Author: Weston Career Center

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About Weston Career Center

Weston Career Center ensures that Olin students are among the best-prepared candidates in the marketplace. It means having the abilities that give you a competitive edge – and helping you achieve results is a cornerstone of our mission. Get advice and practice your skills with our career advisors. As you direct your job search, the Weston Career Center staff is always available to coach and support you.


Sally Pinckard of the Weston Career Center

Sometimes the most difficult interview questions are very unexpected, designed to test the candidate’s ability to think on his or her feet and innovate. Don’t be surprised if you get a seemingly off-the-wall brainteaser, like “How many ping pong balls can fit inside the Olin atrium?”

Demonstrate your confidence and ease with ambiguity by being prepared. Most interviewers are really trying to gain information to assess: (1) can the candidate do the job; and, (2) does the candidate fit your culture and organization. These are not trick questions.

Also, being well-read on current events (i.e., read The Wall Street Journal daily) will provide context for small talk, or even help to articulate a business point of view based on current events.

Let’s explore specific questions that often surprise a candidate, or could make one uneasy but requires fortitude and confidence:

A few tips for replying to tough interview questions:

“Tell me about yourself.”

A common opener, this broad question can “throw” many interviewees. It is, in fact, a “sell-me” invitation. Develop a brief summation of your background leading into your interest and desire to work for the organization, as well as your qualifications for the position.

“Why should we hire you?”

From your research, you should know the qualifications for the job. From your own self-analysis, you will have gained insight into your strengths and accomplishments. Mention key functions of the job and discuss your skills in relation to these functions. Use experiences from previous jobs, internships, and activities as examples to support your answer.

“What are your long-range goals?”

In your company research, determine what position you could reasonably reach in five years. Speak to others who have successfully advanced themselves in the organization or profession. Express your desire and capability to grow within the organization. While you may be unsure of your future plans, demonstrate your knowledge of potential career paths.

“What is your greatest weakness?”

Everyone has weaknesses, but remember not to answer in a negative way. Turn your weakness into a positive. For example: “Because I tend to procrastinate, I have learned to work well under pressure and to always get work done on time.”

“Tell me about your schooling.”

The key to this question is to keep your reply positive. Speak well of Washington University and any other schools you’ve attended. You are a product of your schools’ educational programs. Be prepared to address questions about low grades, changes of major, favorite classes, etc.

Guest blogger: Karen Heise, Interim Director, Weston Career Center

Could you use the support of the Weston Career Center or Management Communication Center? Schedule an appointment today. 




Employers are increasingly emphasizing experiential learning when searching for new job candidates.

An internship is a great way to strengthen your résumé, gain more insight into potential career paths, and develop your skill set. Employers also use internships to evaluate and identify excellent full-time candidates. But where to start? The Weston Career Center provides this 10-step process from the latest Career Guide:

1. Research industries, companies, or organizations of interest

Devoting time to career exploration will help you make an informed decision about your career path and will help you launch an effective internship search. Start by learning as much as you can about different functions, industries, companies, and geographic areas. Do your research to clearly define your internship objectives. Learn more about different companies and opportunities, and build relationships early, so when recruiters are ready to hire interns, you will be top of mind.

Consider alternatives to traditional corporate internships:

Government

Search www.makingthedifference.org for internships with federal and state agencies. Start with a general search to learn about the wide variety of opportunities.

The Partnership for Public Service’s Internship Directory includes information on more than 200 federal internship programs and is searchable by agency, eligibility, location, etc. You may also want to check out the student section of www.usajobs.gov for a complete list of federal internship programs.

Federal agencies are not required to advertise internships, so some are publicized only on the agency’s website. Even if no internships are posted, offer to meet for an informational interview at a local agency office.

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurial ventures and startups offer hands-on experience and the chance to use your business knowledge across a wide spectrum of industries and functions. Seek opportunities in areas such as marketing, technology, finance, accounting, and business strategy.

Nonprofit organizations

Gain experience and exposure to business concepts by interning or volunteering with campus or community organizations. Many organizations, especially nonprofits, seek interns and volunteers. Explore the online resource www.volunteermatch.org, or check out nonprofit organizations by geographic location through the Book of Lists, available in the WCC.

