When trying to decide whether I wanted to attend a big school or a small school back in high school, the answer was easy. I was drawn to large campuses for many reasons. The sheer number of alumni larger schools produced for networking, the environment at athletic events, resources some small schools don’t have the budget for, etc. But one thing I never considered — and haven’t appreciated enough until this year — are all the opportunities UMass offers to better yourself professionally.
One of the perks of having the top public business school in the Northeast is that the name “Isenberg School of Management” attracts a lot of attention in the business world. The annual Isenberg Career Day Fair hosts more than eighty businesses, including some pretty well-known companies: Toyota, Dell, IBM, Pepsi Co., PwC, Raytheon, Target, Liberty Mutual, TJX, Bose, Anheuser-Busch, and Marriott, just to name a few. Representatives from these businesses, including many UMass alumni, come to this event looking to recruit UMass students of all majors for internships, externships, or even full-time post-grad jobs.
After trying to sell myself to some of these companies, I was able to hand over my résumé, and put down my phone number and LinkedIn account to some representatives for further consideration. It hit me then that I never really put much work into my LinkedIn profile. I made one just to make one this summer, so naturally I began to get a little nervous about how these recruiters would think of me, seeing my profile just has my name and email on it.
Luckily for me, I got an email about 10 minutes later reminding me that the communication department was hosting a “LinkedIn Workshop and Résumé Review”, also open to all majors, from 4-6 p.m. There, I got professional advice on how to make my LinkedIn account more professionally appealing to job recruiters. Bingo. The event also gave out popcorn, chips, sodas — which is all I need to go to any event — and even took a professional photograph of me that could be used for my profile picture on LinkedIn. All of this was free, and it also fit in nice and easily around my schedule.
The best part is, these are just two of the events that appealed to me today. Events and opportunities like this happen all the time here. There’s always an opportunity to take thirty minutes out of your day and get professional advice, network with alumni, get your résumé reviewed, and just get more prepared for the real world than I feel many other schools can offer. As soon as I went home, I looked up similar events that appealed to me and signed up for mock interviews and two alumni networking events.
People often say that “you get out what you put in” in regards to the college experience. But at UMass, you have a lot more opportunities to put yourself in, and therefore, get a lot more out of your degree.