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Fridays from the Frontline: Sell Day – Chicago Booth Talks What Happens After the Offer

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At some point, all of those sleepless nights agonizing over GMAT/GRE prep, admissions essays, and campus visits eventually yield the moment a company extends an offer to recruit you. This part of the MBA process is arguably one of the reasons you may have entertained the idea of applying to business school in the first place.

When the time comes, companies often employ a variety of tactics to entice MBA students from elite schools like Booth Chicago to come work for them. Current Booth second-year student Nicole Newman ’20 took to the Booth Experience blog to talk about the use of weekend getaways to coax MBA students to hop aboard.

Sell Day: Chicago Booth Talks What Happens After the Offer

by Nicole Newman Booth MBA ’20

In business school, you spend a large fraction of fall quarter recruiting, and even more time in winter interviewing with companies you hope to intern for. What doesn’t get discussed as much is what takes place after the offer, as the company (or several companies, if you’re lucky) attempt to entice you with a weekend getaway that will leave you with a favorable impression of the firm and your potential colleagues.

I still remember my first Sell Weekend as if it were yesterday. Because of Booth’s academic rigor in analytics and marketing, I was fortunate to receive an offer for the Walmart 2019 Summer Merchandising Internship.

Marketed as a cross-functional training program for future business leaders, Walmart’s ten-week merchandising internship gives students a taste in spearheading data-driven recommendations. During Sell Weekend, I visited Walmart’s Bentonville headquarters and even joined a fireside chat with its CEO Doug McMillon. And although I ultimately chose a different summer opportunity, the experience left me both inspired and humbled.

Some of the yummy food I had in NOLA – charbroiled oysters

Fast forward to the beginning of my second-year, I chose to recruit for consulting and I later received an offer from Accenture Strategy. To my surprise, I was invited to attend the firm’s celebration weekend in New Orleans. I had yet to travel to the Big Easy. I imagined it would be the perfect getaway from the somewhat more frigid Chicago weather.

Upon my Friday arrival, my partner and I were whisked away to a Welcome Reception and Dinner. There we bonded with consultants and their partners, who I hope to see in the local New York office next year. On Saturday, I attended four panels highlighting the Accenture Strategy Consultant Development Program (ASCDP) and its rotational opportunities; career progression from a young mother’s perspective; due diligence in healthcare; and Accenture’s commitment to Smart Cities and sustainability.

During one of the breaks, us prospectives were encouraged to play a round of ‘Get to Know Each Other’ bingo. I had to find someone who was a veteran to check off one of the squares on the board. Because Chicago Booth encourages students to form study groups with those from various backgrounds, I felt less anxious when introducing myself to other members of the Accenture cohort to complete the icebreaker.

That evening, I participated in an umbrella parasol decorating contest. Each team had to elect one of its members to twirl the umbrella around, dance, and incite applause. We settled on a Swamp Queen theme, but lost to a break dancer. With our umbrellas in hand, we paraded throughout the French Quarter with a second line band. The last stop was a Celebration Dinner Reception with the most amazing Creole food outside of Popeye’s.

Sell Weekends are an amazing way to get to know a company and your future colleagues in a habitat that encourages a bit of informality. And if you come to a school like Booth, chances are, you will have several opportunities to attend such weekend-long events and have your tough questions answered. More importantly, you can gauge your fit with a company’s culture and make a well-rounded decision on how and where you choose to spend your time.

Jonathan Pfeffer
Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as Contributing Writer at MetroMBA and Contributing Editor at Clear Admit, he was also a co-founder of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.