Year 1 in retrospective: recruiting

I am back, after almost 6 months of silence! The first year of the MBA is over. The overwhelming feelings right now are joy, relief and excitement for what comes next! I had noticed in most previous blogs of GSB students that the flow of posts diminished when the Fall quarter started, and then plummeted after the Winter quarter. I had promised myself not to do the same, but I did not deliver. My life has just been crazily intense! So many courses, club activities, social life, recruiting for the summer… wow! The good thing is: not only did I survive, but I am proud of what I have achieved so far. It’s hard to summarize so much in a single post, so I’ll try to give some highlights over several posts over the coming months.

I’ll start from the forthcoming internship. I’ll spend the summer working at Netflix in Beverly Hills, in their Content Planning & Analysis team. Netflix is a fantastic company, disrupting media and growing fast on global basis, with a great product, high-quality employees and a uniquely defined culture. I was extremely impressed with the people whom I met during the interview process, and this experience will build perfectly on what I did before business school. So I couldn’t be happier with the outcome!

However, getting an internship was not exactly a walk in the park. I interviewed with 5 companies overall, all well-known leading firms in the media and tech industries. From early February till early April, I went through 15 interviews, for which I prepared extremely hard – on top a demanding Winter quarter. In the end I got two offers, one from Netflix and one from a famous large tech firm based in the Valley.

Despite having enjoyed interviewing for this other company, I chose Netflix for some key reasons. First, they are a significantly smaller company in terms of number of employees, so there is a higher chance of working on an impactful project over 10 weeks. Second, Netflix is at a crucial time in their incredible history, having launched worldwide earlier this year and ramping up original programming, at a time of enormous transition in the TV industry. Third, I find their culture of “freedom & responsibility” to be very appealing. Last, the preparation for the interviews was so demanding that I felt an immense sense of reward when I received the offer!

Before the recruiting process started, I underestimated how much effort it would be. I naively thought that, studying at one of the most renowned schools and not seeking a drastic career change (from business development in music to the same function in the broader media/tech industry), it would be straightforward to find a suitable job for the summer. I was wrong! I am Italian and I always worked in the UK before, so cultural differences with American interviewing style surely played a role. Most importantly, interviewing from Stanford certainly gives you access to amazing opportunities, but does not mean that competition is easier. Often you’re competing with several classmates, and many students at another great school, for one single spot. So the odds are low, and the quality of candidates extremely high. Therefore, I feel satisfied for this first outcome of the MBA: the summer experience will be an enhancement to my career path, in a field which I am passionate about.

A few last words on the Career Management Center, which was helpful both before and during the recruiting process. They assisted me in defining my profile and crafting my story based on my industry/function target, they helped me with mock interviews, they suggested useful alumni contacts to speak to. In the end, after I received two offers, they helped me make my choice by impartially evaluating in detail what was best for me. The staff was so kind and dedicated and I feel very grateful to them. They make the GSB a special place.


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