Adam Paegle (COL ’13) only applied to one college out of high school, and he seems to have made the right call. After spending his undergraduate years at Georgetown University as a career informational specialist at the Cawley Career Education Center, Paegle has returned to the Hilltop as a recruiting coordinator at the career center. In this position, Paegle assesses the needs of students and refers them to the appropriate resources and counselors. Paegle also helps manage the Career Education Center’s social media accounts
The Hoya sat down with Paegle to discuss why he returned to the Hilltop, common interviewing mistakes, and advice for Hoyas as they enter recruiting season.
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What do you do here at Georgetown and about what should Hoyas ask you?
At Georgetown I’m the recruiting coordinator for the career center, so I work a lot with employers, especially ones that are coming on campus to do on-campus interviewing. So I help them with their schedules, I help students if they have problems with their interviewing schedule, I help employers set up events. And I help them on the day-of with the place, making sure everything’s all set up for them.
I also help them with marketing, and I work closely with our marketing coordinator to kind of get the word out to students on what events are happening, what new job postings are up. I also manage Hoya Career Connections, so all of the non-on-campus interview sections. I’m in charge of all those job postings. And then I also serve as one of our industry advisors, so I advise students that are interested in the world of education.
Basically, any question they could have about on-campus recruiting, I pretty much know all of it. I did it myself when I was a student, so I’ve been on the student side, and now I’m helping the employer. So any question the students have about on-campus interviewing or any event that’s going on employer-related, I pretty much know anything about it.
Why did you decide to come back to Georgetown?
Two parts probably. Georgetown, I’ve always wanted to come to Georgetown. It was the only school that I applied to, and once I got in, I accepted immediately. I knew I always wanted to come to Georgetown since I was in elementary school, so it was my dream for me to come here. So to come back here and work here full time on the Hilltop every day is pretty awesome. And secondly, just the people at the career center.
I worked here all four years of undergrad and it was just — I think it is the best place to work on campus as an undergraduate student. So, given the opportunity to come back, I accepted immediately.
What would you have done differently as a student?
Probably not followed the pack as much, especially as related to career services. People say ‘Oh, I’m a junior and all my friends are in suits and going to info sessions. I have to do that too.’ That’s really not the case — broadening your horizons a bit and seeing ‘Oh maybe that’s not the industry I’m interested in, so I don’t have to worry about it right now.’ So kind of just realizing your own kind of path and that your path may be very different from somebody else’s — slowing down and really taking the time to figure all that out.
What is the biggest mistake people make during interviews and how can students avoid it?
The biggest mistake is actually one that doesn’t seem like it’d be one that you’d think of. It’s actually kind of why you’re applying to a certain position and why you’re applying to that company. A lot of students will just apply to — you know, they’ll see all the investment banking internships so they’ll just apply to every single one they see on there without doing enough research about the specific company. And a question a lot of students — recruiters tell me —students slip up on is the ‘so why are you applying to company x.’
They can’t really give a good reason. They can kind of tell why they’re applying to that position but not what makes that company different. So really just knowing why you’re applying to that company and having a really good idea about that — that’s really good advice for students.
If you could teach every Georgetown student one career-related skill what would it be and why?
It would either have to be being able to ask really good questions, especially during interview; something that’s not just a generic kind of thing like ‘what do you do every day’ — something a bit more in-depth so they remember you a little bit better. Like you have this great opportunity with this person that’s come back to interview Georgetown students, specifically if they have a connection to Georgetown. Ask them about their own interview process, how they went through it and not being so generic. And also kind of going along with that, just small talk.
The interview is really kind of made during that little five minutes you have where they say ‘Tell me about yourself.’ Those are kind of the keys to getting your second round interview, having your elevator pitch, but having it really — it doesn’t feel rehearsed, having a good conversation with someone.
Fill in the blank: In terms of preparation for the real world, the average Georgetown senior is _________.
I’d say the average senior is very prepared to pretty much go into any job possible. We hear from recruiters all the time that they come to Georgetown because the students are really smart, and they get great interns and full-time hires because they can teach them all the specifics of the job but they need somebody that can learn really fast and can just think on their feet, and that’s why they come to Georgetown.
So I’d say for Georgetown students, the sky’s the limit for the position they can apply to. It’s just figuring out really what’s right for them.
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