December 7, 2009

8 Interviews: 1 Job

The title says it all---this week's post is about how eight interviews led me to one job. Earlier this fall, I found a post on the School of Management's internal job board (MiTrac) for a marketing position with EMC Corporation. This posting, for the Marketing Leadership Development Program, sounded intriguing---or at least intriguing enough for me to punch the "Submit Resume" button.

About two weeks later I was working a normal shift in the Graduate Admissions Office when I received the invitation to interview for Round 1. I was extremely shocked and excited and immediately began planning my interview preparation. Step one: call my career advisor in the Feld Career Center and schedule a practice interview (Interview #1). Diane, as requested, grilled me thoroughly and left me feeling exposed but prepared for Round 1.

On the morning of my Round 1 interview I was nervous but looking forward to meeting my interviewer. This first meeting went fantastically well (Interview #2). Sometimes in life, you get lucky, and you just need to take advantage. In round one, my interviewer told me of his previous career as a brewmaster, his entrepreneurial ventures, his term as Class President, and his job marketing tech products with EMC. It just so happens that I used to work at Anheuser-Busch, founded my own company, serve as MBA Council President, and spent the summer marketing software for Ubisoft. Like I said, sometimes you just get lucky.

After our meeting I was looking forward to hearing back about the final round and was invited back after another few weeks. Next step, call Diane one more time for another practice session (Interview #3).

The final round was an incredibly intense process. Two BU classmates and I traveled out to Hopkinton where we each had five 30-minute interviews (Interviews #4-8). EMC placed its 34 final round candidates in a large conference room with 34 marketing managers. Each interview was conducted at a one-on-one table but the tables could not have been more than a few feet apart. The setup was intimidating but it forced me to focus in on each interviewer and give them everything I had. At the end of the day, they announced a pre-Thanksgiving timetable for final notification.

Thanksgiving came and went----but no notification. I contacted a classmate who also interviewed and found out that he had not heard back either. Sure enough, the following Monday night I missed a call and received a voicemail from EMC Human Resources. Unfortunately, I had a Business to Business Marketing final presentation in approximately 4 minutes and could not call back.

The next morning I woke up bright and early to find out the final word---but was not able to speak with HR until almost 6pm. The payoff, however, was unbelievable. I had done it! I made it through the waves of MBAs and was given, in official language, "a verbal intent to offer."

The process was long and exhausting but I could not be more excited about the position. This will be a perfect launching pad for a career in marketing. I will be exposed to four different functions in the first 24 months and will then find a home somewhere in EMC.

In the meantime, I still have to summon the motivation to finish off my final semester at BU. I am excited for this last semester as a student and hoping to enjoy time with my classmates before we all scatter across the world.

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