Fridays from the Frontline: UCLA Anderson Student Perspectives – Winter is Coming – Behind-the-Scenes of Internship Recruitment
The MBA is a common stepping stone to a better career and the Parker Career Management Center at the UCLA Anderson School of Management works extensively with students to ensure a successful path. In this edition of Fridays from the Frontline, first-year Anderson MBA student, Shruti Pandey, walks us through the thoughtful and thorough internship recruitment calendar.
Student Perspectives: Winter is Coming – Behind-the-Scenes of Internship Recruitment
People do an MBA for multiple reasons, the most common being getting their desired job. Parker Career Management Center at UCLA Anderson understands this motivation and starts working with incoming students on Day 1 to make them ready for the upcoming recruitment season. In fact, the preparation starts much ahead of the school’s start date. The idea is to provide resources so you can give your best shot at recruitment, internalize the whole process and make sense of it. After all, recruitment is a people-centric activity. One needs to adopt structured thinking while still being her natural self in a networking interaction or interview.
It all begins with your story and how you translate it into an essay for MBA applications. It is the time to know what you would like to really do in your life and how your past experiences connect with your future aspirations. At the subconscious level, you are creating a version of success in your mind. Hence, an inspiring and pragmatic story can increase your chances of getting into Anderson. However, you may have a realization that something else matters to you more. Parker understands that people can change their minds once they have a better view of industry trends or personal desires. Rest assured, you will be assisted in this self-exploration journey and made ready in time for your target roles. Let’s break down the journey of a full-time MBA candidate leading to the final interview.
April: It begins with several admit blast emails promoting events like Anderson Days (A-Days), where you can attend panel discussions by Parker to explore various career options. They also share the MBA employment report, featuring a detailed breakdown of placement/ internship statistics of the previous year.
May-June: This is the time to expect Parker CMC blast emails to get you started on the preparatory work and ramp-up your recruitment activity. You get access to a networking sheet that is gold for identifying contacts from your target industry in your cohort. You are also supported to conduct informationals with these people (highly recommended before starting school!) with question tips and examples. These emails end with a brief introduction of Parker advisors, a.k.a. life-savers, in the times of recruitment. Make sure to follow the emails and complete your tasks diligently to be at par or even ahead of the rest of your cohort.
July: You can expect a call with a Parker staff who would be interested in knowing you, your background, and your incoming expectations from MBA recruitment. Accordingly, they guide you through Parker’s various resources and experts and establish the first personalized interaction between you and Anderson. During this time, you will also learn about Parker’s upcoming programming for the new students.
August: And here it is! The Summer semester begins with a sha-bang. Amidst lots of excitement and energy, your old friend Parker finds a way into your calendar through various events to make it look colorful and promising for the next two months. You get inducted into the Parker series with an awesome welcome by career advisors. Expect your to-do lists to get filled up with cute little assignments (until you really start working on them). Your star-struck moment will arrive at Industry and Function Insights aka IFI panels where alums from top companies will share their professional stories (and then you didn’t hear the rest as you were too busy daydreaming about being in their shoes).
September: Come September, you start networking with the back-to-school-from-amazing-internships 2nd-year students. The ‘No-pressure Club Fair’ is a good way to know more about your target industry clubs and gauging your interests. Simultaneously, you start building your resume and cover letters (yes, finally!) to solidify your recruitment efforts. Don’t worry, you will not miss out on the early-bird internship opportunities during this time as Parker will have posted them on the MyCareer site. All this while, you thank Anderson for the summer semester’s option to bring you up on speed with recruitment. You can use it to your advantage and reach out to the Anderson alums in your target roles as now you can officially put ‘MBA candidate at UCLA Anderson’ on Linkedin.
October: Fall semester is not tough for no reason. This month is dedicated to networking and….only networking, apart from the regular resume drops and cover letters. It is important to balance the coursework, club activities, social engagements, and most important, internship applications. It is also important to understand that everyone will have her unique recruitment journey, so avoid building comparisons with others. Parker advisors are your cheerleaders, friends, and guides in this unique venture, so never feel shy about asking for help. 2nd years are also committed to your success through weekly meetings with Anderson Career Teams (ACT) and Interview Prep Teams (IPT) to provide you with information and frameworks for successful interviews. After all, it takes a village.
November-December: Practice makes a man (also everyone else) perfect. You will slowly find yourself easing into the concept of mock interviews. And it is not just for you to figure it out on your own. There will be arrangements by Parkers, and respective clubs todo mocks with advisors, 2nd years, and alums. As early interviews start pouring in, you can find all the help from your peers as Anderson practices what it preaches #sharedsuccess.
January: And finally, Winter arrives. By now, you are two quarters old at Anderson and you feel more at home. The dust is settling, and there is a better view of opportunities. Moreover, the calendar is largely to yourself to drive your practice and interview schedule. As you become a seasoned player in recruitment, it is time to appreciate all the efforts put in by yourself and your champions in the last few months, and make them proud.
Undergrad: NIT Jaipur, India
Pre-MBA: Sony Pictures, Accenture
[email protected]: Director of Admissions, Entertainment Management Association; Director of Allyship, Women’s Business Connection; Director, Admissions Ambassador Corps