5.4.1. The Process, Again

The second-year-recruiting season resembles the first-year’s one (so go back and re-read), with a few advantages (provided everything went well) and disadvantages:

Advantages:

– There are MANY more job opportunities for full-time than for internship. Every opening in the world is now relevant to you, as opposed to the short-term opportunities.

– You have a job-offer already (hopefully). You will be very attractive to you summer employer’s competitors too.

– The off-campus search is considerably easier – many companies simply do have summer programs, so will not even consider you for an internship. Full-time recruiting, everybody knows about.

– You learned a lot about letter-writing and interviewing.

– You gained some US work experience: you are in a better position to understand cultural issues, you are better at communicating with co-workers, and gain other executive skills.

– You have more insight into what you really want to do.

– You have a bigger and better network of people to turn to.

– The academic term is usually less demanding and more exciting (you are taking mostly electives). Your grades are even less important now.

Disadvantages:

– This is it. If you don’t find a job before leaving school, it will be considerably harder later on (you will not have recruiters coming to you, you will not have all the resources and help, and you will have other limitations)

– You will probably be more involved in extra-curricular activities (like helping first years).

– Some schools report a better placement record for summer than for full-time (for international students,that is). Many companies are willing to hire foreigners for a short period of time, but are hesitant to hire for permanent positions.

When approaching second-year recruiting, keep in mind the following:

– Don’t be over confident: Even if you had the best internship in this world, you still have to work hard. Review carefully your resume and rehearse interviewing again. Do not rely on what you did or know from last year.

– Take some time to review your internship: Rewrite your stories around the internship – recruiters will focus a lot on your most recent experience. When assessing your internship experience, keep in mind that recruiters do everything in their hands to make your summer great – they are still recruiting you. Think about the people you met, the regular full-time workers: were they having as much fun?

– Focus on the area of your internship: It is much easier to find a job related to your internship than for other areas. Recruiters will like to exploit your recent work experience, and most of the interviews will refer to that subject. Besides, it will show you were successful in finding a summer job in the area you like.

– Intensify your off-campus search: Off-campus search is much easier for full-time opportunities, as many companies do not need summer interns. Thousands of jobs posted everywhere (the web, classifieds, and other means) now apply to you.

– Re-assess yourself: Take another deep look into yourself, analyze carefully the summer experience, and re-discover what you really want to do and where. Unlike the summer internship, you cannot afford choosing the wrong job. Remember that if you stay in the US sponsored by a company, you will have permission to stay only as long as you work for them.

– Use your internship strategically: Even if offered a full-time position by your summer employer, try to interview extensively. Target their competitors and partners, as they might better appreciate your experience.

– Re-adjust your standards: If you were successful and got a good job, you can leverage the experience into an even better one for full-time. If you were not very successful, lower your standards (e.g. if you did not get the Investment Banking job you wanted, start thinking about a “normal” finance position). With more experience and the improvement of your skills, you may later find the job you want.