OBC to host first ever Alternative Career Week
Business students suffering the ennui of prospective jobs in marketing and accounting will be shown more unique opportunities this week, as Alternative Career Week offers students a glimpse into the lives of executives from hip companies.
From Monday through Thursday, the Olin Business Council, partnered with the Weston Career Center, the Career Center, Olin Sports Management Organization, Alpha Kappa Psi, Delta Sigma Pi and Female Association for Business will hold events for students every day.
Each day will have a different theme: media, high technology, sports and fashion, in that order.
“The problem is that the Career Center and Weston Career Center usually focus on pretty orthodox jobs … that are pretty typical of the job market,” said Billy Roh, a freshman and vice president of marketing for Olin Business Council. “We’re offering something that’s more glamorous and something that’s atypical.”
The career centers have invited prominent executives such as the associate buyer for Bloomingdale’s, the group marketing manager for Microsoft Video Games and the director of marketing and sponsorship services for the St. Louis Rams.
“This will be a great time to network with these executives,” Roh said.
Alex Rosenberg, the president of Olin Business Council, sees this as an offshoot of his time in SU Senate, where he started the program netWUrks. Rosenberg’s program matched students with adults of similar interests in their hometowns to talk about future careers.
Rosenberg found that there was an information gap at Wash. U. about the industries in which jobs were available, and also a lack of focus on the coasts. He discovered that the career centers often directed students toward careers in the Midwest even though many students were raised on and want to go back to the coasts.
The narrow scope directed the career searches of many business school students.
“In the B-School, many students feel that their options are restricted to management, consulting, investment banking, corporate finance or a marketing job,” Rosenberg said. “The point of the event is to provide students with information about industries outside the normal job options.”
Some students find that the career centers are most helpful when they know what they want to do. For the undecided students, however, resources are harder to find.
“[The career centers] are good at seeing what you want to do and putting you in touch with people who can help you. If you have no idea what you want to do, they ask you all these questions and in the end you still don’t know,” freshman Wei Jia Ong said. “If you bring people in to speak about jobs not usually talked about, it’s good for people who don’t know [what they want to do].”
The event is also open to students outside the business school.
“It’s always a good idea to give students an opportunity to meet executives and know what’s out there,” said junior Gordon Sommers, a student in the engineering school.
Each evening of Alternative Career Week will have the same format, offering students different opportunities throughout the night. The first half hour will be an overview of the industry being discussed that night. Students who have interned in the sectors will then talk about their experiences. After a “fireside chat” led by the executives, students will have a chance to network and mingle.
The event will be held from 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m. in the Knight Center, room 220.