NSHMBA – Where the Terps Ruled the Day

October 19th, 2011 by under Education, Everything!. No Comments.

Career conferences are an interesting phenomena. Students and professionals alike pay premiums to get face time with some of the biggest companies in the world. The goal? Simple, land a job or internship, or at least an interview to land a job or interview, and it is quite the spectacle. People, fully eqipped with a pile of resumes, name tages with their school’s or former company’s name nicely positioned on their left lapel, and a plethora of PAR and SAR stories in their back pockets to “wow” recruiters, cram into the convention space, elbowing each other as they stampede to their ideal, first choice coorporation. With dreams of their fantasy occupation, most would frankly settle for any job from this conference.

For a quick $300 entry fee, $450 cross country flight and three night stay at a hotel of your choosing you are gaurunteed only one thing, that some of these huge companies will be present and that you may be able to snatch thirty seconds of a recruiter’s time. Yes, you may drop your resume, the same resume the company has on file in their online database (and student beware of those dastardly recruiters who still ask you to submit a resume online!), and you may also pick up some nice swag (I myself ended up with a nice Burger King sports tote, a great Snoopy doll for my dog to rip up and a hella cool Kettel One pin…and no, pins are not out of style nowadays.) But for many, you walk home empty handed from your real purpose of attending, and that is to get a J-O-B.

That said, the Smith school, as only Danny Christian could so eloquently state, “DID WORK SON!”

At the 2011 NSHMBA Conference in Anaheim, I can honestly say I was proud to be a Terp. We were the cream of the crop and the buzz of the conference as our contingent of about 15-20 students impressed recruiters everywhere. Becky Eisen and Ananda Kirana each recieved two rounds of interviews with four different major companies including Danone, Merck, Johnson and Johnson, Gallo Wineries, New York Life, Conagra and Mars. Jeff Hildenbrand took down the likes of Best Buy and Intel, while Rodrigo Marin had five second round interviews including Delta. Yours truly landed the two big fish he went there for, MillerCoors and Diageo, and several others had huge success including Hillary, Karan, and a slew of first years.

We not only, as a crew, landed tons of interviews and a few offers, but were those outgoing candididates that were invited to dinners, private receptions and lunches. We stood out amongst the competition and the businesses shared this info with each other, helping us land a few companies now asking to have Maryland be a target school (those companies will remain nameless for now, but wow, some exciting big names!). This is as big a compliment our school can take, and means more than any ranking could define.

Over drinks Friday night, I had two recruiters from Home Depot admit that they heard we had the best talent at conference. I sheepishly thanked them for their kind words and they responded, “No seriously, we’d try to take a few of you ourselves, but we don’t think we have a shot in you actually talking to us.” This is the sort of story that should make all Smith students proud and that shows how talented a cohort we really are.

In a competitive landscape full of vultures and scoundrels, sparse opportunities and a “prove your worth” stress, like the best should do, Smith rose to the top. To be a part of that was worth the $1500 investment.

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