Monday, January 26, 2015

Shaking it out: An interview with the freshmen who won the National Diversity Case Competition



Earlier this month, we welcomed 140 students from 35 schools to the Kelley campus to compete in the fourth annual National Diversity Case Competition. The energy in our building was hard to describe.

As faculty liaison Mikel Tiller recently put it: "These bright, energetic young minds, bringing their own unique perspectives to bear, are a huge source of energy and direction for us. How can anyone ever learn anything by embracing sameness?"

We're proud of our all-freshman team, Vineyard Consultants, for taking 1st place. They were up against upperclassmen in teams from Yale, Berkeley, NYU, and Wharton, and they didn't take that lightly. They spent time building their case over winter break, and just before presenting they went into an empty room and danced out their nervous energy.

In the case, Vineyard Consultants were asked to identify a fashion-forward brand that Target should partner with to target Hispanic shoppers. They landed on a brand partnership with Julia y Renata, a growing Mexican designer brand that is well-known in Mexico, Spain, and parts of Latin America.

Vineyard Consultants are:
  • Maya Caine, Information Systems and Business Analytics major, French minor
  • Mica Caine, Information Systems and Security Informatics major, French minor
  • Thomas Dougherty, Economic Consulting and International Business major, Chinese minor
  • Keiondre Goodwin, Economic Consulting and International Business major, Chinese minor

Three team members sat down to reflect on the NDCC, their first case competition and certainly not their last.

Why it's important to stay in touch with the people you turned down (and how to do it effectively)

Mike Schmeckebier
Associate Director,
Graduate Career Services
When a job search ends, I always love getting the phone call that the person has not only received a job offer but that they’ve received multiple job offers.

I can only think of a few things that make you feel better than knowing more than one organization wants you and your talents on their team. After I share words of congratulations, give high fives, and we talk through deciding which offer to accept, I always end with a surprising question:

How are you going to stay in touch with the people you turn down?

When I’m on the phone with a client, the dialogue after that question usually goes something like this:

Client: silence

Me: Hello, hello, are you still there?

What do I mean by staying in touch with the people you turn down? 


And why would they want to stay in touch with you? You’re turning them down, after all, and that step is hard enough.

Keeping in touch with the people you turned down isn’t as crazy as it sounds. An interview process that leads to an offer is intensive. You share a lot with the people who interview you. Chances are high that good relationships were formed.

These people liked you enough that they were willing to make you a colleague, which means they probably like you enough to stay in touch.

Employers understand the hiring process. They understand that you can only work at one place. They understand you are making the best decision for you. If they’re upset about anything, they are disappointed they didn’t get you.

Some of those people might leave that company for a new position. You can figure out all the reasons why that might be good for you. They wanted to hire you now, so chances are very good that they will want to hire you again in the future.

All of this is under the assumption you turned down the offer in a professional way. If you fail to do that, then all bets are off.

So, how do you stay in touch with an employer you turned down? 


My best advice after you professionally and properly turn down the job offer is to do the following:

1. Connect on LinkedIn with every person you formed a relationship with during the interview process, if you haven’t already done it.

2. Once you do that, send them another brief note expressing gratitude and wishing good luck.
Let things lie for 5-6 months and enjoy your new job.

3. After about six months, identify a couple key people from the interview process and send them a note with an update on how things are going for you and asking how they are.

4. Once you get past the one year mark in the new job, and if you live or work in the same area as those job offers, invite those same people out for lunch, coffee, or a drink just to catch up. Do this once or twice a month, individually, until you’ve hit everybody. If you don’t live in the same area, make it a phone call or email exchange instead.

5. Once you complete that cycle, those people are officially in your network and you should treat them accordingly going forward.

Too often we leave out this vital pocket of people to add into our network. Take the time to do it, because turning down an offer might one day turn up a job.

Monday, January 12, 2015

What do losing weight and finding a new job have in common?

Kendell Brown
Associate Director of Professional
Development in Graduate Career Services
Happy 2015!

Since it’s the start of the new year, I’m relating this post to the tradition of making resolutions. My annual resolution is to lose weight—shocking, considering it is the #1 resolution made by American adults. Perhaps it’s yours, too. The #2 resolution for American adults is to get a new job, and since you’re still reading this post, you obviously have an interest in some aspect of career management.

There is a lot of overlap between my resolution and various aspects of career management. I’ve been all over the Internet picking up tricks and tips that will help me lose the weight this year. And I’ve got to tell you, every website, celebrity trainer, and P90X success story says the same thing: Make a public commitment, set measurable goals, plan ahead, and make a lifestyle change.

Let’s take a closer look and compare a successful weight loss plan to a job search.

Making a public commitment


Weight loss: From what I’ve read, the first step in deciding to lose weight is revealing my weight loss goals to family and friends. A public announcement will make me accountable to others and create a stronger commitment to the resolution.

Job search: If you’ve resolved to get a new job this year, you should also let family and friends know.  If your brother-in-law’s company is hiring, how will he know to pass your resume along, if he doesn’t know you’re looking? And if you want to make an internal move, don’t be afraid to tell your boss.  She knows your skillset and what’s happening around the organization.

Setting measurable goals


Weight loss: If I skip lunch and dinner today, the scale reading will be less tonight than it was this morning. But a more helpful goal is: Lose 1 pound each week by eliminating soda, working out 3 times each week, and switching to Meatless Mondays.

Job search: Apply to lots of postings on Indeed.com—Yes, this is a goal, but it is one that will likely cause you frustration. Instead, try goals like:

  • Re-read performance reviews. This will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Conduct two mock interviews weekly, so you’re prepared for the inevitable.
  • Research five companies per week, so you have some idea of where you’ll fit and where you won’t.
  • Create a posting for your perfect job. If a real posting doesn’t align with at least 80% of what you’ve written, don’t apply.