Sunday, September 27, 2009

Retrospective: The Dreaded Career Search

Another thing I did not anticipate about Darden when I arrived: you have exactly 2.5 days to enjoy being unemployed, and then you start panicking about finding a new job. Surprisingly, this isn't because you are destitute; it's because the Career Development Center (CDC) will put the fear of God into you by immediately convincing you that you will never have a job ever again because there is a recession/you are a career switcher/nobody is hiring/the sky is falling/run, Chicken Little, run! OK, slight exaggeration. But still....

The doom and gloom and career-centric mindset started during International Student Orientation, continued through regular Orientation, became more intense during the first few CarMa sessions, and reached a fever pitch with the onslaught of company briefings, networking events, etc. that started a few weeks ago. To be fair, I think they really just wanted us to get on top of the job search sooner rather than later, but I thought I'd have a little while to just chill. Wrong.

We're currently in the midst of preparing our resumes (although resume drops don't happen until December, I've already been asked for mine a couple times). I'm having a bit of a hard time moving from a "look, I'm a great paralegal, hire me to work in the legal field!"-focus to a "look, I'm a great MBA student, hire me to consult/crunch numbers/develop a marketing plan/etc."-focus. I met with two second-year career coaches (one who was assigned to me when I picked the consulting industry as a focus, and one who will be working at McKinsey next year and had a similar non-quantitative, short pre-school career) and the consulting Career Coach last week, and I have a meeting with the "non-traditional careers" Career Coach tomorrow. Basically, my resume doesn't do a great job showing "results" right now, and I'm struggling to figure out how much I should/can (legally) share about what my jobs have entailed. I guess the good thing is that there are tons of resources available to me, so I'm going to keep taking advantage of them and "trusting the process," and hopefully it will all work out in the end.

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