Tag: Weston Career Center



Job and internship offers come in a variety of forms. You may receive an offer over the phone, in writing, or sometimes even in person. If you are completely sure you are going to take the job, you can accept immediately. More often, when you receive an offer, you must carefully weigh whether to accept it. The Weston Career Center offers these tips for successfully navigating job offers:

Look before you leap

There are many factors to consider, such as location, salary, and benefits. Avoid making a hasty decision. Research and evaluate these factors to determine whether the job truly is a good match for your career goals. Respond to your offer professionally and with enthusiasm, and arrange the next steps with the person making the offer.

Most companies will give you a deadline and lead time to allow you to consider the offers. Some employers expect you to negotiate and do not make their best offer initially. Other employers have rigid pay systems with little flexibility. Determine beforehand the type of organization with which you are dealing. Once a company makes an offer, the ball is in your court. Ask for the offer in writing in order to have solid information on which to base your decisions.

Determine important factors

Before you can know how closely an offer matches your goals, interests, and values, you must know what they are. When considering a job at a particular company, prioritize these factors.

  • Work/life balance
  • Personal values
  • Salary/signing bonus
  • Level of responsibility, challenge, and intensity
  • Team versus independent work environment
  • Opportunities to use your skills, expertise, and interests
  • Learning, helping, and decision-making opportunities
  • Whether you like and fit into the culture
  • Geographic location
  • Physical environment and working conditions in the workplace

Consider all factors

Give yourself time to consider all factors. Make arrangements to call the person back to ask additional questions. Next, evaluate how well the position matches your career goals. Finally, prepare questions about other position details that have not been addressed.

Consider the following factors:

  • Does the company clearly define your responsibilities in the job description?
  • Do you understand the reporting relationship and organizational structure?
  • With whom will you be working?
  • Have you met your team members?
  • What else do you need to know to evaluate whether the culture is a good fit for you?
  • Given the company’s financial performance, are you taking any short-term or long-term risks in accepting the position?
  • What formal, informal, on-the-job, or external training does the company provide?
  • When and how does the company evaluate and reward performance?
  • When are the typical raises and bonuses for employees at your level?
  • When is the starting date?
  • When and how does the company provide relocation assistance?
  • Do you understand the benefits package? Benefits can add another 30–40 percent to your compensation.

Before you negotiate, gather information

Collect information

Doing your research can help you establish a salary range for the job and other benchmarks for each element of your offer package.

  • Visit salary websites.
  • Network with current and past employees in the company and in the career field. Olin alumni are excellent sources. Also, ask about benefits, bonuses, commissions, perks, moving expenses, and compensation structure.
  • Check salary statistics provided on the WCC website. Data is available by job function and geographic location.

Compile information about cost of living

  • Review websites that offer cost-of-living comparisons.
  • Speak to contacts who live in the area.

Determine how much income you need

  • Establish the minimum income to “get by” and the maximum you could be making under ideal circumstances.
  • Estimate monthly expenses.

Assess the demand for your skills and experience in the marketplace

  • Talk to alumni and the WCC career advisor to learn how strong your negotiating position is in the current market.

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




If anybody has any qualms about making a trek to visit firms, be assured that it’s worth it! I left New York after day two with a better understanding of the financial industry, investment best practices, what employers are looking for, and most importantly, what we could offer with the skills we’re learning in the Master of Science in Quantitative Finance (MSFQ) program.

This year’s annual MSFQ Trek to Boston and New York involved visits to Man Numeric, Wellington, Fidelity, DE Shaw, Point72, and PIMCO. These firms represent some of the top names in the mutual fund and hedge fund industry, and are the result of the Weston Career Center’s work in cultivating industry relationships—to the benefit of those in the MSFQ program.

It was a busy two-day trip. Each morning we started at 9 a.m., going full throttle until 4 p.m. When we were not learning about the different asset management firms and their investment strategies, we enjoyed connecting with our classmates. As we shuffled from meeting to meeting, we talked to directors, recruiters, portfolio managers, analysts, and WashU alumni. Each of the firms was gracious with their time and answered questions generously. DE Shaw even surprised us with hoodies!

Since our programs ended on Friday, we got part of the weekend to tour New York as well!

Special thanks again go to the Weston Career Center, especially to Molly Sonderman for handling logistics, and to Greg Hutchings for accompanying the 17 students who went!

Guest Blogger: Stefan Yu, MSFQ candidate and President of the Specialized Masters Program Council


Find the latest information on Weston Career Center events and career treks by visiting the Olin Careers website.




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

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