Inaugural Virtual Recruiting Summit Equips Students with New Skills

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The fundamental approach to networking and interviewing has drastically changed due to the virtual nature of the pandemic. The McDonough School of Business saw an opportunity to help students adapt to these new digital behaviors through its first-ever 2020 Virtual Recruiting Summit, drawing more than 100 attendees each session. 

“We saw this event as an incredible opportunity for students to gain the tools and resources necessary to forge new relationships in this truly unique recruiting landscape” said Kerry Kidwell-Slak, director of career curricula and communications. 

The planning committee offered students relevant information about virtual recruitment from a variety of perspectives over the course of four days. On the first day, for instance, the Georgetown University’s Center for New Designs in Learning & Scholarship (CNDLS) provided tips on how to create a “Zoom studio” that presents candidates in the best way possible. Day two explored networking and how to make meaningful, professional opportunities in the virtual space. Participants gained an awareness of the unwritten rules to follow when networking via video, email, LinkedIn, and other online platforms.

It was important for the programming to include top-tier recruiters who could offer students insight as to what they are looking for in an ideal candidate. Amazon recruiters shared their experiences of interviewing virtually and offered advice on how to stand out. Approaching the fourth and final day of the summit, recruiters from Abbott Laboratories spoke about how to maximize virtual career fairs to make a good first impression. 

“I found the resources and conversations related to ‘Stage Presence in your Virtual Space’ to be particularly helpful,” said Jackie Powell (MBA’22). “I was able to navigate how to best set up my work space to be comfortable for me and not distracting for others.”

The virtual summit was made a success in part through Kidwell-Slak; Doreen Amorosa, associate dean and managing director of McDonough Career Services; Patrick Devanney, former director of the Master of Science in Management Career Services; Talia Schatz, director of the Undergraduate Career Development Center; and Larry Verbiest, director of consulting for the MBA Career Center.

Recordings from each day were also published on the 2020 Virtual Recruiting Summit Website and will remain live throughout the 2020-2021 academic year for students to refer back to at their own convenience.