Launch Your 1st Year Recruiting Efforts at Company Information Day

Company Information Day is the first day organizations are able to present on-campus to 1st year students. Students do not have class on Company Information Day which maximizes your attendance numbers. It is a great way to introduce your recruiting structure, promote opportunities within your organization, and connect with students at a Meet & Greet in the afternoon or evening. Learn more about Company Information Day:


Mid-summer Update

I’m flying back from a mid-summer report out at Danaher’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. The past three days were full of reflection and feedback, as well as some fun after-hour jaunts in the city. For some of the interns, it was a chance to hear more about the work that’s happening in other operating companies. For others, it was a valuable mid-course correction on project scope and impact. For all, it was an opportunity to meet senior executives including Danaher’s enigmatic CEO Larry Culp (HBS ’90), hear his story of becoming CEO at the age of 37 and growing the company from $1B to $19B over the course of 15 years, which is nothing short of legendary. He GongKeAtBeckmanCoulterGenomicshad cases written about him and the company! I’m a little embarrassed to say that meeting Larry in person had a bit of a celebrity-sighting effect on me.

Over the course of the trip, we all received a strong dose of DBS (Danaher Business System) and witnessed its culture in action at “ground zero”. There was much emphasis on being data-driven and self-driven. We spoke to past MBA interns who have joined the company full-time and have done exceptionally well. We learned about new HR initiatives aimed at improving career movement and development of MBA hires. We also talked about family-life balance and diversity. All of these discussions gave us meaningful glimpses into what a full-time gig at Danaher is like, and whether it would be a good fit for us.

For myself, I had just kicked off a round of customer surveys for the marketing plan that I’m working on at Beckman Coulter Genomics. On the first day of presentations, I was at the edge of my seat not because of the content, as engaging as it was, but because I couldn’t wait to start reviewing survey results. The direction of the marketing plan and my next steps all hinge on the feedback from customers. We needed high quality results and enough of them to make the data statistically significant. Back at the hotel that night, I was finally able to take a first look at the results. Some strong trends were already emerging. If they continued, I will be able to confirm and reject several hypotheses already. It also looked like I was off to a good start, with the number of results reaching almost two-thirds of the target already.

The rest of the days in DC went by like a blur. I’ll need a few more days to unpack the content, but one of Larry’s comments stuck with me clearly. He said “I was pretty much like this when I came out of HBS,” in reference to his leadership style. He then followed it up with a wink and said “that’s what HBS will do to ya.”

- Gong Ke Gouldstone, MBA 2015


Create a Content Marketing Strategy for your Talent Acquisitions Team

As a talent acquisitions manager or a marketing manager within a human resources team, you’ve probably asked yourself how to reach large quantities of high quality candidates in a thoughtful and meaningful way. You’ve leveraged various niche and mass market job boards, created an employee referral program and are building out a social media presence to support your branding efforts. But what strategy has been put in place to leverage that social media presence to attract the right talent? Creating a content marketing strategy for your talent acquisitions team is going to be equally as important as building out a content marketing strategy for your sales or marketing team. Connecting with individuals in a deep and profound way is significant when convincing top talent to want to dedicate the next chapter of their career to your firm.

Compiled here are five steps to create a content marketing strategy that will attract and engage talent that is right for your firm.

1.) Segment your target audience.

Get to know your target candidates. Who are they and what do they look for in an organization? Is culture a priority for them or is skill development, flexibility, compensation or impact made most important? Leveraging existing technology or social media platforms paired with in person events such as interviews, career fairs, on-campus or club events is a great way to learn more about your target audience. Once you have discovered all that you can, segment your audience by attributes such as level of experience, job function preferences and desired organizational benefits.

2.) Create personas for each segment.

Create personas that match each of your target audience segments. For example, Jessica is a recent MBA graduate seeking a technology firm who will invest in her professional development. Outside of work she enjoys keeping up with her social media accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Google+. Matthew is a senior level business development executive within a CPG firm. He is not particular about the industry he will step into next but is passionate about business development and strategy and is looking to manage at minimum a team of 5 employees. Creating personas will help personalize your segments and consequently create content that best aligns with their interests.

