Today, a group of approximately 30 Bowdoin seniors will trade their backpacks for briefcases as they travel to Boston to interview with prospective employers.
Eastern College Career Day (ECCD) brings together students from includes six schools—Amherst, Bowdoin, Hamilton, Skidmore, St. Lawrence and Wesleyan. The event, according to Associate Director of Employer Relations Todd Herrmann ’85, “allows us to create a larger candidate base for companies to recruit from, the idea being that we can get 30 employers together for one day in October to interview students.”
ECCD hosts one interview day in the fall in Boston and one in the spring in New York City. Seniors from the six colleges apply for the same jobs.
The employers select student applicants to travel to Boston or New York for first-round interviews. This year, 51 Bowdoin students were selected for 167 interviews. Due to time conflicts, Herrmann expects about 30 students to travel to Boston and interview.
Following the interview days, students may be called back for more interviews. After the Boston Interview Day, Herrmann says students will start receiving job offers by Thanksgiving.
“We pride ourselves among these six schools as always being the most successful,” Herrmann said. “Generally, Bowdoin students will have either the first or second most applications. We usually have the first or second most interviews chosen.”
The employers represented come from the fields of education, government, technology, science, finance and more. Some examples are Wayfair, Silicon Valley Bank, Eaton Vance and Greenwich Country Day School.
Herrmann credits students’ frequent success to their level of involvement in their career planning.
“Bowdoin students are more involved with their own futures earlier. It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for a first year to come in and say, ‘I’d like to start talking about my career,’ and have a half hour appointment,” said Herrmann.
“We don’t want students to take the extra time to go to Boston to do three interviews and feel that they didn’t get anything but a conversation out of it,” Herrmann added. “A lot of students come out with second round interviews, with new job prospects and exposure to firms that they wouldn’t have otherwise.”
The employers who are involved want liberal arts students, according to Herrmann.
“They’re looking for people with the type of versatility and critical thinking skills that liberal arts students have coming into the process,” Herrmann said.
Emma Husseman ’18 applied for a paralegal position with the Department of Justice and was selected for an interview.
“It’s good to get interview experience,” she said. “It’s also nice to have something so early. It’s so easy to get busy with everything else that job stuff can get on the backburner.”
“It’s an exciting thing for us to do,” Herrmann said. “The students generally like it. Their nerves going in are quickly replaced with enthusiasm.”