Completing Mission Possible

Agent: Student_007

Mission: Secure Internship

Location: Campus Center

Event: Career Fair

The first objective of a special agent is to suit up. Put on the uniform, tie on the tie, comb back the hair. Next, an agent always checks for weapons and gadgets. Every great spy in history could not have completed their missions without their tools: laser beams, dart guns, tiny camera, etc. Above all else, every good agent has to remember the objective. He or she needs to have studied the top secret reports to prepare for the dangerous endeavor ahead.

Students at Olin are familiar with this process. Each of us, just like James Bond, have a critical mission to complete. While Agent 007 looks to spy on foreign intelligence, Olin students look to secure what has been on our minds all year, a summer internship working for the company of our dreams.

Suit Up:

Agents K and J from the Men in Black movies are never seen without wearing their uniforms. Likewise, on the day of the career fair, students put on theirs. Friends lend out blazers, belts, and bow ties. Victoria McDermott, class of 2020, described the morning frenzy of getting ready. “Everyone was fancy and professional. People brought out their best outfits and actually ironed!” Another student, Alex Li, sums it up well: “Gotta look sharp.” James Bond goes to great lengths to maintain his appearance, and a mission as important as ours requires no less.

Gear up:

Next, we take inventory of our arsenal. For our mission, this means carefully organizing 20+ resumes, securing a file folder, and remembering a pen. These tools will be critical for mission control. ‘Resumes are the most important’, says student Victoria. She goes on to say that “I handed a resume to every company I talked to.” She described how her resumes were essential for interaction with recruiters. They give the recruiters an overview of what you have accomplished. Similarly, James Bond was notorious for crafting the tools he needed. In our situation, we take care to craft the perfect resume that showcases our past work. Victoria describes how she felt confident about her resume after spending a long time perfecting it. She particularly remembers using the help of the Post-Graduate Planning office to edit her resume.

The next most important tool we bring on our mission is the pen.  Just like MacGyver utilizes duct tape, we bring a pen to complete the mission. A pen is critical for several reasons. First, you need it to take notes about application instructions from recruiters. When the recruiter from companies like General Electric or Microsoft give you their email, you need a pen to add it to your ‘network file.’ Second, you need a pen to take notes on what your post-mission plan is. Which job applications are online? Which recruiter invited me to add them on LinkedIn? What special instructions did the recruiters give me? Victoria says that a pen is “useful to write down people’s contacts,” and all these additional pieces of information. 

Show up:

Lastly, every student at the career fair knows you have to prepare. Harry Hart from Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015), always knew exactly what he wanted to accomplish when he walked into a room. We do too. Weeks before the career fair, a ‘mission file’ (a.k.a ‘Attending Companies Booklet’) is released by the Post-Graduate Planning office.  Students examine this file for vital information like location, qualifications, and rank of the subjects (companies) to make a plan of attack. Students map out their top companies that they want to meet and write down where their tables will be in the Campus Center. On the day of the fair, all they have to do is follow their map and meet the company recruiters. They also make detailed notes of their top companies. This step includes recording specific application questions, or making note of which job descriptions match certain aspects of our resumes. Victoria used the booklet to make a list of the companies she wanted to talk to. She also said it helped eliminate surprise companies. She liked having the chance to investigate places she had never heard of previously.

At the end of the day, students heave a sigh of relief! They gave the mission their best efforts and their work will surely be rewarded. In the Bourne Series, Jason Bourne rejuvenates after a hard mission of outsmarting the enemy. Likewise, we congratulate ourselves with a mission well done. However, a spy’s work is never really complete, and soon students will be preparing for the next career fair.

Alex is currently looking into doing research at a local robot lab this summer and Victoria recently secured a job at Draper Labs in Cambridge. With a sharp looking outfit, carefully crafted set of gadgets, and a plan of action, students turn the career fair from a daunting challenge into Mission Accomplished.

Posted in: Student Voices