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Post-College experience

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Joined: 18 Jun 2007
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Post-College experience [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2007, 13:04
What do you think guys and gals? After I graduated from college, I could not find a job for the life of me. The ones I was offered, I didn't want, and the ones I wanted, didn't want me. My grades weren't good in college and the engineering market where I was looking wasn't exactly great. So, I worked as a bartender for a year and a half before landing my first "real" job. Should the bartending gig even be mentioned on apps. or should I just hold that thought until they ask about it in an interview?
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Re: Post-College experience [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2007, 13:21
emoryhopeful wrote:
What do you think guys and gals? After I graduated from college, I could not find a job for the life of me. The ones I was offered, I didn't want, and the ones I wanted, didn't want me. My grades weren't good in college and the engineering market where I was looking wasn't exactly great. So, I worked as a bartender for a year and a half before landing my first "real" job. Should the bartending gig even be mentioned on apps. or should I just hold that thought until they ask about it in an interview?


how else would you explain a year and a half gap? imo, i think its interesting.
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Joined: 03 Mar 2007
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Location: Hong Kong
Concentration: Finance, Economics
Schools: HKUST MBA - Class of 2014
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2007, 13:21
Dude thats a long break. You definitely do need to talk about what you have been doing for 1.5 years since you graduated school. Dont skip out of it in ur application - you will definitely invite trouble and I am willing to bet even a ding or so.

The ad-coms will be guessing where the heck u disappeared after graduating from school and they wont find any answers when they read ur application/essays.

Talk about ur bartending experiences - its a unique gig and if crafted properly will show a different side of you.

Bartending is actually a serious business and a great tool for people skills - I bartended when I was 19.. too young..

Use your optional essay to explain your situation and show how you kept on working during such hardships
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2007, 13:47
You didn't travel the world. But as a bartender, the world came to you. Now, develop it.
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2007, 19:52
I actually always wanted to do bartending someday, maybe after I make billions and retire after an MBA ;) I would totally talk about the interactions you had as a bartender and what you learned. It's a great job to have on your resume!
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2007, 06:41
The problem I have is not with the job of bartending and how it really helped with communication and personal interaction, but the fact that it took so long to find a job does not sound good, and I know it. It was really a series of unfortunate events that made it that long, but I don't want them thinking I was just goofing off and not trying to find a job. But then, I don't want them thinking I was terrible in interviews and a terrible job candidate either. Hmm, damn this application process, making me remember how crappy things were a few years ago.
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2007, 08:31
emoryhopeful wrote:
Hmm, **** this application process, making me remember how crappy things were a few years ago.

That's exactly why you have such a great story. From what I can understand, you went through a lot of sh*t and came out ok. IMO, this makes for great essay material. You just need to put it across to ad-com in the form of a well written story. Hide this from them??? You must be out of your mind!
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2007, 09:23
emoryhopeful wrote:
Hmm, **** this application process, making me remember how crappy things were a few years ago.


Yep, I know what you mean, I was in the same boat.

I worked for a startup in an incubator, with no salary for a year.
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2007, 10:08
I worked for 5 months in York, Pennsylvania, standing on a state highway, holding a stop sign and directing traffic - hands on experience for my Transportation Engineering degree
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2007, 16:29
emoryhopeful wrote:
The problem I have is not with the job of bartending and how it really helped with communication and personal interaction, but the fact that it took so long to find a job does not sound good, and I know it. It was really a series of unfortunate events that made it that long, but I don't want them thinking I was just goofing off and not trying to find a job. But then, I don't want them thinking I was terrible in interviews and a terrible job candidate either. Hmm, **** this application process, making me remember how crappy things were a few years ago.