Washington University

Consider working on campus. Visit the Office of Student Financial Services, or ask faculty and department offices whether they need any assistance with research or other projects. Search CAREERlink, MBAFocus, and the University’s Human Resources website for part-time and summer jobs.

Getting an internship when studying abroad

Students and employers alike value the skills and experiences gained through time spent in a different country and getting to know a different culture. Many students study abroad during fall or spring of their junior year, then return to complete an internship in the United States. You will want to maximize your efforts to secure an internship before you leave.

  • Make career advising appointments with the WCC to discuss your strategy and conduct mock interviews.
  • Research industries and companies to pursue and create a target list.
  • Network! Connect with alumni and recruiters and conduct informational interviews.
  • Know your internship opportunities—especially with companies that interview early for study abroad students.
  • Include a paragraph in your cover letter that states you will be or are abroad and include your availability. Offer to communicate by phone or Skype while you are away.

Working overseas

Spending time abroad is an exciting and rewarding experience. Finding an internship in a foreign country, however, can be a challenging and time-consuming process. Networking with alumni in your target location is particularly important. Identify alumni, and reach out for advice on internship search strategies in the host country.

If you are seeking an internship while abroad, set aside regular time to continue your search. If you are seeking an opportunity after your return, continue to utilize your network connections, further expand your network, and make use of WCC services.

2. Explore career tracks, and start building your network

Explore your options, and dig deeper in your research and exploration to identify the best match to meet your career goals. Begin networking with everyone you know—family, friends, professors, career advisor, and neighbors, to identify potential “informational interviews.” Once you have identified an individual, do your homework—research the contact and company and develop a list of questions. Be professional—identify yourself and be transparent about your intentions. Informational interviews serve two important purposes: research and networking. They also allow you to start building relationships with “insiders” who can provide valuable advice and insight to help you evaluate your internship opportunities.

3. Develop a target list of internship opportunities

From your research, create a target list of companies you wish to pursue, and develop an action plan to drive your internship search. A target list includes companies/opportunities you’d like to pursue, with clear and attainable goals, objectives, and timelines. This list will allow you to effectively manage communication and application records.

4. Prepare a market-ready résumé

A polished résumé is your marketing message and should clearly articulate your skills and experiences. Remember: A résumé must be relevant to the internship, concise with good use of action verbs, and error-free. Use Optimal Résumé as a template to easily develop your résumé in the Olin format. Seek feedback on your résumé from a WCC or MCC advisor.

5. Write engaging cover letters.

A well-written cover letter tells your story and invites the reader to learn more about your interests, qualifications, and fit for an internship. Develop a personalized cover letter for each internship application. Just like a résumé, a cover letter must be tailored and relevant to a specific position. Use Olin’s Management Communication Center to fine-tune your written communication skills.

6. Apply for internships

The most successful search strategy combines Olin online job posting sites, networking, and time. Check job postings often for new entries and deadlines. Use the individual research and networking relationships you are developing to connect with target companies and identify internship opportunities.

7. Schedule practice interviews

Practice interviews allow you to hone your interviewing technique and receive feedback to develop and refine your interviewing skills. You will gain confidence through preparation and practice. Conduct a practice interview with a WCC career advisor, alum, or mentor for feedback on your interviewing technique.

8. Interview and follow up

Most interviews include behavioral-based questions, such as “Tell me about a time you showed leadership,” or “Give me an example of when you were a strong contributor to a team.” Employers expect you to be familiar with details about the company and the position.

Case interviews are growing in popularity. For example, “Is it a good idea for your client to consider opening a high-speed train service between St. Louis and Kansas City?” Case interviews focus on your ability to solve a business problem and are usually a standard part of consulting interviews, although other fields, such as finance and marketing, also use them.

You should have well-prepared, well-informed, inquisitive, and articulate questions prepared in writing to ask during and at the end of the interview. After the interview, be sure to send a thank-you note.

9. Evaluate offers

Evaluate offers, and respond in an appropriate and timely fashion. Determine how well the position matches your experience expectations and career goals. Talk through your internship offers with a WCC career advisor.

