How to benefit from networks
As the World’s First Business School (est. 1819), ESCP Europe has a huge network of companies and alumni to which students both benefit from and contribute to. We spoke to Michaela Wieandt, Careers Advisor at the Berlin campus, about getting the most from successful networking.
Interview with Career Expert Dr. Michaela Wieandt
Michaela, how can students make best use of the ESCP Europe community?
Among other things, students can benefit from the ESCP Europe community as career accelerator and facilitator. A lot of alumni are working in attractive companies and can help them to gain first-hand information about internships and job opportunities. An important part of the community are the partner companies of ESCP Europe, who are also interested to meet students, especially during career events, such as workshops, information sessions, CV checks, or the main events.
In Berlin, this is the Recruiting Days in November, in London, the Careers Fair in early October, in Madrid the Career Days in late October, in Paris the Forum d’entreprise in January, and in Torino, the career days in in February.
What should students be careful about?
As I said in the article about networking [Link], building up network ties costs time and effort but they are easily destroyed and difficult to repair – every student should have in mind that he/she represents not only his/herself, but ESCP Europe, too. So, behave reliable, react quickly, and write thank you emails to follow up after phone calls. If anything bad happens, this reflects badly on the school, the student in question, their fellow students, and the careers team.
What does the ESCP Europe careers team offer to students?
The careers teams at all six of our campuses have close relationships with recruiters and companies. In Berlin, we understand our work as accelerating and building the community of students, recruiters and alumni. As a career team, we are the linking element or interface between students, companies and alumni – we directly connect them but also through events, we organize. During the last years, we have built up an excellent partner network with recruiters and alumni, allowing us to accelerate application processes through direct CV forwarding, and obtain information about open positions or recruitment processes.
How does ‘placement’ work?
I first get to know each student on a personal level either through trainings and information sessions, or through one-to-one meetings during careers service hours, email or Skype conversations. Once we have established what a student’s individual career goals are, we work together on job applications, perfecting their CV, and preparing for interviews. If students know exactly which industry they wish to go in to, we also start to build a plan of which recruiters or alumni to contact for job prospects.
Does the school have any agreements with recruiters?
We have various arrangements with our partner companies. With some we have agreed to forward interesting CVs or set up contacts to candidates; others prefer if students use their online platforms. Sometimes it’s good to apply online and then to let me know so I can pass this information on to the recruiters with whom we have a relationship.
And after having initiated the recruitment process?
In a lot of cases, I advise students throughout the recruitment process, coaching them for their interviews or assessment centre days. It’s important to keep me informed along the way – if the process seems to stop, I can follow up with the recruiters.