Consortium Brings Students to the Capital

Last Thursday an information session about the Captial Consortium was held.

The Capital Consortium is a selective interviewing opportunity for strong liberal arts candidates interested in such fields as law, government, non-profit groups, risk management and private school teaching. The intensive one-day affair consists of interviews in 30-minute time slots.

“It’s basically an interviewing blitz,” Associate Director of Career Services Chip Schroder said.

The one-day event is open to only a few prestigious colleges in the Northeast: Connecticut, Hamilton, Middlebury, Smith and Trinity Colleges, and Tufts, Brandeis and Colgate Universities.

Capital Consortium 2006 will be held on Friday, February 6 at the American Management Associate Executive Conference Center. The organizations involved are based in the political establishment area of Washington, D.C. Many do not recruit at Colgate, offering students the chance to interview with companies to which they would ordinarily not have access.

A sample of the participating organizations this year includes the Central Intelligence Agency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, GEICO, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, The Urban Institute, Wiley Rein & Fielding and the Norwood School.

“It’s a win-win situation,” Schroder said. “The students can have up to 13 interviews in one spot, in one day. The organizations are excited because they’re getting in front of talented candidates from great schools.”

In order to attend the consortium, students must register online by uploading their resume. They can then browse the participating companies and submit their resumes to organizations they are interested in by December 23. The companies select which candidates they wish to interview, and students create their interview schedule based on available half-hour time slots.

All students who register are welcome to attend the consortium, regardless of how many interviews they get.

“The reality is [on conference day] the firms have a lot of open slots left,” Schroder said. “Even if you were not chosen, you may be able to get an interview anyway.”

Because the interviewer is often not the same person who selected candidates based on their r?esum?es, so students have a fresh slate with a new face from the company.

Last year, at least three job placements came out of the consortium. One Colgate student joined the CIA, one joined the FBI and another student landed a job with an economic consulting firm. Typically about 35 students attend the consortium, which was initiated by a Colgate Career Services employee who now works for Career Services at Hamilton College.

Students arrange their own transportation to D.C., but staff from Career Services will be on hand at the consortium to counsel students on interviewing skills and guide them throughout the day.

“It’s definitely a great venue for students to find the right fit,” Schroder said. “It’s been so successful in the past, and we want them to be part of it.”

Career Services offers a number of other recruitment consortia throughout the year in other fields such as communications and media relations. According to Schroder, the opportunity to be guided through the interview process before heading out into the real world is invaluable.

“Colgate students are definitely polished,” he said. “I’m not saying they are better than the students at peer schools, but we have a structured process of resume critique and approval. We hear from recruiters that their resumes really look terrific. It’s a nice thing to have.”