This interview was originally published by Clear Admit on August 11, 2016. You can read the full article here.
Liza Kirkpatrick, director of full-time MBA programs for the Career Management Center at the Kellogg School of Management, has a long career in recruiting. Before joining Kellogg, she spent almost a decade with a staffing firm, helping to grow it from 12 people to five different offices in Chicago. When she came to Kellogg in 2008, she immediately had to prove her worth in a down market. Since then, she has held several different positions within career services but has always remained focused on student coaching, with oversight of the employer relations team, the coaching team and the operations team.
In the interview that follows, she unpacks the recruiting process at Kellogg, shares some of the shifts she’s seeing in terms of employer hiring and student aspirations and stresses the importance of thinking about your career goals before arriving on campus.
Our special thanks to Kirkpatrick for making time to share this valuable insight with the Clear Admit audience.
Clear Admit: What do you do in your role as director of full-time MBA programs for the Career Management Center at Kellogg?
Liza Kirkpatrick: I manage the Career Services team for Kellogg’s full-time MBA program and also work directly with students and companies. Knowing what is on the minds of students is critical, so I always have coaching sessions and meet regularly with student groups. The issue I am most focused on is how to deliver best-in-class service to both students and employers from the Career Management Center. I work with our Employer Relations team on engaging top employers and am involved in strategy conversations around hot new companies.
CA: Now, about your team. How many career advisors do you have? Is this a relatively constant figure? If not, how has it changed in recent years? How might it change in the near future?
LK: We currently have seven coaches, a director of coaches and a CMC team that has expanded by 30 percent in the last year alone. Over the past four years, there has been a shift within the CMC to take a more proactive approach in terms of delivering career services. It can be an opt-in service, but we typically assign students a coach, then follow up with each student to make sure they have a great onboarding experience and are getting the services they need. To this end, we have invested heavily in the team.
On the employer side, we realized that our students were becoming very interested in industries that didn’t necessarily hire through traditional on-campus recruiting. For instance, we saw growing interest in entertainment, private equity and startups. So based on these interests, we have added to our business development team on the employer relations side to cultivate relationships with firms in those industries. We want to make sure that companies are thinking about Kellogg talent as opportunities arise.