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By Tiffany Chen

Armed with a name tag and a small notebook, I recently made my way to the Woman’s Club of Evanston, a house near campus with more than 100 years of history. This was the venue for Careers Uncorked, one of the Women’s Business Association’s (WBA) biggest events of the year.

Held every year in October before the advent of recruiting season, WBA’s Careers Uncorked gives first-year women at Kellogg a taste of recruiting in an intimate setting.

This year, the event attracted a wide range of industries and companies; signage dotted the room with more than 25 company logos, including:

3M Accenture Amazon AT&T
A.T. Kearney Bain Baxter BCG
Colgate Danaher Deloitte E.J. Gallo
General Mills Goldman Sachs Johnson & Johnson L.E.K Consulting
Liberty Mutual McKinsey Microsoft Parthenon
PwC Strategy& Target and more

As the casual banter and the sound of heels filled the building’s atrium, 130 of my fellow classmates began to chat with the recruiters about everything from firm culture to work-life balance. As for myself, I asked about consulting firms’ career trajectories and quickly learned about the unique women’s initiatives that characterized each firm.

What I also learned was that the company representatives were extremely relatable and forthcoming. I could tell that most of my fellow classmates felt at ease, despite the fact that this was the first time we had stretched our networking muscles in quite a while.

Alyson Harvey, another first-year student, reflected on her experience.

“As someone still exploring different career pathways, it was extremely beneficial to have a large variety of companies together in a low-stakes environment,” Harvey said. “I was able to explore my interests by getting to know a number of different companies in a short period of time.”

In between networking with different companies, I chatted with another student, Maggie Hsu, about her evening. “This is definitely easier than I thought,” she said. “All the companies are really approachable and friendly.”

As I made my final round with a few remaining companies, I realized that Maggie’s experience also rang true for me. Kellogg’s inclusive community is one of the reasons why I chose to attend the school in the first place. The unique opportunity to practice networking in an intimate space reaffirms Kellogg’s commitment to making my MBA experience, as well as that of my fellow classmates, all the more enriching.

Tiffany Chen is a first-year student in Kellogg’s Full-Time Two-Year MBA program. She serves as a 1st Year Director of Marketing for the WBA. Prior to Kellogg, Tiffany worked in an edtech start up in Hong Kong.