I currently am sitting in the hotel lounge watching the Michigan State basketball game and thinking about my experience at the Placement Exchange (TPE) the past few days. It was a whirlwind of interviews and networking for three very long days. Heading into TPE I had high expectations of imminent exhaustion and high stress. Yet, as I sit here on Sunday cheering on the Spartans, I cannot help but feel as if the narrative around TPE is a bit overblown.
I began my process at 9am on Thursday. Eight interviews lay in front of me. There were schools that I was excited to talk with and schools that I needed to learn more about. It was a full day of talking and networking. I was nervous, as this was my first real foray into the job search, which made the ‘realness’ of the job search all too tangible. I sat in the waiting area while the other individuals waiting to be picked up by their institution anxiously waited. I talked with a few candidates that I sat next to throughout the process and the anxiousness permeated all the conversations. It was good to know that others going through the same process were just as anxious as I was.
Throughout the three days, I could not help but notice how similar this process was to dating. Schools would offer candidates information packets, trinkets, and candies expressing how excited they were to meet with the candidates. If the first interview went well, the institution may invite the candidate to a social, offer a second round (think middle school ‘do you like me?’ notes), or a piece of chocolate. Again, it was a strange process with how much candidates and institutions focused on the incentives to continue the dating process that is interviews.
Overall, my process at TPE was a positive one. I left feeling excited about where I stand in a few schools processes and need to reflect more on what I want out of my first job and what is important to me. Wherever my process takes me, it is exciting to know that this process at TPE helped me clarify what is important to me and how I should continue to navigate the job search process. Best of luck to everyone searching; hopefully we land at institution that we feel truly excited about!