Although this experience was completely new for me, I had the opportunity to receive advice from the second-year IGOE Fellows and learn from their experiences given that many of them attended NSHMBA last year. Before leaving for San Antonio, they answered all of my questions and gave me advice on how to perform at this event. This culture of collaboration and coaching is an earmark of IGOE, and Kelley in general, and this is what makes us unique.
During the conference I was able to talk to many companies and network with students from other institutions. Additionally, the person from the Admission’s Committee at the Kelley booth introduced me to several of her friends who are recruiters with other companies. After talking to one of these recruiters, I was invited to interview with them. This experience confirmed my previous impression that everyone at Kelley is totally committed to our success and how they have the willingness, resources, and network to support this commitment.
As a result of that first day, I was invited to interview with two companies for the second day of the conference. When I gave the good news to one of the second-year IGOE Fellows who also came with our group to NSHMBA, he immediately volunteered to practice mock interviews with me to help me to be ready for the next day. We spent more than 2 hours practicing mock interviews that night. I appreciated the time he took to help me prepare for interviews, even though he was tired after a long day at the conference.
The next day, I went to both interviews and everything went smoothly, so much so that at the end of the day I received an internship offer on site from one of the companies I interviewed with!
This whole experience taught me the importance of preparation and the effectiveness of coaching. It was powerful evidence of the highly collaborative culture that we experience at the Kelley MBA Program.
My advice to people who are going to these conferences for the first time is to prepare and practice the elevator pitch, research the companies of interest, and reach out to students who have previously attended the conference. Students in our program will not hesitate to coach you and share their experiences in order to help you succeed.