P&Q: What’s something your team is doing differently this year that you weren’t doing this time last year?
Hershman: Accelerated recruiting caught everybody off guard so we didn’t really have anything new this year. We moved things earlier and shifted a lot of our fall programming into the spring to give our students a chance to get ready.
Next year we’re looking to build out a series of workshops about managing stress through the process. Another will focus on what students should do after their sophomore summer. In the past, sophomore internships weren’t a thing. Now, there are more and more students who are very focused on sourcing strong sophomore internships. We also have senior panels in the spring semester, but this coming spring there will be a junior panel with students sharing how they secured their internships and their advice to others.
There will be another workshop for sophomores to explain what the recruiting timeline looks like, what they should expect, and when they’ll be interviewing. The goal is to debunk confusion around, ‘I have to be doing something right now.’
We’re excited. We have a really great team and we offer some impactful programming. Still, if you would’ve told me we’d be holding a junior panel about sophomore internships, I wouldn’t have believed you.
P&Q: What are some other recruiting and career planning trends that are beginning to surface?
Hershman: Nothing in particular. I’m really interested to see how early recruiting plays out. I think there are a lot of ripple effects that can come out of it.
I’m watching very intently to see what our partners in other industries are doing. Are they going to try to throw their hats in the ring early? I’m also interested in watching our students. What happens if Google comes to campus and you’ve already signed with another company six months ago? What do you do then?
All of it has the potential to be extremely disruptive. It doesn’t keep me awake at night, but it keeps me thinking while I am awake. What we need to do is have conversations with alumni and recruiters so we can understand what they’re thinking and what their needs are.
P&Q: What are students expecting from employers these days?
Hershman: Work-life balance is more top of mind for students now than it’s ever been. You’ll have students really interested in consulting, but they don’t want to travel. They want balance in their lives. Also expectations of development, training, or incrementally changing their title every six months or year. Our students’ expectations of work are higher in a way. We spend a lot of time talking about how to get the job, but we’d be remiss not to talk about what to do once you’re there. We try to help students manage their expectations and we do that through workshops and other programming.
P&Q: What are employers seeking more of from students?
Hershman: Employers still expect students to have a solid knowledge of the company and how it’s structured, industries they’re in, and knowledge of recent deals. The challenge with early recruiting is the expectations haven’t changed. It’s hard to cram all of this in your head when you’re 19 and don’t know what a merger or an acquisition is. The challenge is that expectations haven’t changed, but they’re earlier. But like I said, our students have stepped up to the plate. I was blown away by what our students displayed during our recent finance trek. They were poised, they were knowledgeable, and they asked informed questions. They were probably scared to death, but they didn’t show it.
P&Q: What are Goizueta graduates best known for?
Hershman: We’re a two-year year program and business school situated within a good liberal arts school. Our students have great critical thinking skills and they’re great presenters. We get that feedback a lot. They’re also strong writers because they have to be. You don’t get through the required gen ed if you can’t write. Getting back to what we spoke about earlier — peer-to-peer education — we have a very collaborative culture. Our students are very good at understanding — even in an environment that’s supposed to be competitive — that you collaborate and help your classmates. And certainly our faculty do a great job transmitting the functional knowledge that our graduates need to be successful.
P&Q: Looking at Goizueta’s published placement data, it seems that your students’ starting salaries are steadily increasing. What do you attribute this to?
Hershman: I think it’s a number of things. Certainly part of it is attributed to geography. New York City is our top hiring market. Certainly industry and function are huge there so finance and consulting jobs pull those numbers higher. But we’ve also seen adjustments in marketing and retail and other industries where students are being compensated more than they have in the past.
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