As previously noted, it’s summer internship interview season here at Darden! During this process, in addition to our Career Development Center’s general resources, our First Year students have two primary contacts for one-on-one career advising: a professional career advisor and a Second Year coach.
Here’s how the program is described on our website: “All First Year students are matched with a Career Development Center (CDC) Second Year coach, a peer with experience in the internship search process in your area of interest. CDC Second Year coaches have experience in one of the following industry or job function categories: Consulting, Corporate Finance, Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital, General Management, Investment Banking, Investment Management, Marketing, Mission-Driven, Sales and Trading and Technology.”
We recently caught up with Second Year, Aaron Harrill, to talk more about his experience as a career coach. Check out Aaron’s answers below!:
Why did you decide to become a Career Coach?
As a First Year student, I had a great Career Coach, John Anderson, who was so helpful to me. With John’s help, I was able to balance both recruiting and the core curriculum here at Darden which ultimately allowed me to have a successful internship recruitment process.
As everyone knows, Darden asks a lot of students academically, and it is easy to lose traction in a career search as you try to balance school and recruiting. I was fortunate to have access to a student who could steer me in the right direction. As a current Career Coach, it was my hope to offer the same type of guidance to this year’s First Year class and continue the pay it forward mentality here.
How do you support students?
From resume and cover letter reviews to helping students prepare for interactions with potential employers, I support students in a variety of ways. I want people to see me as a resource, someone they can talk to about any number of things. Being a resource can take on different meanings depending upon an individual student’s needs. Sometimes support means just being a sounding board. Other times it means providing tactical career advice. Whatever the case, I try to make myself available to assist in any way I can.
What do you enjoy about the role?
I really enjoy seeing First Year students grow in skill and confidence over the course of our interactions. I think this growth is attributed to both the Darden classroom experience and the willingness of everyone here to help one another.
What’s your best advice for First Year students as they prepare for interview season?
People at this school are interested in seeing you succeed. When you feel like you have exhausted your resources as you prepare and go through interview season, reach out to one more person. There are only so many ways an interviewer can ask a question, and you would be surprised how often the same topics come up over and over again. That extra effort just might be what you need to help put you over the top and land the summer offer of your dreams.
Any advice for prospective students as they consider Darden?
Iron sharpens iron, and this is a place where you will naturally become a better student and professional through the relationships you form with your classmates. Come for a visit and connect with current students. Ask them how the relationships they’ve developed with their classmates have been mutually beneficial for all those involved. This is a tight-knit community, and I think you’ll find everyone here is interested in sharing their experiences. After all, it’s not so long ago that we were in your shoes.