Recently, we held our first ever preMBA Virtual Networking Event on June 28-29. This event was a recruiting experience intended to connect incoming MBAs to employers early on in the lengthy recruitment process. To better prepare candidates for their networking journey, we held workshops centered around recruiting strategy as well as panels on the non-traditional MBA experience and what diversity looks like in the workplace. In terms of interactions with employers, participants had the opportunity to attend employer presentations and have one-on-one conversations with company recruiters.
Below, we will break down what we learned about our participants’ experiences and ultimately convince you about what we aspired for the event to result in—a success!
The event increased the preparedness of the candidates
While several students have an understanding that the MBA recruitment process requires networking and job-hunting for positions that meet one’s interest, many are unaware how time-consuming the journey is and how to start laying the groundwork for preferred employment before arriving on campus. To combat this lack of knowledge, we held workshops on recruiting strategy and the recruiting experience for international students. In Recruiting Strategy, candidates met career coach Andrea Sparrey, who handed out her best tips on how to figure out which MBA career function and industry is the best fit. The Open Avenues Foundation—a non-profit organization that specializes in global talent acquisition—took charge of the International Recruiting workshop, where they spoke about how to approach job search and obtaining Visas. If you missed these workshops and would like similar information, see our 5 Tips For Managing MBA Recruiting Season and What You Need to Know About The H1-B Visa and Employee Sponsorship blog posts.
In regards to the unprepared candidates, candidates that scored a 1 out of 5 on their perceived preparedness prior to the event had an average 300% increase in preparedness score after attending.
The candidates found the workshops, panels, and employer presentations interesting and informative
Our networking event was split over two days. On our first day, candidates had the opportunity to attend our various workshops, panels, and employer presentations before diving into direct conversations with company representatives.
In terms of the panels, we focused them around three popular yet significant topics in business school: the experiences of non-traditional students, how recruiters actually go about recruiting, and diversity and inclusion. We started with our Non-traditional Recruiting Panel, mediated by our very own Relish cofounder Zach Mayo whose background as a Philosophy major resonated with the topic. In A Day in the Life of an MBA Employer, MBA alumni and recruiters spoke about their daily work routine and, more importantly, how to set oneself apart in the recruiting process. We then finished off our first day of activities with a Corporate Diversity Panel, where employers discussed available resources for students from underrepresented minorities and how diversity is reflected in their work environment. If you are interested in learning about company best practices to increase diversity and inclusion, see our blog post on 8 Ways to Jumpstart Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Your Company.
Employer presentations helped boost candidate interest in a larger number of companies
We had a variety of companies attend our event, from retail giant Walmart to mid-sized global consulting firm Mars & Co. We found that 100% of our companies had equal or increased interest from our candidates after they learned more about their vision, culture, and recruiting in the conference. Strikingly, our two smallest companies by relative size, West Monroe and Mars & Co., had an increase of 87.5% and 200% in candidate interest after the conference, respectively. We believe that this may signify that our event helped introduce less widely known companies to the candidates.
Candidates are interested in engaging with upcoming RelishCareers events for networking and recruiting purposes
Given our mission of helping graduate school students connect with employers, we wanted to explore if this event’s success can translate into candidates attending our future events geared at giving them the tools they require for landing the job of their dreams. We found that approximately 71% of our candidates that attended immediately expressed interest in attending our next event.
We investigated preparedness of candidates, satisfaction with activity offerings, interest in participating companies, and likelihood of attending future events as indicators of our preMBA Virtual Networking Event’s success. Based on our results of an overall increase in candidate preparedness, significantly above average satisfaction with activity experiences, candidates piqued interest in companies, and the majority of the candidates having interest in our events, we have evidence suggesting that our event was successful.
Furthermore, we explored why this event is beneficial to both candidates and employers. Our event gave employers early access to MBA candidates at top schools and this exposure attracted company interest from a larger candidate pool. Candidates, likewise, had the opportunity to dip their toes into MBA networking. We provided them with resources that we believe will encourage and guide them to start the discovery stage of recruiting early and increase their confidence in their networking ability before starting classes. Altogether, we conclude that this event was a resounding success.
Are you interested in learning more about our next virtual event? Candidates who are interested can sign up for an account through RelishCareers and registrants will be informed of all upcoming events through email. Are you a school or employer interested in organizing virtual recruiting events this year? Send us a quick note and a member of the Relish team will reach out to set up a time to chat.