Wednesday, September 25, 2013

IGOE Fellows attend the National Black MBA Association Conference in Houston

By Tulio Bracho, Second Year MBA, Finance

IGOE Fellows at National Black MBA Association Conference
One of the main opportunities MBA students from around the country have to network with recruiters from a variety of companies is the annual National Black MBAA conference. This year the career fair was held in Houston, Texas between September 12 and 13. Thanks to sponsorship from the Institute for Global Organizational Effectiveness(IGOE), five IGOE fellows attended the conference and had the opportunity to expand their professional networks. In order to understand what this conference was all about and to identify some keys to success, I interviewed Antonio Fernandez, an IGOE Fellow and President of the Latin MBA Club.  

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Antonio, why did you decide to attend the NBMBAA Conference?
I decided to attend the conference because more than 150 companies were sending recruiters there and I wanted to network with the companies I was interested in, and also because is part of the integral experience of being an MBA student.

How did you prepare to attend the conference?
I did a few things that helped me a lot. First, I researched the companies that were attending the conference and I created a target list with my top choices. Then I made sure that I understood how they do business and what their culture is like.  Second, I applied to the positions I was interested in beforehand and I contacted the recruiters to start the networking process before traveling. Third and last, I practiced for different interview styles for weeks, including behavioral, case, and brainteasers. It was a lot of work, but at the end I feel it made a difference.

What was the biggest challenge during the networking process?
The interview process is always challenging because different companies have their own ways of interviewing and you never know what to expect. To make things harder, if you are lucky to be invited to interview with many companies, you could have interviews back-to-back during the whole day. For example, the second day of the conference I had several interviews with different companies for more than 6 hours in a row. At some point you are afraid to make mistakes, but at that moment is when all the training and hard work you have put in the process pays off because you have the endurance to keep going and close strong. In my case, I am happy everything worked out well and I got a full-time job offer on site.

What advice would you give to people who want to attend the conference in the future?
Have a plan, practice, and don’t hesitate to ask for people to help you by setting up mock interviews. People from Kelley are always willing to help others, that is who we are.

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The Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu once said that, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.  We can apply these words when planning out how to achieve our professional goals. A clear vision of what one wants, a profound understanding of what it takes to get it, and the perseverance and discipline to put in the necessary effort are all fundamental in order to seize the opportunities when they present themselves. Antonio’s success during the NBMBAA Conference was the result of a sound game plan, weeks of preparation, and endurance to go the extra mile. Now that the IGOE fellows are preparing to attend the NSHMBA Conference in October, it’s the prefect time to start paving the road to success by following Antonio’s example.
Tulio Bracho (left) 


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