I was a bartender in college and my first "real job" was in the same restaurant in a training captain/talent development role...did you do any training?
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2007, 04:28
Yeah, I was the head trainer for new bartenders and wait staff. Either way, it had nothing to do with chemical engineering. So, there was some leadership there, but really, I see it more as a direct correlation to my poor performance in college than growing as a leader.
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2007, 04:41
emoryhopeful wrote:
Yeah, I was the head trainer for new bartenders and wait staff. Either way, it had nothing to do with chemical engineering. So, there was some leadership there, but really, I see it more as a direct correlation to my poor performance in college than growing as a leader.


emoryhopeful: all I can say is, if you have such a negative biased view of your bartending job, even though you had leadership experience with it that most of us drool about, then you may have a problem. You are stuck needing to write about what happened in those 1.5 years, but if you cannot get past the negativity and write about it positively, it will hurt your application.

So you pretty much have three options:

1. Write about it positively, talking about the leadership experiences you had as head trainer, working with people, honing your interpersonal skills, showing that you can make the best out of any opportunity (resourcefulness), even though you couldn't find a job in ChemE at the time.

OR

2. Not talk about it, and pray that the Adcoms come up with a positive story themselves on why you were a bartender for 1.5 years.

OR

3. Talk about the bartending experience as a reflection of your poor college grades and that no company wanted to hire you.

I would probably pick #1. Otherwise, good luck.
Current Student
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Joined: 18 Jun 2007
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Location: Atlanta, GA
Schools: Emory class of 2010
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2007, 04:58
Good point. Sometimes you just need to hear other people talk about it before you realize any of the positives. I had started writing an essay last night about the "greatest lesson I have learned", and it was about not letting your failures define you, and to learn from your failures. When I finished the first draft, I read through it, and it sounded like number 3 that you described. I absolutely hated it. Hence, this morning's negativity. Let me go back and try again with a more positive twist. Thanks for the input.
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Status: Um... what do you want to know?
Joined: 03 Jun 2007
Posts: 5464
Location: SF, CA, USA
Schools: UC Berkeley Haas School of Business MBA 2010
WE 1: Social Gaming
Followers: 64

Kudos [?]: 333 [0], given: 14

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 [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2007, 05:06
no problem emory, we're here to help each other get into our dream schools, which is why we're all trying to help you see the "outside" view of your experiences.

Good luck and go write some good essays!
Current Student
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Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 981
Location: Hong Kong
Concentration: Finance, Economics
Schools: HKUST MBA - Class of 2014
GMAT 1: 740 Q48 V44
GPA: 3.2
WE: Consulting (Consulting)
Followers: 9

Kudos [?]: 45 [0], given: 8

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 [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2007, 08:03
kryzak you should be the next Dr. Phil....we need to find a good name for you though
Senior Manager
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Oct 2007, 20:28
emoryhopeful wrote:
The problem I have is not with the job of bartending and how it really helped with communication and personal interaction, but the fact that it took so long to find a job does not sound good, and I know it. It was really a series of unfortunate events that made it that long, but I don't want them thinking I was just goofing off and not trying to find a job. But then, I don't want them thinking I was terrible in interviews and a terrible job candidate either. Hmm, **** this application process, making me remember how crappy things were a few years ago.


Never say that! No job offered to you was interesting. Hey I am 30 already and I have not had a "real job," I love my experiences and will gladly write about them. I am working in the food industry right now, and also think...how do I explain this. You are actually more unique. No one has had the chance to discover you yet, too bad for them.

Bartender: learned costumer service, people management (kicking drunks out), communication, worked long hours, sacrificed weekends to work, lots of soft skills etc... The thing about a B school is that afterwards you will have a full time job, and lots of opportunity to get used to grey cubicles and the new functionality of Office.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Oct 2007, 20:53
I dont think your situation will be as unique as you imagine. Depending what your major was and when you graduated it would probably be pretty common.

My department hired 50+ engineers a year from 2000 to 2002, in 2003 less than 10 and none in 2004 and only a handful a year since. Next year I think its going to be 60+. We averages 800+ applications a year, so think of how much harder your chances are when the markets tough. Hiring has improved a lot lately but they aren't getting 25% signing bonuses like when I was hired.

My friends who are software engineer had a horrible job market following the bubble collapse but now the market is great for them.
  [#permalink] 05 Oct 2007, 20:53
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