Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Career Fair

It's difficult to assess how good the Career Fair was, in terms of matching expectations from Students, companies, and Career Services.
First, schedules were full of classes. Tough it's definitely easy to skip them, and quite accepted.
Second, it is quite early in the process. At this stage, a lot of people are still struggling to come up with job search criteria, let alone strategies. So approaching "seriously" recruiters in this state of mind in not easy.
Third, we, as participants, tend to expect too much from Career Fair or Career Services.
When I hear comments like "there's no big companies, companies that make me dream". It's partly fair. But then, they are available either through intranet, or they expect us to come to them. Typically, if you're interested in media, entertainement for instance, you won't find such companies in such a Fair.

Who was there? 35 companies. Maybe a potential of 100 positions on offer.
Some big companies in industry (Philips...), some banks (Barclays, Santander...), some telcos (BT, Telefonica), some smallish consulting firms, some bigger (Cap Gemini). A bit of everything. They all looked for international positions.
I'm sure some would be disappointed by the turnout (of companies and students alike), evidenced by a dramatic reminder mass mail at noon that 5 companies or so had not seen a single grad by that time. There could be some kind of long-tail positioning of INSEAD, like filling a position in Abu Dhabi, which could explain the low turnout of students to some firms. I might not be the best person to comment on that, but it also could be early in the process. Once some participants get rejected from McKinsey, Google and the "prestigious" likes, smaller, seemingly less fancy companies become rosier options. And of course, a lot of participants are sponsored.
Overall though, it seemed a useful event, especially if one could establish contact and keep it for later stages.
Alternatively, there are zillions of company presentations, on campus and sometimes via VC. Surely, it's choice that makes it so tough for participants...

I'm having a session of PIM on Wednesday about choosing jobs. I'm sure the Prof. will talk about options, peer pressure, etc. Might be insightful and in the nick of time.

Good luck to all.

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