Lanesha Williams is an MBA2 specializing in digital strategy and marketing. Prior to Stern, she worked within Accenture’s federal practice as a technology consulting analyst, helping different government agencies implement and maintain technology systems. At Stern, she serves as the VP of Treks for the Association of Hispanic and Black Business Students. Lanesha graduated from Howard University in 2015 with a B.B.A. in Supply Chain Management.
2020 has been quite an interesting year to be a business school student. During the spring semester of my first year, things began to take a turn. We moved to online classes, social events were canceled, and some companies decided to scale back their internship programs. I was fortunate to have a full internship experience this summer. Although my experience was completely virtual, I was able to be placed on a retail project at a digital consulting firm. I thoroughly enjoyed my summer but decided I wanted to explore other job opportunities that were available. I knew that the recruiting process would be different in the age of COVID-19, but I was willing to adjust and cast my net to see what I could catch.
As most people interested in consulting are aware, case interviews are a pivotal part of the recruiting process. Before the pandemic, we had the opportunity to practice casing in person with our classmates. We had teams and groups that would practice drills together and participate in mock interviews. The pandemic didn’t stop the collaborative recruiting environment that Stern fosters. My classmates and I organized virtual meetups where we could practice casing and run through math problems. Through the Management Consulting Association, I also received exclusive access and discounts to prep websites. I was even able to take a Consulting Interview Readiness Assessment, which highlighted my strengths and weaknesses when walking through case interviews. My classmates and MCA club members extended themselves to ensure that I was prepared for the interview season that was quickly approaching.
The second-year recruiting process is much more expedited when compared to the first-year student process. Companies were not able to come on campus to host events, but they did host multiple information sessions via Zoom. Stern alumni were also happy to talk to me about their experiences at various companies I was interested in applying to. This isn’t behavior that was unique to the pandemic; Sternies are always willing to connect if you reach out to them with questions.
Once I was done attending virtual info sessions, I applied to the companies that were on my shortlist. Within a few days, employees from each company reached out to me to set up individual calls to chat about the company as well as help me prep for interviews. These representatives walked me through how their company would be conducting interviews and made sure I was comfortable with the new set up. They also answered any outstanding questions I had. These pre-interview touchpoints really made me feel comfortable and confident going in to interview day.
On interview day, I got up and prepared myself as I would for any other interview, minus putting on real pants. I did some meditation, put on a dress shirt and blazer, set up my ring light, and reviewed my notes one final time. Each company I interviewed for included some form of online analysis before moving to one-on-one interviews. Since I had passed those, I was able to move on to the zoom interview rounds. The interviews were a lot less stressful than I had anticipated. Interviewers were forgiving of technical glitches. Some even fielded distractions from kids or pets. I did have to talk through my cases a bit more since my interviewer couldn’t see my paperwork, but I had no problem doing so. I ended the day feeling confident and reassured about the entire process.
Recruiting remotely isn’t ideal, but it’s the world we live in right now. Both Stern and corporations have done a tremendous job adapting to the changing times. I’m thankful that I was able to go through the process successful and appreciative of all of the resources I had along the way.