Eeshan Srivastava, a second-year MBA student, moderated the international alumni panel on January 30. We asked him a few questions to sum up the event.
1. Did any of the answers from the panelists surprise you?
When I asked the panelists to describe how they landed their first job after Weatherhead, Hui Tang was the third panelist to respond after Nikhil Khanna and Kun Xu. After hearing stories of the long and arduous journeys of the latter, Hui said that her journey was pretty simple. She said she networked, researched and prepared for interviews. It was surprising for me that she called this simple because doing all these things required a lot of hard work and dedication, which she clearly did to get her first job. She later told us that she was comparing herself to another classmate of hers who got a job in Parker Hannifin. This classmate used to be even more dedicated in her job search process—marking calendar days for networking emails, applying to hundreds of jobs online, meeting people in person and making best use of all available resources. This insight from Hui was truly inspirational.
2. What was the best advice given?
Nikhil Khanna had a great advice for international students or just students in general. He says, "no matter what, you must be yourself." We will need to work hard to get a job, but getting into a job that does not make you feel yourself is not worth all that effort. At the end of the day, we are working to add value to the organization and to ourselves. If stress and frustration come in the way of achieving this, then it's a lose-lose scenario.
3. What was the funniest moment of the day?
I asked the alumni to tell the students about their favorite professor. Kun Xu's favorite professor was Simon Peck. On being asked why she replied, "because of his British humor! He's just so funny!" Well besides being a brilliant professor, I totally agree with Kun that this is one of the reasons why we love him so much.
4. Would you recommend this event to other students?
I would definitely recommend this to international, as well as domestic, students. By just listening to the stories of these alumni, you can pick up a lot of learning. After all, they were in our shoes a few years back.
5. Would you come back as an alum to participate in this event?
6. Out of the parts of the event, including panel discussion, breakout sessions, and lunch with alumni, which part was your favorite?
The panel discussion.
7. Any last thoughts regarding this event that you would like to share?
Just keep on doing this and keep the alumni connections as fresh as possible. I think it'll help boost the morale of students by interacting with alumni from time to time.