From the moment I began my MBA, I was told that as a student who was recruiting for the Luxury Retail industry, I would face a slightly different recruiting cycle and process than many of my peers. The schedule is a bit less structured and most companies in the industry typically recruit on an as-needed basis. That said, the exciting opportunities generally present themselves a bit later in the school year. While this can understandably be a cause of stress for some, I appreciated having the facts upfront. It helped me to determine early on that this was a career path I was committed to pursuing, even though it would certainly require me to be patient and a little more creative with my job-hunting strategy.
Since then, there has never been a time when I’ve doubted the decision to continue on the path I’ve chosen. While this is definitely due in part to countless late night personal pep talks, it can also be largely attributed to the support I’ve felt here at Stern. Though fewer companies in my industry of choice come to campus for the traditional corporate presentations and other such events, Stern’s Office of Career Development taps into its Luxury Retail alumni network throughout the year in an effort to continuously provide students with a gateway into their target companies. I’ve attended breakfast events, during which I’ve had the chance to connect with some of our alumni in more intimate settings and I’ve been to career panels with Luxury Retail professionals who have been happy to share their experiences and are more than willing to answer all our questions.
Another valuable resource I’ve personally leaned on is the Luxury & Retail Club. Club members tirelessly reach out to companies to organize various types of events through which students can gain exposure to companies of interest. Past events have included corporate headquarter visits and tours, lunch & learns, and cocktail hours. Many of these events have led to continued conversations with company employees that ultimately resulted in internships and job offers. The club ensures it is exposing students to a wide array of retailers of varying sizes, growth stages, business models, specializing in different products.
Aside from all these formal internal resources though, what has perhaps been most helpful has been my own peer network at Stern. Simply having conversations with friends about my interests has helped lead me to interesting opportunities I would otherwise not have been aware of. Friends have connected me with other friends or simply passed along job descriptions they come across that they think may be in my wheelhouse. While we are all of course told that our networks will probably be one of the most valuable things we take away from the MBA experience, I think I underestimated just how much I would come to rely on mine. My peers here have proven to be my great asset; they provide encouragement, advice, introductions, and go above and beyond to do so. It is because of all the people and resources that make up my tremendous Stern support system that I feel confident I will be successful in pursuing my career path, as “unstructured” as it may be.