Today I wanted to share my unique recruiting experience at Stern. For those who haven’t read my past blog posts, I am a career-switcher who has chosen to recruit in a non-traditional industry (entertainment to be exact). “Non-traditional” at Stern is a very broad category that is generously labeled as anything that is not banking, management consulting, or marketing.
My early adult life in one sentence = I went to high school, went to West Point, and went straight into the military for five years. I had 60 days of freedom between my last day in the Army and my first day at Stern. I knew before LAUNCH that I had a big challenge ahead of me: with zero entertainment experience on my résumé, how could I possibly prove to the entertainment industry that not only was I passionate about the industry, but also qualified to work in it?
Some criteria I gave myself:
1. Leave no stone unturned: Knowing my target industry helped me focus my time and energy. I researched into every area of entertainment in order to whittle down where I found the best fit. When I applied to Stern, I had two companies that I could picture myself working for. 6 months later, when I actually started applying for summer internships, I ended up applying to over 12 different companies.
2. Listen to those that have come before you: Coffee chats with the MBA2s are an amazing way to get an honest and thorough first impression on the industry you want to recruit for. I found that not only do the second-year Sternies offer great advice on how they succeeded, but also gave helpful advice on what they would have done differently if they were in my shoes again.
3. Build a diverse network: I realized early on that my network should not only be comprised of MBA2s (re: #2), but also a variety of Stern alumni and non-Stern connections. There are a number of opportunities to meet Stern alumni in your industry thanks to events and panels hosted by OCD or the school clubs. Networking outside of Stern took more time and effort, but it was a great way for me to get a second-opinion on areas I was doing well in or areas I could improve in.
4. Think outside the box: Besides declaring my academic specialization in Entertainment, Media, and Technology, I found that immersing myself in entertainment during my free time helped me understand the industry better. I attended entertainment conferences around New York City throughout the year (the Stern Entertainment Media and Technology Association is a great resource for these events). Also, in addition to being a full-time MBA1 student, I am a part-time intern this spring at an entertainment media company in order to build some more experience before the summer.
5. Be patient: By end of January, almost all of the MBA1s recruiting for traditional industries knew where they will be going that upcoming summer. The entertainment industry doesn’t even begin interviewing until February-March. Just because a company had not contacted me by February did not mean that they were not interested. Even with interviews, the recruiting process is not standardized, which can be frustrating because it is hard to compare opportunities. I was getting asked to come in for first-round interviews at Company A the same week that I was going in for final-round interviews at Company B.
And now … I am excited to share with everyone that I have accepted an offer with Showtime Networks for a summer internship! I am thrilled and so humbled with how everything turned out this spring. I firmly believe that being at NYU Stern was pivotal in successfully landing my summer internship.