3.) Tell stories each segment will want to hear.

Once you’ve developed personas, start thinking about content that might best engage those personas. For example, Jessica may be interested in learning about a product manager’s day-to-day role within the organization and new products being developed at the firm, while Matthew may be interested in learning how the ITweb2-20041003-124612organization is performing and who they’re creating partnerships with. Your goal should be to create content with values, goals and challenges each persona can relate to. If flexibility is of value to any of your segments, don’t be afraid to share personal stories from employees who feel your organization enables them to enjoy both work and life.

4.) Share stories where your audience is reading them.

Equally important as the content created is the method used to push the content out. Keeping with our personas examples, you want to ensure any content created for Jessica is pushed out on Twitter, Instagram and Google+. For Matthew it may make more sense to push relevant content out on your blog, LinkedIn or on relevant industry blogs and magazines. Your distribution strategy should align with where your customers already are. For candidates like Matthew, it may be wise to think beyond your own content. Think about what influencers already exist in a particular industry or function, say business development for Matthew. Can you partner with those influencers and borrow their audience? Creativity is key!

5.) Build relationships between prospective candidates and organizational ambassadors.

Create a brand ambassador program where select employees share their experience working at your organization. Depending on the platform you use, this will encourage prospective candidates to build relationships with your firm. You may also want to host a webinar or virtual panel of those ambassadors, furthering prospective candidates’ ability to connect with employees on the ground.

As suggested in Align your Social Media and Recruiting Strategies, put metrics in place that will measure the success of the approach you put in place. Which segments are engaging the most and which methods could use some fine-tuning? What content best converts into preferred applications and how can you expand upon it? Creating a content marketing strategy is an ongoing process that will evolve with the goals of your HR department, and essentially your firm.


From FIELD to Field, Putting What I’ve Learned at HBS into Practice

If you asked me two months ago whether I learned anything during my first year at Harvard Business School, my response would have been a resounding “Yes!”  But, if you followed up by asking me for an example of how I applied the lessons I learned into practice, my response would have been a hesitant “Umm…”

The FIELD (Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development) curriculum provided me an incredible opportunity to learn leadership skills not only in the classroom, but also through practical experience in Ghana and in Boston. However, at the end of Minh_HBSthe day, FIELD remains an exercise constrained within an academic environment. The question I asked myself was “How do I actually put what I learned to the test?”

As I was starting my summer internship in Zambia over seven weeks ago, I pondered “What am I bringing to the table that I would not have been able to had I not gone to HBS?” At that moment, the answer was not quite clear. However, as the days passed and the summer (technically, it’s winter here) progressed, it became clear that what HBS equipped me with was not the hundreds of cases I read and analyzed, as I will be the first to admit I will be the last to recall any of the case facts. Rather, it was the persistent pushing and prodding by my professors, section-mates, and discussion group members that I remember the most.

As I dove deeper into the managerial and operational issues of working in Zambia, I found myself asking whether the problems were really as simple and clear as they appeared at first glance. The many times I was pushed to justify my stance – from the morality and ethicality of pharmaceutical patents in the developing world to the negotiation tactics I would use with Steve Jobs – became constant reminders for me to go deeper than just the first layer of the metaphorical onion.

What I learned at HBS and what I have applied in Zambia was more than just root cause analysis or the typical “Five Whys” questioning. It requires combining a dose of empathy with an equal dose of traditional problem solving. Just as I had to put myself in the case protagonist’s shoes, trying to understand the motivations, pressures, and stakeholders influencing his/her decision making, I found myself standing in the shoes of our sales captains, sellers, and buyers. I forced myself to distinguish what the problems appeared to be and what they really are, as well as what the solutions should be and what they really could be given the real and practical constraints we face. This “method” of thinking has become my de facto mindset whenever I’m in the field with our sales team or in a meeting room with a multinational telecom.

There isn’t a simple list of “Things I’ve Learned at HBS and How You Can Apply Them Too,” because the skills I’ve learned, and am constantly honing, are those that can only be learnt through the experience of having been forced repeatedly to defend my logic despite knowing it was not perfect.

