This interview was originally published by Clear Admit on August 11, 2016. You can read the full article here.
Liza Kirkpatrick, director of full-time MBA programs for the Career Management Center at the Kellogg School of Management, has a long career in recruiting. Before joining Kellogg, she spent almost a decade with a staffing firm, helping to grow it from 12 people to five different offices in Chicago. When she came to Kellogg in 2008, she immediately had to prove her worth in a down market. Since then, she has held several different positions within career services but has always remained focused on student coaching, with oversight of the employer relations team, the coaching team and the operations team.
In the interview that follows, she unpacks the recruiting process at Kellogg, shares some of the shifts she’s seeing in terms of employer hiring and student aspirations and stresses the importance of thinking about your career goals before arriving on campus.
Written on the wall of a fifth-floor office in the Jacobs Center is a list of ways Kellogg students and faculty work to create a better society. The office belongs to Megan Kashner ’03, who was hired in January as the school’s director of social impact. From international development to environmental sustainability to civil rights, the ways that future business leaders can address the world’s challenges are endless, and Kashner’s list is just the beginning.
“When we talk about brave leaders who make an impact when they leave Kellogg, we are talking about more than economic impact,” says Kashner. “We know that when leaders bring their values into their career paths, they are positioning themselves to make a difference. Our students and alumni are interested in finding ways they can contribute to their communities and society, and the social impact team is here to support them.”
Because Kellogg believes that business is the dominant social institution of modern society, students view their future careers through a lens of improving sustainability and human outcomes. Kellogg explores social impact areas across the globe, across disciplines and across sectors, and addresses its many facets, including impact investing, education, human and civil rights, international development, social entrepreneurship, and beyond. A focus on impact and outcomes rather than on one particular vehicle or trend keeps the school at the forefront of social impact, where it has been for decades.
Tomorrow more than 1,000 students will graduate from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. I’ve taught almost half of them. They will soon start at new jobs, branch out in different industries and begin careers in cities around the world.
It is an exciting moment, transitioning from one thing to the next. It is a time of endings and beginnings, and it is scary, too.
For the past two years, I’ve posted financial advice for graduates. You can read last year’s recommendations here.
This year I’m focusing on brand building. This is an important topic for new graduates. Your personal brand will have a huge impact on your career. If your brand stands for reliability, cooperation, analytical thinking and leadership, you will get good assignments. Senior managers will give you the benefit of the doubt when things don’t go perfectly. If people think you make mistakes and can’t be counted on, things won’t go well.
Here are four pieces of advice to build a strong brand.
Second-year student Rohan Rajiv is blogging about important lessons he is learning at Kellogg. Read more of his posts here.
I had been looking forward to a Skype interview with Seth Godin at school for many months. It took me a few months before I was sure the technology would work. I promised him a good experience and I definitely felt a bit of the pressure of the promise in the days leading up to it. It all worked well (thank you to KIS – our tech team!) and the interview was a real treat.
Unfortunately, though, the video recording was not the best. So I’m afraid I’m unable to share that with you. Seth has very kindly offered an audio interview in the future. I won’t be taking him up on it anytime soon as he was so generous with his time and perspective. But I look forward to doing so in a year or two.
Until then, I am pleased to share my notes. These are paraphrased, and “I” refers to Seth.
Thank you so much, Seth. I intended to have a CliffNotes version of the talk, but there were SO many pieces that resonated.
Kellogg’s inaugural Women’s Leadership Seminar brought together more than 120 members of the graduating class to help them prepare for their next role after Kellogg. Each session focused on different issues relevant for women in the workplace.
The seminar, led by Professor Victoria Medvec, brought together impressive speakers from different functions and industries who covered topics such as negotiating for yourself and how to create your narrative in the corporate world. One of my favorite sessions covered the power of your network and how to thoughtfully build your network to set yourself up for success.
This year I was honored to be one of five students named Kellogg Youn Impact Scholars, and earlier this month we had the incredible opportunity to sit alongside 17 other Youn Impact Scholars and discuss the opportunities and challenges present at the intersection of social impact and business.
Coming into Kellogg, I knew I wanted to be involved in every opportunity I could find related to the hospitality industry. Since I was young, I’ve always been passionate about hospitality, and one of the many reasons I chose Kellogg is that I could find other people with this same interest, despite it being a very niche area.
One of my favorite experiences so far has been traveling with three Kellogg friends to the cross-school Las Vegas Hospitality Trek with Wharton, Harvard, UCLA and Columbia. Over the course of the weekend we met executives from the biggest casino resorts and restaurant groups in the city, toured the premises and met people with similar interests.
As an institution that is committed to diversity, Kellogg has a number of student groups that are committed to keeping its strong culture of inclusion alive.
One such group is the Kellogg Women’s Business Association (WBA).
The WBA offers a variety of outreach efforts in order to encourage more women to pursue and earn an MBA degree. By facilitating an open line of communication between current and prospective students, the WBA played a key role in Kellogg’s record-breaking female enrollment for the class of 2017.
MBASchooled recently spotlighted Amanda McCarthy, Kellogg WBA vice president of marketing. Amanda shared how the WBA supports the professional and personal aspirations of Kellogg women and how the WBA enhanced her own MBA experience.
While I was applying to business school, I was aware of the ratios of males to females at the different schools. While I wouldn’t say it was a deciding factor, it was certainly a consideration. Of greater importance to me was learning about what schools are doing to address tough issues like gender equality, and to prepare females for some of the unique business challenges that they might face in the workplace. I knew this was a priority for Kellogg based on the depth of programming organized by the Women’s Business Association and the support from the Dean’s office.
Given today’s corporate environment of flat organizations with tight budgets, the first thing cut—even before brand advertising—is career development. To add insult to injury, bosses are too worried about their own hides to worry about yours.
With that in mind, you should adopt a do-it-yourself attitude. Based on his experience, Professor Carter Cast developed DIY action steps to help you take charge of your career. Scroll through the illustrated slideshow above or read them below.