OCR and Beyond! Maximizing your job search outside of OCR

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November 29, 2012 by texasbbacareerservices

McCombs undergrads have a lingo all their own. Newly minted BBAs are quick to hear about something called OCR. OCR is McCombs’ On Campus Recruiting system and it is a database where employers looking to hire BBA students for internships and full-time jobs can post their positions and select students they would like to interview.

McCombs is very fortunate to have a very robust recruiting system, which includes a wide variety of employers impressed with the education students receive at McCombs.

However, while OCR is an important part of recruiting, it is not the only way of recruiting for McCombs students. McCombs BBAs are encouraged to explore and discover additional opportunities that are available to them. Understandably, it can seem like an overwhelming task to find companies and know where to start.

BBA Career Services has come up with a handy guide that will give you a good start.

In addition to OCR, there are two other systems in which employers use to post opportunities for McCombs BBAs.

McCombs Job Board is a really great way to explore internships and full-time positions that may not be posted to OCR. These opportunities are national in scope but many are centered in the Austin area. One important thing to note, especially for internships, is that these companies are looking to hire in the immediate future. Whereas OCR only lists summer internships, internships posted in McCombs Job Board are available year round. Companies posted in McCombs Job Board cover a wide variety of industries and are a great resource for students looking to gain additional work experience through the experience of working in diversified fields and various sizes of companies.

Fun Fact!  As the school year comes to a close, companies often times find additional resources to expand their search for candidates but are reluctant to post in OCR if interview schedules compete with finals or graduation. However because they exclusively want to find McCombs students, they will often post to McCombs Job Board. This is a great way to continue your job search once you notice the postings on OCR decline.

AccessUT is a database of positions in which the entire UT student body and alumni have the ability to find positions. Many employers looking to hire collegiate interns will first start with AccessUT. McCombs students have the option to filter positions by discipline and can look for business related internships and full-time jobs. Those who are looking for experience in the Austin area would be interested in checking here as well.

If location is a priority for you:
Knowing what is important to you, your values, and how they match with your career is an important part of the job search process and a crucial element in knowing what the right fit might be for you. In some cases, this might be the location of where you will start your career or gain experience.

Business Journals
McCombs students have subscriptions to Business Journals in practically every major metropolitan city in the United States, including many in Texas. The Business Journal is a great resource to keep up to date on what is going on within the metropolitan area the journal covers. Information on what companies are moving to town or expanding office space, profiles of companies and/or business leaders are all covered in a typical issue. This can be a great resource not only because it can make a person knowledgable about the industry they are interested in but also because it allows you to pinpoint where hiring might happen.

The Book of Lists
Published by the same weekly editions of the Business Journal, McCombs BBAs also have access to something called The Book of Lists, which is published annually. The Book of Lists is literally a book of lists. What makes this resource effective is that The Book of Lists is divided by categories. Some categories are broad, i.e. Top 50 Public Companies, and some are more specific, i.e.  Top 25 Commercial Real Estate Firms or Top 25 Advertising Agencies. Each list contains a company listing, complete with a webpage. While this might take a little bit longer to research and go to each website to look for contact info on applying to jobs, when students ask “I’m interested in moving to this city but I don’t know what companies are there,” this resource answers that question!

Reading newspapers
An obvious solution but often overlooked is checking out the newspaper for the particular city you are interested in living. Most all newspapers are available online and similar to a business journal, many will have a business section that reports on the latest business news. This is a great way to discover companies in the area and sometimes there are additional resources, like Austin’s Top Workplaces, recently published in The Austin American-Statesman, which may be a great brainstorming tool in discovering the types of companies available in that area.

If specific jobs or industries are a priority for you:
In many cases, BBA students are looking for specific jobs, either by job title or keywords. Or they are interested in working in a particular industry.  Their priority is finding a position with specific skill sets which most fit or interest them, and they are willing to be a little bit more flexible on other considerations, like locations for example.

