This time last year I wasn’t sure where I wanted to work or what I wanted to be doing but I knew that recruiting season was coming up quickly! In April of my first year I met with Julie Papp from the Career Development Office and asked for advice narrowing down my prospects. Julie explained that there are three primary dimensions to filter on when researching jobs: Function, Industry, and Location. For me, location and function were most important and what drove my career search. Together, we came up with the following “to-do” list for exploring career options:
Create a list of characteristics you are looking for in a job, prioritize them and think about “deal-breakers”
For me this list included over 17 items but some of the things that were at the top of the list were that the role be intellectually challenging, have a clear plan of succession preparing me for leadership, require little to no travel, have exposure to management, and have a good work life balance.
Explore companies in specific geographies
For me, it was important to find a job in a city where my husband either had a job or could easily find employment. For us, that narrowed it down to just a few cities in the US. I did research on which companies were in those cities through “top companies” lists on Forbes, US News and World Report, and the Boston book of lists websites. Once I had a list of companies, I looked through the Sloan and LGO databases to find out if they had recruited at Sloan in the past and gathered information about roles for which they have historically recruited.
MIT Sloan has subscriptions to Hoovers and Plunkett databases that have loads of industry information. I looked through those industry lists and created “no way”, “yes, sounds good” and “maybe” lists of which industries I’d be interested in.
Learn about company cultures
Fitting in with a company culture was very important to me and I knew I couldn’t pick that up just from a website or even a recruiter coming to campus. The summer before recruiting season I reached out via my network to find employees at each of the companies I was considering. This gave me an honest view of the company and what it was like to work there.
Going into recruiting season I had narrowed my list of companies I wanted to interview with down to five with specific roles I was interested in. In each interview, I knew at least one of the people interviewing me from speaking with them the summer before. Not only did this put me at ease during the interviews, it also showed them that I was genuinely interested in their company. From the information gathered over the summer, I could speak intelligently about their company and the role they were interviewing for. In the end, much to my surprise, I received offers from all five companies in cities that I wanted to move to, with roles that fit my criteria, in industries I was interested in. It made for a very difficult decision but in the end I chose an internal consulting role with Dr. Pepper Snapple Group. I’m very excited about the people with whom I’ll be working and the potential impact I hope to have on their employees!