By Guido Ramirez
Prior to the pursuit of my Ted Rogers MBA, I spent 6 years working in hospitality for a small privately owned firm. Though my accomplishments during that time had positively impacted the business, I knew that my professional accomplishments alone would not be the reason that firms would want to recruit me. I had accepted this as fact but decided early on that it would not be the reason that I would not land in Consulting post-MBA. Clearly, I would need to network my way into a position – so I began talking to whoever would listen. (FYI: as a student, people rarely say no.)
Attending Every Info Session and Networking
By the end of our first term, I had attended (possibly) every information session organized by the MBA career’s team (including some at the undergrad level). I met with countless consultants (some of whom I wish I would have never met), entrepreneurs, and even an investment banker (who spoke more of life goals than I would have expected). Unfortunately, by December, my efforts had yet to produce any concrete results.
How to Get the Most Out of an Informational Interview
In the New Year, almost as if by fate, I came across an article titled “How to Get the Most of an Informational Interview” published by HBR. Reading the article allowed me to understand the aspects of an informational interview I had been getting right and the areas that I had been seriously lacking in. I am not attributing my luck/success to this article directly, but within a month I had secured an internship with Scotiabank (which included an informational interview component set up by the MBA Careers team) as well as connected with a Managing Partner from Gartner (who I had met at an information session set up by the MBA Careers team) by chance as I boarded the subway. A Gartner colleague and Ryerson alumni, (in good fun) refers to my meeting with the Managing Partner as “stalking” rather than a chance encounter. However, had I skipped their information session earlier in the fall, I would have not been able to take advantage of the situation that had presented itself. After two stints at the bank, I finally landed in Consulting almost 18 months after my first encounter with Gartner.
Key Takeaways and Advice for Current MBA Students
- Attend informational interviews put on by the Careers Centre – you do not know what relationships you might have the opportunity to cultivate
- Learn how to conduct an informational interview – it is very much an art
- The staff at the Careers Centre will match the level of effort you put in to help you land a career post MBA