Starting Recruiting Off on the Right Foot: A Guide for the First Month of Your MBA Experience

In this new blog series, our mbaMission Career Coaches offer invaluable advice and industry-related news to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. To schedule a free half-hour consultation with one of our mbaMission Career Coaches, click here.

Starting Recruiting Off on the Right Foot: A Guide for the First Month of Your MBA ExperienceWith August comes the beginning of many MBA programs. We know you all worked very hard to get to this point and are excited (and also potentially nervous!) about starting this next chapter in your professional career. To help with this transition, we wanted to recommend a few key recruiting-related steps for you to follow during the first four to six weeks of school:


  • Write down your career-related and non-career-related goals for the MBA program. Revisit your application essays. Why did you apply, and what do you want to get out of your experience? Knowing your priorities will help you manage your time at school.
  • Narrow your list of career interests and target internships; ideally, create a Plan A and a Plan B. Look for ways to learn about different opportunities—whether through the career office, second-year students, or professional clubs—and assess your fit for, interest in, and qualifications for those opportunities.  


  • Engage with the career office to learn about the resources available. Attend career-related workshops, set up one-on-one advising sessions, review Web site resources, and learn about key upcoming deadlines. (Note that you may have career-related deadlines within the first month!)
  • Understand the timeline of first-year internship recruiting. Typically, August and September are reserved for conducting self-assessment and crafting your personal narrative. October through December are focused on direct employer engagement (e.g., coffee chats, informational meetings, employer briefings, invitation-only events, treks) as well as interview preparation.
  • Get organized! Whether you use a spiral notebook, your Outlook calendar, an Excel spreadsheet, or all of these tools, capture your learnings and track your progress. Create a job search plan complete with specific tasks, milestones, and deadlines. Schedule time on your calendar each week to make progress on your job search plan. Revisit your goals every month to ensure you are on the path to meeting them.  


  • Meet your first- and second-year classmates. They can provide a wealth of knowledge about everything from their previous career choices and their internship experiences to the recruiting process as well as navigating and excelling within the MBA program.
  • Join relevant professional clubs, and look into and apply for on-campus activities. This is a great way to learn more about your target industries, engage with employers, and build (or showcase) specific skills and interests for your target job.

Have you been admitted to business school? If so, do you want to get a head start on defining your career goals? Do you need help preparing for job interviews or learning how to effectively network with your target employers? Or maybe you want to be a top performer in your current role but are unsure how to maximize your potential. Let an mbaMission Career Coach help via a free 30-minute consultation!

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