Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A luxury resort

As an HR person, I look in amazement at what is happening on campus these days. Yesterday the recruiting season officially kicked off with two company presentations on campus. Suddenly we were surrounded by suits, running around nervously (even my adrenaline levels got up just by watching them). And I just couldn’t help thinking : "why are they so stressed-out?"
Yes, there’s the huge loan to pay back.
Yes, there’s the luxury of choice and figuring out what you want to do and where.
Yes, there’s the task ahead of finding the right match (and maybe this will not be company nr1, but company nr 2 or even 3, or even the start of your own).
Yes, there’s the typical kind of "oral exam – stress" that goes with each interview.

But let’s face it : in general – MBA students are *Wanted*. Very much.
Companies send four to five of their higher management staff to INSEAD just to give a presentation. Think about what this represents in working hours, and consequently in salary spent on campus recruitment. Others pay for the cv books, and maybe even for dinners, plane tickets, weekends, you name it. Or they’ll hire expensive head hunters just to get to you. And finally there’s the sign-on bonus you’ll probably get. Outside of this bubble, people have to scan through newspapers or spend hours on jobsites.

Next to that, there’s the ocean of information MBA students are swimming in. You can talk to fellow students who have worked in your field of interest, you can probably even talk to people who have worked for that particular company. You can do mock interviews. You can get your cv’s and cover letters read and re-read before sending them, making sure they answer to all necessary standards. You can have "coffee chats" with companies before deciding whether you want to apply or not etc, etc,…….And if all that fails, there’s is still INSEAD’s Career Services….
Let’s face it : this beats the ordinary jobfair in your home town…

This being said, some itchiness is totally necessary and understandable in a job hunt. The complaints or the sky-high stress levels however, are – in my humble opinion – better left at home. Let’s face it : this is like a luxury resort on the jobmarket. So next time Career Services organizes a "let’s stress them all out-session", remember that part of the stress is probably about them and their KPI’s they have to achieve, not about you finding a job or not…
Fingers crossed and good luck to you all ! (and don’t forget the occasional yoga-session ;-)

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