Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kelleys At National Black MBA Conference

Recruiters and job-seekers network at the career fair at the National Black
MBA conference in Atlanta.

By Nachiket Kale
Second Year

The National Black MBA conference took place in Atlanta. National Black is one of the major conferences for both MBA students and employers in terms of recruiting.

I should have seen the conference dates approach and registered myself and booked a flight. However, as you could guess, procrastination got the better of me and four days before the conference, I had only managed to register. I still had to figure out my travel arrangements and accommodations. Flight tickets were through the roof and it was hard to find an affordable accommodation. In summary, the outlook didn’t look good at all.

I was considering cancelling my registration when a fellow Kelley School MBA student responded to my Facebook post about car-sharing. I decided to drive down with him and his friends. We wrapped up classes on Wednesday at about 5 p.m. and drove for the next 9 to 10 hours to Atlanta.

With about a couple of hours of sleep, we showed up for the conference and jumped into the routine of shaking hands, handing over resumes, and pitching ourselves to the relevant companies. 

As easy as I want to make it sound, it was the exact opposite. The conference is a crowded and a noisy place, other MBA students are waiting in the line behind you for their chance to impress the recruiter. You have to take rejection with a smile on your face and thank people for the opportunity. It can really get stressful. It did for me.

I was really fortunate to have some of my Kelley friends around to help me re-focus. I went back to Kelley’s booth. Interacting with folks from school definitely helped me de-stress and get back to the job hunt.

It was a very good learning experience. I didn’t secure any interviews but got some leads to work off of. The most heartening experience of the trip was to experience the Kelley culture, where Kelley students went to the extent of referring other Kelley students while talking to companies, and helping each other out.


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