10. Accept an offer, and make the most of the experience

Congratulations! You’ve accepted an internship. Employers use internships as extended evaluation periods for full-time job offers. Be prepared to make a good first impression while maximizing your learning experience.

Could you use the support of the Weston Career Center or Management Communication Center? Schedule an appointment today. 




Throughout the year, hundreds of companies recruit Olin students through on-campus visits. The largest such event is Meet the Firms, where dozens of companies and hundreds of representatives, students, staff, and faculty fill the three floors of Olin’s Bauer and Knight Halls. Meet the Firms provides a unique setting for employers and students to meet, discuss employment opportunities, and network among other company representatives—and it is just around the corner!

The WCC provides a Meet the Firms app which puts all of the information at your fingertips. The app includes participating companies, as well as where they will be located for the event. The app also includes details about the firm’s recruiting focus (for example, whether the company is looking for full-time or internship talent, and so on). It also provides an up-to-the-minute layout and agenda for the day. A few key resources for students to check out:

In addition, Meet the Firms has a new component this year: Recruiting Insights, where attending representatives share best practices. After, some firms attend the MBA Exclusive, in which MBA students and firms can meet and mingle, followed by the Meet the Firms career fair. This is an amazing, energizing, and truly interactive couple of hours.

Below are several of the confirmed firms for the event. Download the Meet the Firms app for the latest list of attending firms. We hope to see you there!

Firms attending September 13

  • Abercrombie & Fitch
  • Accenture
  • Advisory Research
  • Aggio
  • Analysis Group
  • Andersen Tax
  • AT&T
  • Avascent
  • Axiom Consulting Partners
  • Bain & Company
  • Belvedere Trading
  • Bloomingdale’s
  • Capital One
  • Centene Corporation
  • Cognizant
  • Crowe Horwath
  • Deloitte (Audit/Tax)
  • Eastman
  • Education Pioneers
  • Edward Jones
  • EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials
  • Express Scripts
  • EY
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
  • Forsyth Advisors
  • General Mills
  • HBM Holdings
  • Kimberly-Clark
  • KPMG LLP
  • Lumeris
  • Mastercard
  • Mercer Consulting
  • Monsanto
  • Morningstar
  • NISA Investment Advisors
  • Nomura
  • PepsiCo
  • The Procter & Gamble Company
  • Prudential Capital Group
  • PwC
  • RGA (Reinsurance Group of America)
  • Robert W. Baird
  • Sense Corp
  • Slalom
  • Spectrum Brands
  • Susquehanna International Group
  • Teach for America
  • Travelers Fixed Income Investments
  • U.S. Bank
  • ZS Associates

 

Firms attending September 19

  • Advanced Technology Group
  • Aegis Strategies
  • Aggio
  • Anheuser-Busch
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Belden
  • Carindal Health
  • CGN Global
  • Citi
  • Dimensional Fund Advisors
  • Direct Supply
  • EisnerAmper
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Emerson
  • ePlata
  • Equifax
  • Essilor
  • Executive Financial Group
  • Forsyth Advisors
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Highmark Health
  • Hill’s Pet Nutrition, a division of Colgate-Palmolive Company
  • Lincoln International
  • M&T Bank
  • Maryville Technologies
  • Microsoft
  • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
  • Protiviti
  • The Resource Group
  • RubinBrown LLP
  • Varsity Tutors
  • Wal-Mart
  • Washington University Investment Management Company
  • World Wide Technology



Is your…

✔️ Resume in Olin format?

✔️ LinkedIn profile updated using the WCC-provided workbook, checklist, and tips?

 

Have you…

✔️ Developed your Personal Brand Pyramid?

✔️ Scheduled an appointment with a WCC advisor to establish an initial relationship and foundation for building a career action plan?

Fall semester is definitely busy season from a recruiting perspective, full of information sessions and events like Meet the Firms, where recruiters expect students to have resumes on hand at all times. Sometimes it’s very obvious that an event will involve sharing your resume. But what if you run into an alumnus on campus or make an unexpected connection? Don’t let the opportunity pass by! Anticipating and having the refined resume always available will avoid being caught off guard—it also allows for a more proactive approach.

