1. Share your interests with your network
Connect with people you know and spread the word about the kinds of work you want to pursue. Emily Geismar MA ’11 already knew she had a passion for transaction services when she arrived in Waltham, and the personal exchanges she had with other members of the Brandeis IBS community allowed others to be looking out for job opportunities for her, too. “By talking with people in career services, professors and friends, I was able to communicate these needs, and later, when something happened to pop up, I was the first person that came to someone’s mind,” said Geismar, who interned at PricewaterhouseCoopers as a student and now works there full-time.
2. Reach out to alumni
It can sometimes be difficult to network with someone to whom you have no explicit connection, but you’ll have a clear upper-hand when you reach out with fellow alumni in your field. Stefan Stoev MA ’12 had a Skype chat with an alum who provided him with information about a job opening in his division at BlackRock. The alum also knew the recruiter, and ultimately was able to push Stoev’s resume to the top of the pile and help him secure a job at BlackRock, where he will be starting this summer.
3. Get involved on campus
Not long after arriving at Brandeis, Melissa Branzburg MBA ’11 joined the student association, the International Business Women club, and the Leadership Fellows program. Those experiences proved critical for the hiring manager with whom she interviewed at the U.S. Department of Commerce for an international trade specialist position. “He knew I was very productive and willing to go the extra mile. That was really appealing for him and helped me get the job,” she said.
4. Always be open for new encounters
It might sound obvious, but people are everywhere, and you just never know how and where you might meet someone with similar interests. At Brandeis IBS’ annual case competition, Vlad Prokopov MA ’12 struck up a conversation with one of the event’s panelists, a high-level executive at the consulting firm Accenture. Prokopov’s group finished in second, but he managed to snag a business card and has since coordinated several meetings with the consultant, who is one of the leaders of Accenture’s Eastern Europe department. It may not directly result in a job, but the encounter created one more valuable relationship for Prokopov for future networking.
5. Start early, and prepare often
Hakon Bjerke MA ’12 had his resume ready the first week he arrived on campus so that he could apply for a summer internship at JP Morgan by early September. (He received an offer four months later.) He recommends taking plenty of time to read up on recent industry news and research potential employers. He and his roommate would regularly run through likely interview questions with each other both in-person and on the phone. “Doing that was probably the reason we did so well,” he said. “It’s very difficult to impress someone when you can’t have eye contact or look at body language…but we were used to the setting.”