It’s no secret that some of the most powerful men and women in the world were in marching band. President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are two that come to mind.
Recently we sat down with college recruiters from Chevron, Deloitte and Johnson&Johnson and asked them about hiring college band members. Here are the top reasons they love meeting a college band member at a career fair.
Loyalty. Building a company takes time and projects at very large companies can take even longer. Big corporate companies want loyal workers. They aren’t interested in someone who will use them as a stepping stone to another place. Companies like Chevron have to deal with major PR nightmares after oil spills or healthcare related issues at Johnson&Johnson. They want people who will be there to help them get out of the bad times and thrive when things are good. The recruiters agreed that marching band members show an unbelievable amount of loyalty to companies. Maybe it’s because even when the team is win-less and we’re sitting in the rain and cold we still give 110% every time. We always come back and never let the outcome of the game negatively impact our experience.
Team players – Bands can be over 400 people and it takes everyone being on the same page to make a great halftime show. We have to work together and communicate. We have to cover down, guide right, check our spacing and rehearse our music. While we are on the field we depend on each other and that is a trait that will be invaluable after college. We know how to work in small and large groups. Be efficient with our time and support those around us.
Time management and sacrifice – Band kids are busy. Really busy! From band camp to the bowl game, the fall semester is loaded with events and performances that we are a part of. From football games to volleyball, soccer and basketball to President’s tailgates, book store performances and beyond, we have to manage our time REALLY well in order to achieve at a high level academically. With all of those performances and commitments comes sacrifice. We are comfortable giving up our weekends, ending our holiday breaks early and traveling at day break. Sacrifices are made at work as well from business trips to emergency meetings and long days. Hopefully we won’t miss too many of our kids first music lessons, but if we do we know how to cope and bring a positive out of a negative.
Work ethic – Eat. Sleep. March. Repeat. Eat. Sleep. March. Repeat. How hard do we work? Come to band camp in August when its 100 degrees outside and we are running three 3hr sessions daily for 2 weeks. You’ll see how hard we work. Plus add in that the band typically has the highest cumulative GPA of any student organization on campus…
Respect and family – The Chevron recruiter told us that the “Chevron Family” is a huge part of their culture. They know each other, their spouses and children. They coordinate events together and invest in one another. This reminded us greatly of the band family. There are no rivalries in band. We are one. We support fellow sections and cheer when the other performs. We are there when a band needs us and support those who will come after us. All of that leads into respect. No one ever made it to the top of a company by being disrespectful.
Class – We understand that we represent our university everywhere we go just like we will the companies we work for. We are direct reflections of the type of student who is at our institution and will be reflections of the employees we work with. We hold ourselves to a higher standard and exhibit class at all times. When we march into an opposing school’s stadium it is common that fans yell inappropriate things at us. We smile and take care of our business. We are there to support our team and represent our school and we will always show class.
Leadership – The number one thing the recruiters told us that they look for on a resume is leadership experience. Well, college bands are full of leaders! We have squad leaders, section leaders, captains, drum majors, etc. We manage teams and report to leadership on a weekly basis. This is another great example of translating the band life to the work life. Companies want to hire the next CEO or Vice President. They want the men and women that are going to lead by example and take their company to the next level. College band members are the people they want leading their companies.
For those seniors who are about to graduate, you should be proud of your experience in band. Don’t forget to add it to your resume and talk about your experience. You never know when you will be deep in interviews, tied with another candidate in GPA, internships and study abroad experience for a job which could make the band the lone differential between you. You have been conditioned to be a great employee and recruiters know that. Now go out and show them why you were a great hire!