Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Return Trip to Darden

For the second time in a year I was asked to go back to Darden for a BigFinance recruiting trip. The last time was in the dead of winter with just one other person. We interviewed first year candidates for the internship position. This time there were at least 12 other BigFinance associates and we were not interviewing but giving a company presentation followed by two hours of networking.

I flew into the tiny Charlottesville airport in the midst of rain and gusting winds. I was already not looking forward to the plane ride back! Tiny propeller planes are not designed for a smooth ride. I had rented a car since (for a change) I actually knew my way around. It was a little surreal to drive back mostly because in the 18 months since I had been gone, nothing had changed. After I parked I had a few minutes before lunch so I decided to hit the Darden book store cum merchandise mart. That's when I picked up a couple of presents for Xmas (never too early to start!) and my first onsie. Yes, I broke down and bought a bright orange Darden onesie. It's too bad that the smallest they had was six months so unfortunately I won't be able to use it for a while.

I headed over for lunch and ran into a couple of Darden classmates who were also in town for recruiting: Kelly, Obumi and Katie. Then all of us walked over to the cafe for lunch. I was disappointed that the Career Center did not invite any students to sit with us. It is still early in the recruiting process (most SY interviews happen in October and FYs don't start until January) but considering how bad the economy is and the job market has to be, I was surprised students weren't lined up to meet with us.

After lunch we went into the company briefing. I ran into the intern for my program we had this past summer (hi James!) and we chatted for a bit. Great guy and I hope he comes back to work full time for us. The company presentation was more of a roundtable with a couple of executives and I think it went well. Selfishly I wanted the focus to be on my technology program but there were half a dozen other programs represented as well.

Then the schmoozing began. Apparently almost 70 people registered for the event. I would say that 40 showed up. Shame on you, Darden students! And almost every single one of them were FYs. What's up with that? I find it hard to believe that all the SYs are set in terms of jobs. On the Technology side I was inundated with foreign students (yes, mostly Indian) looking for visas. Um, we don't do that. It frustrates me that so many MBA candidates think you need to be coming from technology to do a technology job. I'm managing projects! It's just like any other MBA job. If I, a former Creative Writing major who can barely run my DVR can do it, so can everyone else! Technology gets no respect.
After it was over I drove a couple other people back to the airport including a senior executive I had been wanting to meet. So I got to schmooze too :-) Our plane was delayed about an hour due to the weather. It would have been fine except I got totally sick just before we landed. Good think I had my plastic bag from the bookstore because the plane didn't carry barf bags. I blame the baby since I rarely get plane sick.

Overall it was nice to spend a day out of the office with other BigFinance associates and to see Darden again. I'm curious to see how this year's FY and SY classes do in the job search process. I can't imagine it will be as easy as when I was looking for a job. Thank goodness I'm out of the program and gainfully employed! Even if it does mean I'm paying off loans...

1 comment:

Mommy, Esq. said...

Fun to go back as the big girl on campus, no? I like going back to BU to judge competitions for the negotiation and client counselling competitions.