a successful job search is networking. Meeting people at companies on your target list helps you learn more about the company, their products and services, their hiring process and career paths in the organization. While most students will at least reluctantly agree that networking is important, taking the next step to make a connection and book and informational interview can be a daunting task for many.
At the D’Amore-McKim School of Business MBA Career Center, we make it easy for students to make these valuable connections. Our full-time MBA students are currently participating in our summer series of executive luncheons. After reviewing student target lists of companies they hope to work for after graduation, we reached out to contacts at those companies and invited them to campus for an Executive Luncheon. Up to six students meet with our guests to learn more about the company, the industry and the guests’ personal career paths. Students come to the session with questions prepared as well. The result is an informal yet informative conversation over lunch.
Students leave these sessions with valuable insights into a company on their target lists and a contact within the organization. While these sessions are conducted for networking purposes, we often see connections made that lead to full-time opportunities. For students, the comfort of being in a small group makes it easier to talk about themselves and to ask questions of the guest. They also do not have to do the outreach – we bring the sessions and the guests to them on campus.
Never underestimate the power of a good conversation over lunch.