Among the many assignments, group projects and midterms, I’ve also had to navigate job hunting over the past two months. After talking to a few upper years and with my peers, I discovered that December to March are the most stressful times of the year for most of us and I definitely felt that stress. Job hunting can definitely be classified as a second job, extracurricular or even extra course because it took a lot of time and effort.
There are many secrets that I needed to learn with regards to landing internships and I have to say that as a second-year student I needed to be strategic about the entire recruitment process. Here’s the top 3 things I learned about finding an internship in undergrad.
Plan ahead to attend events where companies of your interest will be hosting or attending.
In my first year, I had no idea where to look for internships and I wasn’t attending the right events. It was super important for me to attend case competitions, panel events, speaker events, workshops and seminars as much as I could. I found that attending all these events allowed me to learn a lot more about different industries and discover how successful people ended up where they are today. Additionally, actively seeking out the events that companies of my interest were sponsoring, hosting or participating as a guest speaker really helped my opportunity to network and get in contact with recruiters that could help me land a job in the future. The professional student clubs at U of T host various conferences and events throughout the year so there are lots of networking opportunities for students.
Networking with your peers at U of T is just as important as networking with recruiters
I quickly came to realize that my classmates are going through the job hunting process too and they may have attended events or gotten access to resources that I did not have. Also, being in a huge school such as U of T gives me direct access to future associates, executives and directors of top companies around the world. This is where making friends, joining clubs and meeting people at U of T outside of the classroom is really important and I am glad I realized this very early in my undergrad career.
LinkedIn is Your Greatest Tool
In my first year, I created a LinkedIn account and over time I’ve come to learn how the algorithm works and how I can make it work for me. One thing I discovered is building the right connections by putting yourself out there. I made sure that as I was attending events, I was posting about it regularly and making sure to give praises and celebrate people as much as possible. LinkedIn works the best when you maximize your interaction with your connections by staying engaged with their content. Doing all of that got me noticed by recruiters at McKinsey!
Job hunting definitely needs a lot of effort but those efforts will pay off if the cards are played right! Do you have any secrets you’ve discovered about the job hunting process?