Whew! Fall classes are coming to an end, and you’ve made it through your first semester at Wharton! After the intensity of the past few weeks, I’m sure you’re looking forward to the holidays and a well-deserved break. Take a moment to reflect on the past four months and congratulate yourself for all the hard work you’ve done: assessing your career interests, competencies, and values; attending countless employer events; creating your first year MBA resume (and probably multiple versions of it); doing mock interviews; preparing applications; and attending the plethora of primers, conferences, and company treks designed to help you explore your career options – not to mention juggling a full course load. You are nothing short of amazing!
Before you leave campus, here are a few suggestions on how to make effective use of your break, as you prepare for upcoming interviews and get ready to ramp up your “enterprise” job search in January:
Stay organized. Create a checklist of activities to complete during the break. Include things such as researching companies and gathering information for on-campus interviews or networking calls; prepping for behavioral and case questions; keeping up on industry/company news; and starting to develop your plan for enterprise recruiting outreach.
Pace yourself. Be smart – don’t wait until the last minute. Pace out your interview prep into manageable segments throughout the break. It’ll be easier to track your progress and fine-tune where needed. You’ll be a stronger, more consistent and more confident interviewer.
Bolster your interview prep. Take advantage of online resources like InterviewStream (link from MBACM website) to help you practice on your own, or ask a friend to practice with you. Seek feedback to work out the kinks and polish your interview responses.
Catch up on your reading. Stay abreast of what’s going on through industry news journals and set up Google alerts for target companies. Keep track of your research in a format that’s well-organized and easy to reference as you prep for interviews and informational calls.
Network…with alumni in the city you are in, with past colleagues, friends and relatives. Keep building this muscle. Every interaction is an opportunity to forge a connection, share your story, and build your knowledge. Practice in everyday situations (at a holiday party, on an airplane), or create opportunities to meet people in your target industry. This is a great way to kick off your enterprise job search early.
Most importantly, take care of YOU. You’ve been going a mile a minute since you got here, so give yourself the time to relax and recharge. It’s important to strike a balance during winter break. So while you get ready for FRP, also take advantage of the down-time to enjoy and re-energize with friends and family.
Our team is here to support you along the way, so reach out if you need us. Happy holidays from everyone at MBA Career Management!