Why You Have To Show Up

Honor your commitments and you will go far.  Don’t and you get nowhere.

My palms were sweaty and my stomach churned. A flash of anger came over me. Why was I in this situation? I hadn’t done anything wrong. But two BU students had no-showed to an interview and I was the lucky one who had to look Jake (all names changed) in the eye and apologize. The brand I represent, BU talent, had failed to live up to its great reputation.

Jake was agitated. His daughter was sick at home, and he had a lot of work to tackle back at the office. Nevertheless, he had come to BU’s Center for Career Development that morning, and spent it interviewing students for the associate position he needed to fill.  Luckily, the first two students came at 9am and 9:30am. But at by 10:06am, Jake was pacing the reception area, anxiously wondering why Connie, his 10am student interview — someone he really looked forward to meeting — hadn’t checked in.

The student desk worker tried calling Connie and emailing them. No response. By 10:10am, Connie still had not showed up. Jake’s next few interviews showed up but, once again, Riley, his 11:30am interview, no-showed. So out of six candidates, Jake had only been able to meet with four – a 25% no-show rate. And then my phone rang. It was the student desk worker nervously letting me know that Jake wanted to speak with me.

I’m the person who had met Jake and convinced him to come recruit at BU. My colleagues had helped Jake post his job in Handshake, create an interview schedule, and had emailed the applicants Jake selected to remind them TWICE about their interview time/location. Jake had put BU on his list of target schools, and we had assured him that the BU students he met would not disappoint. Well, two of them did disappoint, and now I had to apologize. This is the part of my job that sucks. You’ve heard the expression “a win-win-win situation?” Well, this was a “lose-lose-lose situation.”

Not only did Jake NOT get to meet two qualified students he wanted to, but now Connie and Riley had put a stain on BU’s reputation with their behavior. Further, these two students took away two opportunities for OTHER students to meet with Jake.

Oh, and the last “lose” was that I had to drop my work and go apologize to Jake when instead he should be hiring a BU student and I should be on the phone with another organization enticing it to come recruit at BU. Did I mention that now I would also have to spend 30 minutes each with Connie and Riley, having a conversation about why showing up is important?

After apologizing to Jake profusely, I returned to my office and blocked Connie and Riley in Handshake. There was no way they were going to be repeat offenders.

Don’t make the same mistake, Terriers. When you have an interview, commit to a workshop, or make a commitment to network with an employer, you have to show up!

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