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BY Joel Junker

Feedback from the August 2009 Career Conference

We are close to finishing the follow-up interview process for the August 2009 Conference.  A few candidates have some interviews left this week, but the strong majority have already accepted positions, or have one or more offers and are set to make a career decision by early next week.  Statistically, this will be the most successful Conference of the year.  My opinion is that this is a result of 3 major factors. 

First, the economy is growing and the labor market has stabilized.  The Wall Street Journal predicted the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would grow 2.4% in this year’s third quarter (which closes next week) and will continue to grow between 2.1% to 2.8% over the next 3 quarters.  In less than one year the unemployment rate jumped from approximately 5% (historically a low number) to the current 9.7% (highest number since the early 1980’s) but will top at 9.9%.  In other words, the meteoric rise is done, the labor markets have settled, and with an expectation of topping at 9.9% this December, the rate will start to come down.  Our client companies continued to hire during the financial crisis over the last year. This is supported by the evidence that at every Conference in 2009, candidates averaged over 9 interviews.  Our clients are echoing the brighter outlook shown in the GDP increases and are projecting increased needs. 

The second factor is that Cameron-Brooks has a diversified group of client companies.  Some industries such as medical device, biopharmaceutical, alternative energy and consumer packaged goods companies experienced little effect in their business, while some others did put a temporary hold on recruiting.  This diversification allowed us to bring a high quality lineup of companies to Conferences all year, and as the economy turned more positive this summer we had increased demand for candidates at the August 2009 Conference.  We are continuing to experience this upward trend as we prepare for the November 2009 Conference.

Third, the candidates did a wonderful job of preparing for the high interview bar.  They stepped up their preparation by reading as many books as they could from the Reading Program, completing the Development and Preparation Program, reading FORTUNE Magazine, and applying what they learned in their military career.  At the Conference and in follow-up interviews, they did an excellent job of researching the companies, industries and positions, so they could focus on proving their abilities/competencies, asking insightful questions, and communicating interest.  They took the attitude that, “It only takes one,” and focused on every interview as if it was the only opportunity they had.  I congratulate all of the candidates on their effort and performance.  All of us at Cameron-Brooks are proud to partner with them in their transition. 

You can read more about the candidates’ successes by visiting our Discussion Forums and specifically Forum A: The Cameron-Brooks Experience at http://tinyurl.com/cb-experience.  The first three postings listed as of September 22 are from August Candidates.  I particularly like Ryan Nungesser and Andrew Thompson’s comments.   I like Ryan’s because he addresses the Cameron-Brooks Agreement and how he felt “at risk”  but that it all made sense to him in the end, and Cameron-Brooks delivered on its promises.  I know other Cameron-Brooks’ JMOs who have felt the same way.  Ryan also explains the effort he put forth to achieve the success he had.  Andrew Thompson and his spouse Analise came to Cameron-Brooks only a few weeks before their Conference.  Andrew offers a unique perspective and also has a different view point on how to utilize the program. 

Joel Junker