Last week I met with a junior team about to graduate from Creative Circus. Allison and Angelle spent a few days between San Francisco and Los Angeles doing a series of informational interviews.
When I agreed to meet them, I missed the part that they were still in school. Once they arrived at my office and we started chatting I understood that they still had a month to go before graduation. In an instant I added up the cost of the trip in my head: airplane tickets, hotel rooms, rental car, food. No cheap I imagine. As I coming to a dollar figure, I realized that it really didn't matter how much that trip cost these young woman. Their decision to get their faces out in the industry a month ahead of everyone else was worth more than the money they spent.
I will say again that recruiting young creatives from out of state is a challenge. Even if they have solid books, I would have a super hard time getting someone to approve the money to fly them out for an interview (although there were those 2 random times when I wanted to hire juniors without meeting them, their work was that good!). So having them travel to me during their interview junket solves that big ol' problem right there.
And, although I currently don't have open jobs for them, having met them in person ahead of time gives me some hiring perspective when those jobs do in fact open up.
Setting up a trip to meet a slew of agencies is pretty smart. Setting up said trip before you even graduate is even smarter.