During the Halloween weekend, four students/alumni from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, including me, flew to Houston with the agenda of putting our school and ourselves on the radar of companies like CITI, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, NRG and Shell Oil. I, as an alumnus, was in constant contact with Mahdi Hemingway, President of the Young Professionals in Energy Club, and was excited about the trek not only because of the list of companies we’ll visit, but also because of the exposure of getting facetime with potential employers.
A 5 am flight on a Sunday is not how I imagined my trek to commence considering I was out with friends the night before. However, in hindsight, it all worked well as the team took time to decompress before meeting Carey alumni for dinner. I felt a sense of camaraderie with the team, togetherness that harnessed positivity throughout the trek and could be experienced multiple times during our visit.
The alumni we met showed a bond of being under the same umbrella of Johns Hopkins, even if separated by different companies. As soon as introductions with alumni were exchanged, I received an invite for an interview from one of them who works at a Power and Distribution company. Things were moving at an unexpected pace, and keeping up with it was taxing; however, for a three-day trip, two rounds of interviews, and meeting professionals from six energy and finance giants, I felt this was an ideal trip for me and the team.
As Monday approached, we built a strategy to inform potential employers of our strong interest in working for their companies, but more importantly, we wanted to establish a relationship that could be leveraged to advance the careers of future Carey cohorts. With one meeting after another, continuous dialogue with the companies, and the Carey team showing a sense of camaraderie, I realized how successful we were becoming at expanding this network for the school. Needless to say, considering the adeptness of the students and alumni of Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, the VPs and Associates were more than willing to bridge the communication gap that has been historically present.
By Tuesday we were more confident than ever in our approach and strategy working with these companies. They stressed the importance of maintaining and owning the relationship, and all of them appreciated our initiative to fly down to Houston. Our collective effort inside and outside of the conference room was strengthened, and if someone asked me how I planned to spend my Halloween, I would not have guessed it would have been in Houston. But this is the purpose of networking. I realized that amongst us we had an MBA candidate who did his major in biological / neurological something (fancy rocket science degree). The team enjoyed each other’s company over friendly discussions, and we also learned so much from each other. If I were given the opportunity to represent the school again on employer treks, I would be more than willing to extend my help. We built the foundation for future cohorts and we can only expect the trend to continue.
We have passed the torch and trust them to “Carey” on.