Nothing like a test drive to help with a major decision, and some of our own MA’ers took the opportunity to try a couple West Coast companies on for size. Two separate recruiting trips, to San Francisco and Seattle, happened simultaneously this past weekend, with most of the people returning to classes on Monday.
These two trips visited prominent companies in their respective cities; companies you might have heard of like LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, and Google. Most us are currently looking for a future career (or not-so-distant-future-and-oh-my-goodness-how-is-it-November-already) but have little to go off of to make such an important, life-altering decision. That’s why the Marriott School offers these recruiting trips.
Recruiting trips are an excellent opportunity to visit a city and test whether you “can see [yourself] living and working there,” said Natasha Adorablé who visited Seattle. She also said that visiting the companies at their home-base gave her a significantly more in-depth understanding of the organizations than she would have had by only visiting an info session (though you still shouldn’t pass on those opportunities). She was able to experience a little of the company’s culture and begin to network outside of the Tanner Building’s walls.
Along with networking with the other students, Ben Manning, who also visited Seattle, enjoyed the opportunity to see the companies in action like Natasha did. He felt that “[getting] a first-hand view into what [the company] is really about,” is much more powerful than only reading about a company online or even speaking with someone over the phone. He says this trip has added to his “vital understanding of what [his] job could look like in the future.”
Recruiting trips, at the very least are an excellent diversion from the normal day-to-day grind, but more so they hold their deepest value in the networking opportunities that both Ben and Natasha mentioned. BYU Alumni at each company the group visited toured the marketers through the facility—many were happy to connect on LinkedIn as a future in-house contact.
Some may wonder if touring companies with a group of other marketers would be very useful, like Claire Sonksen did before heading to San Francisco. She was “pleasantly surprised,” by her experience and was able to “pick the brain of marketing employees at different companies.” She went further to say that after her involvement she recommends that others should go on a recruiting trip themselves, especially as preparation for their senior internships (as she is preparing for now).
Hussam Qutob, who also visited San Francisco, said that as an international student this trip was useful “simply… to understand how many companies function.” He referenced how stressful choosing a career is and how helpful it was to meet alumni who have landed positions at prominent companies in the past. He said that through this recruiting trip he learned “what companies look for in new applicants,” and he feels that this new knowledge will help motivate him to work harder and make his dreams a reality. Hussam recommends that every student capitalize on the opportunities that the MA and similar clubs provide to help build their networks and provide these chances.
So, whether you are about to graduate or are just applying to the program, take the opportunity to feel out a couple companies with the next available recruiting trip. If you have gone on one in the past please comment below with where you went, who you visited, and some of your favorite experiences. A little test drive could be just the thing to set you up with the career you’ve been hoping for.