Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

The Power of Research

This blog post was written by Peer Career Ambassador, Disha Sethi ‘20.

How often do you check your phone? And surf on your laptop? If you cannot think of a number at the top of your head, chances are the answer is A LOT. Most of the time you spent on these devices is counterproductive. However, you can spend this time and tech on your career growth.

Part of what makes a candidate appealing is their knowledge of the company they applied for and the industry. It showcases that even though you did not take classes in a particular field, you were interested enough to go above and beyond to learn more about it.

It doesn’t really matter what class year you are, there is the potential for gaining information on any industry you want. Whether you are exploring or have narrowed down to a field of interest, you can never have too much knowledge. Especially with disruptions happening in every industry, it is important to make certain that you are acquiring the appropriate skills for the type of job/internship you are looking for.

Let’s start with an example.

Imagine you are someone interested in Finance but do not know which particular branch or the differences between private equity and investment banking, for instance. You could start by reading industry guides and financial news. If you have a fair idea of an area of interest, researching can still help you. To learn about companies to apply to, you can explore the different companies in the industry and what their application process looks like, the skills needed in the market, and how you can acquire them.

That sounds like a lot of work. But the reward is equally beneficial!

  • You will be able to get an edge on the rest of the candidates; having information on the industry of your interest can help showcase your enthusiasm for the field and also help you be more prepared for interviews.
  • It is always better to know more than to know less- information is never wasted, so even though after researching you realize this area does not interest you, you can use your understanding someplace else.

Another way to think about research is to realize that you can literally utilize it at any stage of your career. For example, if you saw a particular company you want to work at, you could look at the Babson alumni that have worked or are working there through the Babson Alumni Directory.

As the Spring Career Fair is coming up on February 28, it is a good idea to research the companies coming in advance so that you have some informed questions to ask the employers. It is a great opportunity to learn more about a company face-to-face rather than surfing through their website. It also gives you the chance to showcase your interest and qualifications.

There is plenty of information out there, but it is important to ensure that you are consuming the right information.

  • Stay away from resources that are openly edited as they might have incorrect information and do not reflect a company’s views.
  • For company research, the best source would be the company’s website and people who work or have worked there.
  • To gain general knowledge on an industry, reading news and current events is key. Remember that this is something you have to regularly do to ensure that you are well aware of the occurrences in the ‘real’ world.
  • To prepare for an interview, there are a lot of interview guides available on Handshake that you can read through and practice.

So whether it is recruiting season or not, there is always room to learn more and get yourself career ready!