Upbeat Kearney Shanahan was smiling even more than usual.
One job offer in. Other options still to consider.
Following two rounds of interviews, Shanahan was offered a position at Cambridge Associates, a consulting firm in Boston.
"The second interview was a full day of five interview sessions focusing on different aspects of your skill and character," Shanahan said. "It's a way to connect personally so that several different people have impressions of you. For a smaller firm, much of what plays into this process is fit,how you fit the firm and how the firm fits you. That was one of the things I was impressed by about their recruiting process."
The next step was a request for a reference (he referred the firm to Dean of Faculty Edward Yeterian). A few weeks later, Shanahan was back at Colby. This was the beginning of Jan Plan and he was working at his part-time job at Pad Thai, a restaurant on College Avenue, when he got a message. Cambridge Associates was extending a job offer and the paperwork would be in the mail the following week. Goodbye Pad Thai; hello Boston!
But that's not all Shanahan had to consider. He'd also been invited to a third round of interviews with Dove Consulting in Boston, and he was invited to (and attended) a weeklong business course in the Netherlands courtesy of Akzo Nobel, an international biotechnology and pharmaceutical company. The invitation came as a surprise.
"I didn't think it was anything," Shanahan said, laughing. "I had written it off. . . . It wasn't advertised well, I was confused about it, I wasn't sure what this business course was. I realized [later] that it's more of an audition, like a very long interview. From what I understand, they're obviously making a commitment to you. I am an investment for them and they are an investment for me because I'm missing a week of school. There's a mutual investment there. Finding which company within Akzo Nobel fits with you is a lot of what this week is about."
Shanahan had given himself a spring deadline to respond to Cambridge Associates, and in the meantime, he had some thinking to do. If he receives offers from Dove and Akzo Nobel, he'll be doing a lot of weighing and comparing. "So I have a small firm, another small firm, but not as small, and an international corporation," he said, warming up to the problem. "I'm comparing two different types of consulting firms: strategy consulting versus investment consulting. And also going straight into biotech, which is what I ultimately want to do, versus doing consulting for a few years first."