The Book of Lists resource was referenced earlier in this blog post, but it’s worth mentioning again. The Book of Lists is a resource affiliated with each metropolitan area’s Business Journal and literally provides lists of various companies, most broken down by industry category. If you are looking for companies within a specific industry in order to check to see if there are positions open on their career websites, this is a great solution.

Identifying the competition
Another obvious tactic, but not often used is to take a look at multiple companies in the same industry. If there is a specific job position, which highly interests you due to the skills required or career path, chances are that employer isn’t the only one offering that opportunity. It might be worth your time to do a little more research on the competitors of that original company and discover if there are more opportunities like the one you’ve found.

If specific jobs AND location are a priority for you:
Very often, students may identify particular career paths and also have preferences on where they would like to live.

A favorite resource for many students is Indeed.com. Indeed.com is acts as an aggregate of job postings, which saves you time and effort from having to go to various individual sites or companies. The point of difference comes in how you search. Indeed.com allows you to search by Job Title, Keyword, or even Company within a specific city. Interested in being a Real Estate Analyst in Boston, MA? Simply enter in the text and search away!

Fun Fact! Using Indeed.com immediately expands a student’s search. If they are interested in finding a position in Austin and Dallas, they can use the website to search both!

Have absolutely no idea what job position or industry you are interested in?
Sometimes students feel overwhelmed by the job search or internship because out of all the choices out in the world, they feel pressure to pick one or don’t feel that they know enough information to even know where to start.

If you relate to this feeling, first, take a deep breath. It will be okay. Secondly, one of the reasons you are feeling this way is because you haven’t determined what things might be right for you and what things might be wrong for you. (I.E. What are your likes and dislikes?) Getting to know what it is like to work in a company, doing specific skills in an actual workplace environment is a great way to identify what works for you or what doesn’t and that’s one of the reasons an internship is so valuable.

But what if you aren’t there yet or perhaps you want exposure to different areas that your internship couldn’t provide? Don’t fear, this is where one of my favorite resources comes in.

LinkedIn. Yes, LinkedIn, probably one of the most commonly heard websites in your world in 2012. And it’s there for good reason. There is a wealth of knowledge to be found within this powerful social networking site.

Here are a couple of favorite tricks of mine that might help you start to get a better sense of what kinds of career paths or jobs are out there:

  1. Use the Advance Search feature, which is located on the top right of the LinkedIn homepage. This can be useful for a couple of things. If you aren’t sure exactly what people are doing with a major or a skill set, you can use the keywords or Job Title fields to gain a wide variety of results. For instance, if you enter “marketing” in the job title field, your results will contain people who have marketing in a current or previous job. This is a good way to see what professional are doing with that realm, especially if they describe their job responsibilities in their own words. Adding a company to this search will allow you to filter results for that company as well.
  2. In order to expand your search results beyond your current network, check out the Groups option on the menu. Search and join Texas Exes and McCombs BBA Alumni, you’ll start to see results from professionals who share your groups and you have the perfect introduction to reach out to them.

This leads to another important part of your research on possible career fields, the informational interview. An informational interview is a conversation you would have with a person who is either in a job, industry or works for a company you want to gain more information about. This a great way to ask the questions you need to know about that particular field, which provides the information that allows you to internalize feedback on whether or not that is something you would like to do or to dive deeper into areas that interest you.

While an informational interview isn’t a direct link to a job, it is a crucial piece to develop your network. Having a network and connecting to them will allow you to ask how the hiring process works so that you know how to give yourself an advantage, to let your network know what you are looking for and even the ability to see if there are positions available. Professionals use their networks to promote job opportunities and referrals are taken very seriously as having that contact acts as a supportive gesture to the hiring group that a candidate can be trusted.  A strong network is a key piece into a job search strategy.

Finally, your resources in BBA Career Services will also be a great way to find out how to extend your job search beyond OCR. Making an appointment with your Career Advisor allows you to discuss what is important to you or to discover what that may be.

Happy hunting!

Megan Ehrisman is BBA Career Advisor who loves working with the Marketing majors at McCombs. She may have been a researcher in a past life because she finds this topic to be extremely exciting and is absolutely okay with the fact that most people do not feel this way.

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