Texas A&M University has always been outperforming several other universities in various walks of life. Recently, Mays Business School MBA students had a chance to witness firsthand how Aggies surpass other schools in terms of quality of education. The National Black MBA Association held its annual conference and career expo at New Orleans in the month of October. The career fair dates were 13th
October. Most of the students in the batch attended the conference in order to secure internship opportunities. The attendance was especially high because on campus internship results have not yet been released and every student wants to get the best offers.
It is apt, at this juncture, to let my readers know a wee bit about the conference prior to discussing the performance of the MBA students of our Alma Mater. The career expo is open to all MBA students across the United States of America. Several companies send their representatives and set up stalls to meet prospective employees. However, due to very high participation levels, students contact companies beforehand and network with professionals so that they can secure interviews prior to the actual event. As a result, Day 1 of the career expo has its interview slots filled before the event even begins. People who go and impress the employers at the career expo floor end up securing interviews on the second day.
The career expo takes place in a huge exhibition hall. The entire floor is divided into hundreds of stalls. Each stall has long serpentine lines full of sharp-dressed smooth-talking MBA students carrying their leather portfolios and proudly wearing tags that mention their names and the schools they are from. I was a candidate there as well but, as with most situations in life, I decided to take a step back for a while and view the situation from the eyes of a blogger. It reminded me of a living, breathing organization which maintained itself. The lines kept moving, the people kept smiling and telling the employers why they should be hired, and then they kept moving to the next stalls. At a basic level, it also reminded me of the Malvina Reynolds song Little Boxes and how we all enter institutions and come out as little standardized boxes. So, you can imagine how difficult it is to differentiate oneself from the competition and get the job or internship.
Mays Business School students have been provided with rigorous practice sessions that pertain to these very situations. Apart from grueling core courses, there have been numerous sessions on interviews, 30-second “elevator” pitches, LinkedIn profile improvement tips, resume beautification, and even dining etiquette. So, the MBA students of Mays Business School were thoroughly prepared for the NBMBAA career expo. We had networked with employers beforehand, dropped our resumes, sent cover letters and secured several interviews for the Day 1. In addition, after meeting the employers, we impressed them further and ended up with invitations for wine-and-dine networking events in the evening and more interviews in the following days.
In addition to company stalls, the event had stalls set up by different universities so that students could come for breaks and share information with each other. The collaborative Aggie culture is extremely important for us and we always exchange information to help our fellow students. When people came and traded stories, it was a common conclusion that we Aggies were better prepared than many of our peers from different universities. We had done better research, we had networked more and we had very impressive pitches. This clear preparation has led to several interviews. It has been a week since the actual seminar and we are waiting for the results with bated breath. However, no matter what the results are, we know that the Aggies, in compliance with our spirit, have fought and delivered a great performance.
As you reach the end of this article, dear reader, I would like to leave you with one final takeaway. No matter where we land up, we always remain Aggies by virtue of this fighting spirit that has been instilled in us. We work hard, do our best and represent Texas A&M University. The performance in NBMBAA is but a small sample of what Aggies have been achieving all over the world. You can take a student out of Aggieland but you can never take the fighting spirit out of an Aggie.
Arjun Chakrabarti | MBA
is an MBA student with an intense love for music, travel, scuba diving, tattoos and public speaking.