Every conversation matters

By Ty Colin

Analyst | Enterprise Risk Services (summer student)

I started business school at the Richard Ivey School of Business in September of 2014. By October, I found myself at my first networking event, in the same room as recruiters from all of the big accounting firms. It was an intimidating setting to say the least.

Now, I don’t consider myself to be shy. But introducing myself to a room full of strangers isn’t something I typically enjoy doing, much less with the added pressure of making a stand-out impression on the person I’m speaking with. If you’re anything like me when it comes to recruiting events, your gut feeling is to hang around the food table or stay at home altogether. But I’d like to share with you why it’s so important to fight that feeling, and how quickly it can pay off.

As I sat by the food table, the networking event was starting to wrap up. We had just finished eating dinner and the evening was winding down. A handful of recruiters stayed behind to answer questions for anyone who still cared to ask them. And there I was faced with a decision: To the right of me, the door outside, and home. In front of me, the food table. And to my left, a group of well-dressed strangers who I wanted to impress. Fighting back my strong instincts to pocket a few cookies and run out the front door, I told myself that I would have just one more conversation tonight.

That conversation happened to be with a very friendly audit manager from Deloitte. We hit it off, and chatted until we got kicked out of the room. We exchanged cards, and kept in touch into the New Year. When I landed an interview with Deloitte in January, sure enough, she was sitting on the other side of the table. When I got the job, she called to congratulate me.

The decision I made that night in October – to have just one more conversation – gained me an important connection, which is often all it takes to land a job. Every conversation counts. The next time that your gut is telling you to avoid starting one, remember that it could be the conversation that gets you the job you’re gunning for.

Ty was an Analyst summer student with our Enterprise Risk Services team. He is currently in his fourth year at the Richard Ivey School of Business where he majors in Accounting.

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