TatteredDignity wrote: romothesavior wrote:
I will say, whoever asked that question about placement in Chicago/St. Louis/the Midwest is a very sharp guy. And devilishly handsome.
Crap, bummed that I missed that. What did you ask and how did he answer? Was it something along the lines of "why don't you boost our placement in the Midwest instead of focusing so much on the coasts?"
I didn't ask anything. It was some very scholarly, dapper-looking young man in a green polo shirt and a buzzcut to hide his receding hairline.
But yes, the question was along those lines. Said it was great that we're doing well in distant markets and branding ourselves nationally, but we lack a stranglehold in St. Louis and Chicago is basically a bloodbath. Kati Scannell got up and gave sort of a boilerplate answer about networking and such, and how they have been trying to convince employers around STL to take more of our students. Dean Bolin talked about the outreach they have been doing in Chicago and the outreach they've been trying to do with government employers up there in particular, which was sort of encouraging. There is also an upcoming alumni event in Chicago, so she encouraged people to try to get up there for it.
IMO, they need to devote more resources to the Midwest, particularly the four nearby cities (KC, St. Louis, Chicago, and Indy). If you weren't top 10-15%, you had virtually no shot in Chicago at OCI. Cool, we get Sidley, K&E, Skadden, Jones Day, etc. to come to OCI, but they are only seriously looking at top 5-10% people. What about the rest of us? I know a guy with solid (20-30%) grades and LR who was targeting Chicago and was from there originally, and the CSO gave him contacts at like Skadden, K&E, and Jones Day. The Skadden guy straight up told him there was no way he could work there with his grades. He needs to be guided to firms where he has a legit shot, not to firms that are only taking maybe 1-2 WUSTL students who are in the top 5%. Telling him to talk to a Skadden bigshot is not helpful.
I also think some sort of semester externship program up there would do wonders for networking and establishing our brand in the city. The NYC and D.C. programs both sound awesome, but I'll bet Chicago would be the most popular if we could pull it off. We have a lot of students who came here to get into Chicago, but now they are essentially shut out of the market.
A lot of our placement issues stem from the fact that the Midwest is 1) a smaller market and 2) really hurting right now. That's not something that the CSO or administration can really do anything about. Overall, I think we have a competent CSO and our administration is excellent. But I do worry that we aren't getting ourselves established in the right markets, and we need to become a Midwestern powerhouse before we are a national school.