In just a couple short weeks, the second semester will have started and for many students, internship recruiting will be underway. It’s almost strange to think of how quickly the first few months went by. Many aspects about the experience to date have met or exceeded my expectations; the thing I love most is the ability to sit down and have a full-fledged, stimulating conversation with just about anyone.
After reading what feels like hundreds of cases already, I think I’ve also finally realized what the case method aims to do. It’s about teaching people how to constantly listen and connect the dialog into a single stream conclusion. Obvious perhaps, but also far harder to do than it sounds. I’ve caught myself suffering from delayed-response syndrome a few times, where the pieces don’t quite fit until a couple minutes later, by which time the conversation may have moved on. Despite that, I’m enjoying the experience, and know that it will be vital for an introvert like me to slowly build up confidence to put my (even half-baked) thoughts forward.
On the recruiting front, if there’s one thing I’d advise new students, it would be to try to target your job search as early as possible. Recruiting, like most things in life, is all about timing. If you don’t initiate those conversations early-on, you’ll probably be beat out by someone (whether at HBS or another school) who does. Expressed interest equates to perceived interest, so make sure to let the firms that you are interested in know of you from the start. Use those two shielded months at the start of the semester to figure out what you might be interested in, then go after it wholeheartedly.
I’ll admit that I could have done better on that front, and thus ended up discovering new areas and firms of interest at a later stage than others. While this has made the process a bit more challenging, I plan to utilize the dedicated period to further flesh out these opportunities. Hopefully, I’ll be able to emerge with a solid plan for the summer shortly.
Janet Jin, MBA 2015