Use Optimal Resume as a template to easily develop your resume in the Olin format. Below are key tips for writing an impactful resume. Your resume should be:

  • One page
  • Concise, accurate, and professional
  • Action- and results-oriented
  • Customized to the specific position you’re seeking
  • Proofed carefully for grammar, spelling, and conformance
  • Printed on high-quality resume paper

LinkedIn has become the ultimate supplement for the paper resume, as recruiters increasingly utilize both as sources to evaluate a candidate. Having a tip-top resume without an equally strong LinkedIn may give the impression that a candidate lacks attention to detail, or that LinkedIn—a growing online networking force—is unimportant to them. But LinkedIn is very important to recruiters!

Imagine the recruiter becoming enthusiastic reviewing a resume, clicking into LinkedIn, scrolling down and reading the candidate’s information. If the candidate’s profile is easy to read, with content that is crisply written and rich with information, the recruiter may determine that they are a fit for the organization. As reading continues, the candidate’s education background, involvement, and other valuable nuggets of information further pique the recruiter’s interest. Conversely, if the LinkedIn profile is sparse or clunky, written poorly or incomplete, the recruiter becomes frustrated.  The recruiter stops and moves onto another candidate. The power of LinkedIn—as a networking tool and job search database—is huge. An updated LinkedIn profile, coupled with the resume, gives a candidate a terrific chance to make a lasting impression and inspire action from the reader to contact the candidate!

If you need assistance refining and updating your resume or LinkedIn profile, make an appointment at the Weston Career Center today. Don’t delay—Meet the Firms is in mid-September. Be sure you are resume-ready for Olin’s biggest recruiting and networking event!

Guest blogger: Karen Heise, Interim Director, Weston Career Center




Many new students have already arrived, and the first day of classes for everyone else is just around the corner. In the hectic first weeks of a new academic year, we like to point out some of the unique and helpful resources available to Olin students. One such treasure is the Weston Career Center’s Management and Communication Center.

The Weston Career Center and Management Communication Center share a common goal: to ensure that Olin students have the personal and professional skills required for lifelong career advancement in today’s global marketplace. We believe that professional success depends on the ability to communicate effectively, present confidently, and, ultimately influence business decisions.

The WCC–MCC partnership offers an extensive lineup of resources to help students hone marketable communication skills. Through personalized coaching, interactive workshops, and leading-edge technology, the staff of the WCC and MCC guides students as they sharpen professional communication skills that will distinguish them in interviews and help them secure jobs, leading to their career advancement. Graduates of Olin Business School will distinguish themselves among their peers as effective communicators who drive change and lead thinking. Below are some of the services MCC provides to business students:

Advising on résumés and cover letters

Consultants advise on effectively using the Olin résumé format and assist with creating compelling cover letters, making persuasive and descriptive word choices, identifying grammatical and structural weaknesses, and offering recommendations for improvement.

Practice interviews

Through in-person and recorded practice sessions, consultants lead you through behavioral questions common in most interviews. Your responses and body language will be evaluated and a personalized improvement plan is created.

Crafting effective presentations and PowerPoint slides

Personal presence, persuasive language, and audience engagement are just a few of the critical elements of a successful presentation. MCC consultants review your presentations and offer instruction and tips for improvement.

Often the weakest link in a presentation, PowerPoint slides should be a powerful reinforcement of the salient points of your presentation. MCC consultants can offer tips and recommendations for making visually interesting slides that complement the speaker’s points.

Guidance on written assignments

Executive summaries, case reviews, and professional emails are some of the written homework that you will encounter at Olin. Consultants review your written homework and make recommendations to help you develop habits to produce concise, convincing, and logical written work.

English as a second language (ESL) assistance

Consultants help students with the challenges of developing expansive English skills. Practice in pronunciation cultivates an understanding of the importance of intonation in comprehension. Both written and spoken work are evaluated for correct grammar and effective structure. Cultural questions are addressed in a friendly, confidential environment. In addition, the MCC offers individual practice sessions.

Could you use the support of the MCC? Schedule an appointment today. 


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