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Growing up, one of my favorite Bugs Bunny cartoon episodes shows Bugs, Daffy and Elmer Fudd during hunting season.  Elmer is looking to hunt “wabbits” (rabbits) and the rabbit, Bugs Bunny, is convincing him it’s time to hunt ducks, Daffy.  All the while, Elmer is going back and forth about which animal to shoot, BLAM, Daffy gets shot. Hunting season (i.e. recruiting season) has begun on campus and it’s time to roll up the sleeves and get down to business.

Positioning Yourself For the Right Hiring Season at The IBEAR MBA Is a Major Decision

What Season Is It?

Whoever you are, one thing is certain – nothing can prepare you for recruiting season. Ok, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but, for me who immediately looks for the “experienced professional” button on a company website, this has been an especially unique experience.  Just before the start of the program, our IBEAR career advisor, Onma, told us of the two types of recruiting seasons: “OCR” and “Just in Time”.  “OCR” stands for On Campus Recruiting.  Typically, companies will have allotted “Associate” spaces aimed specifically for MBA students who plan to graduate the following year.  These spaces are filled early (usually by November) and reserved for full-time start upon graduation.  It’s a great way to secure a job without having to worry about looking for something after graduation.  I’ve heard that for every $10,000 in expected salary this is roughly equal to one month job search.  So, my quick math tells me I need to be looking NOW and this is where participation in OCR has value.  The most evident downside for OCR is that the available roles are pretty broad so if you are looking for something narrow in title and job function, these roles may not be readily available.  At a time when money and opportunity is precious, the hunt is on to find a company that has the right fit for industry, role and job function all the while trying to stand out in a sea of other highly qualified candidates. I’ve had to figure out very quickly what my competitive advantage is to stand out as a smile and firm handshake is not cutting it.

IBEAR MBA Candidates participate in the annual consulting career night

How to stand out? I’m the one in the dark suit.

The “Just in Time” recruiting season generally happens after the new year and may make more sense for job seekers like me who have a good amount of industry experience.  Since this has yet to unfold, I can only relay what’s been told to me. But, as I understand, these roles tend to be very specific to position and job function and based on roles the company is looking to fill once it’s evaluated areas of need. I will follow up on this experience when the time comes.

In the meanwhile, on the networking front, I’ve discovered we have a strong IBEAR Mentor Program.  We’ve had the opportunity to connect with highly experienced and influential people who’ve generously offered their time and efforts to guide our career search process so far.  Information may be the most powerful tool for success, and with a strong network of former IBEAR classes at our fingertips (literally, but I’ll get to that in a second), it makes the job hunting process less murky and overwhelming.  IBEAR is in the middle of developing a mobile app (for both iPhone and Android) that puts all previous and current IBEAR class participants in the app network.  Herein lies the real value of an MBA: your network.  And, with the IBEAR app, it is a small yet powerful connection tool at our disposal.

I laugh thinking of how Bugs and Daffy tried to outwit Elmer.  But, in the end, Elmer just committed to one thing and pulled the trigger.  I don’t know if OCR is the right path but if anything at all, it will be great practice for me leading up to Spring recruiting season. Committing to a decision, any decision, is better than no decision at all.  So I’m pulling the trigger and looking forward to what comes out of it.