By, Gloria Liu
September 26th, it was a Friday night, yet there were only a couple of people at the Pub, not to mention there was nobody at the Fish or at West Dorm’s Sobo Lounge. Where had all the T-birds gone? The answer was, Philadelphia. The National Society for Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) was holding a career fair in the city of brotherly love.
The prestigious business organization NSHMBA, founded in 1988, is dedicated to promote leadership by enhancing career opportunities for Hispanic MBAs. Every year, NSHMBA holds a conference and a career expo at a major US city, attracting thousands of sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, speakers and volunteers countrywide. This year, the annual conference was held in Philly from September 24th to September 27th. And with NSHMBA’s buzz spreading through all business schools, more and more international students flew from around the country to attend the conference. Abishek Munshi, a recently admitted MBA student, was one of them and he told me about his experience.
Prior to attending the Conference, Abishek already knew that multinational companies like Well Fargo, IBM, BP, Ford, and Intel would be there to recruit potential candidates. But what excited him the most was that his dream company, General Electrics, would also be there. Attending NSHMBA would give him an opportunity to get to know the recruiters, to network with them, and demonstrate his capabilities and value to the company. Despite the fact that GE only intends to hire candidates with US work authorization, the company was willing to create an exception for Abishek. As he recalls, the recruiters told him, “You are the best fit for our position.”
As Abishek mentioned to me, his successful meeting with GE recruiters came from hard work. To begin with, Abishek did his homework about the company before talking to them. He focused on what he called the “pain areas”, that is, the company’s problems. After identifying GE’s marketing and strategy problems, Abishek was able to demonstrate his value by tailoring his resume to best match the position. The recruiters were impressed by his homework, so they granted Abishek an interview.
In the interview, he was asked about his professional life, technical expertise and behavioral questions. Abishek did just fine in all of them. The key issue here, according to Abishek, was to be prepared about GE’s recent projects and show his genuine desire to work for this great company. By genuine, he meant commitment. That is why when GE asked about the challenge to sponsor international students, Abishek answered, “that’s fine–you can send me to Africa and I will work there.”
Now, back on campus, Abishek feels great about his experience at NSHMBA. During our interview he said, “Attending NSHMBA helped me learn where I stand in my career, and what are the skills I need to acquire, those that I need to work on, and how to talk to interviewers effectively.”
After finishing my interview with Abishek I realized that all of us had something to learn from his experience. First, we should always do the research about the company before talking to recruiters and second, we should always demonstrate our flexibility and commitment to work with the company. This will transform us into a valuable asset for the company.