To end this post on a lighter note, my HBS experience also never lets me forget that having fun is just as important of a success metric as any other. Here are a couple snapshots to explain why I may never leave Zambia (more on Google +).

- Minh Chau, MBA 2015


Discovering a new organization and state as an intern

I have a tendency to plan rather far in advance (huge understatement), so I was pretty psyched to get the MBA intern calendar from Walmart in my email prior starting my internship.  Opening it was actually overwhelming- there is literally at least one training / tour / meal / happy hour / concert / festival / charity event / bike ride every single day for the whole summer!  I’m thankful that Walmart is helping us get to know the Northwest Arkansas area while we’re Stephanie_Post_2there, since they understand that not every MBA student is clamoring to move there full-time without a trial run.  I’ve spent the last 5 years in Boston taking road trips all over New England, so I am excited to explore a new area and enjoy the lakes and mountains in the region.  Maybe I’ll even drive the 45 minutes across the border to Oklahoma and see my 35th state…

As for time spent in the office, I’m excited about that too!  It will be a nice change from sitting in class each day, and I’m curious to see how different it is from my previous job.  I imagine the main difference will be the financial impact of any given project. Given Walmart’s scale, I expect to be amazed by the sheer magnitude of the numbers I’ll be seeing when I reunite with my friend, Microsoft Excel.   It will also be gratifying to apply some shiny new b-school knowledge to my project and further realize what I have gained from HBS in the past year.

- Stephanie Tupi, MBA 2015

Get First Year Students Excited About Your Company

Company Presentations are a great way to connect with students, to promote opportunities within your organization and to introduce your recruiting structure.  According to students, the best presentations include senior level executive presenters as well as an employee who is a recent business school graduate.  This combination of presenters provides a deeper understanding of your organization and insight into how students’ skills, experience, and career interest may fit within your company culture.


Connecting Fashion & Technology at Kate Spade

I found my internship with Kate Spade through Career & Professional Development’s collaboration with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Coming from management consulting where the recruitment process was very structured, this PL-Clock1was a totally different experience. February through April was filled with introductory calls and various trips to New York City and San Francisco. In the end, my interview with the Senior Director of Product Strategy here at the Kate Spade company went extremely well, and I was very excited to start the job after receiving the offer the very same day. With this internship, I hope to immerse myself with the fashion-retail industry in New York City and find out whether this is a career I want to pursue in the longer term.

This new division, Product Strategy, was launched just this year in January. The division is tasked with accelerating the growth of three categories of product: tech accessories, watches, and beauty across all three brands, Kate Spade New York, Kate Spade Saturday, and PL-Sat4  Jack Spade, and across all channels of distributions globally. I’m specifically in charge of the tech category this summer. Our goal is to optimize how we work on these specialized categories and to increase our sales and profitability while leading the day to day operations.  Currently we are evaluating existing business, researching new and relevant product categories, distribution, and partners, and identifying the appropriate modeling for the business. My work has involved some overlapping with friends from HBS who are interning for tech companies in San Francisco, and it has been great to be able to reach out to them.

The interplay between fashion and technology is still a new aspect of the industry, but it is a very exciting one with a lot of opportunities that are occurring at a fast pace. It is the perfect combination for me to work on this summer since I was focused on telecommunications, media and technology (TMT) clients prior to HBS, and I have always had an innate interest in fashion retail.

It is currently my third week and I am really enjoying myself. The company has a bright ‘sunshine-feel’ to it, with neon installations on all floors. It has been interesting to discover the different personalities of the three brands. I love working with the Senior Director who had previously interviewed me, along with the product development, design and marketing teams. I also participated in consumer electronic trade shows for the first time to discover new PL-Neon sign2products on the markets and look out for potential licensing partners for the company.  The Fashion Tech Forum was also very useful in connecting with different people who were in the tech and fashion space and getting to know the industry on a deeper level.

So far, this has been the perfect experience to work on some of the day-to-day decisions needed within the Product Strategy division and on my tech growth strategy project alongside as well.

- Proud Limpongpan, MBA 2015


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