This semester’s Meet the Intern night is next week, so I thought it would be a good time to offer some suggestions to compliment the official FAQ. These are based on my observations of the Meet the Firm night back in September; I want you to be better:
- Suit up. This should be obvious, but we saw a fair amount of people at Meet the Firms who fell short of the formal attire expected. (In general, we noted far more gentlemen guilty of this than ladies. Gentlemen: read this.) Follow through with a firm handshake and lots of eye contact, obviously.
- Bring a resume. Although most recruiters will have their own system for gathering information from candidates, having copies of your resume on hand will streamline the process and serve as a backup if you don’t address all of your key points. Having a padfolio or leather (or leather-like) folder to carry them in looks great and is worth the $20 investment.
- Practice your talking points. Jerry and I timed it: candidates have 3-5 minutes with each recruiter, so making sure you can articulate some of your best qualities and experiences is essential. Have a few anecdotes ready, and if you haven’t practiced them in front of other people, you are probably not as ready as you think.
- Remember it’s a conversation. Recruiters don’t want a 3 minute elevator pitch; they want a sense of who you are and how you might fit into their organization. If you’ve taken the time to do some research about the companies you’re interested in, demonstrate that by asking targeted questions about their culture.
- Ditch your friends. It was obvious who spent more time with their peers than recruiters. I saw people clustered in groups or standing in long lines while eager recruiters waited around with their clipboards. That shouldn’t happen.
- Go easy on the swag. You’re going to get offered caps, water bottles, office supplies, frisbees–all kinds of stuff emblazoned with corporate logos. This is fine, but make sure to bring a purse or drop by a table that’s handing out bags early on. It’s hard to shake hands when they’re full of freebies from other firms.
- Don’t overlook the smaller/bigger firms. Of course you should target the companies you’re particularly interested in, but that doesn’t mean you must ignore all of the others. You wouldn’t want to overlook an opportunity you might be a great fit for, and at worst you’re practicing your pitch while others wait in line.
We can absolutely help you with #1-#4, and I’d be happy to elaborate on the rest if you want to drop by the LPDC. (You can always send us an email too.)
If I don’t see you early next week, good luck at Meet the Intern!