Hell Week: Marketing Club Membership Fails to Yield Marketing Job Interviews

(Hamilton) Jim Rocker, former Bear Stearns analyst and associate at the middle market buyout shop GSZ Partners, failed to get any summer marketing job interviews for Hell Week, despite his membership in the HBS Marketing Club.

“I know I really don’t have any work experience in marketing and look a lot like a typical banker,” said Rocker as he prepared for a Sales & Trading interview with J.P. Morgan. “But I thought my membership in the Marketing Club would change all that. I figured P&G or Kraft would know that my Marketing Club membership shows that I’m really committed to the field of marketing and am not some finance guy trying to get ‘operating experience’ before he goes back to private equity.”

“I’m kind of annoyed by the whole process,” Rocker continued. “If I knew Pepsi and 3M wouldn’t give me the time of day because I didn’t work as a brand manager or consultant before b-school, I never would have gone to so many presentations to kiss so much middle-management butt.

“No, I take that back. I still would have gone – only this time to steal a couple of Brie plates and fill up my Nalgene bottle with a bunch of rum and cokes.”

Rocker believes he was somewhat misled last fall when he shelled out $55 for a two-year club membership.

“The chick manning the Marketing Club table kept on talking about all the networking I could do with former Marketing Club members and all the summer jobs that are exclusively created for us. Well, I networked with Pam Zilley, an HBS grad working in marketing at Pfizer and she said that I was perfect – perfect for Finance, or maybe Business Development. I didn’t need to pay $55 to hear that.”

Rocker is not the only student whose club memberships are not making it any easier to make a career change.

According to Uriel Mandonka, an Economics major from Yale and former leasing agent for Trammell Crow, “I really want to become a Biotech VC.

But even though I am a member of the Healthcare Club and went to the Healthcare Club Biotech conference, places like Oxford Bioscience won’t even return my calls.

“I know I don’t have an MD or PhD in BioChemistry. But I’m in the Healthcare Club. Doesn’t that count for anything?”

February 2, 2004
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