What should MBA students take advantage of when looking for a job? Here's some advice from current MBA students and alumni on making the most of your school's resources.
1. School connections
MBA programs often have strong relationships with companies within certain industries that recruit MBA students. These connections facilitate on-campus recruiting, interviews, and offsite company visits. When conducting a job search, corporate connections can be a great resource for students to get their foot in the door at companies of interest.
2. Career Center
Career centers offer students the resources to start prepping for their post MBA career from day 1. "Our Career Management Center helps me with all of my career-related needs. Whether it is polishing my resume, cover letter, or prepping me for an interview, our career advisors have always been there to help me develop myself professionally." - Sachita Laddha, MBA 2014 Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College
Hear more about Sachita's experience and how her career center helped her land an internship:
It's always a good idea to keep close ties with career center, and build a relationship with your career advisors throughout the entire MBA experience.
"Because I had engaged early and often with career services, they knew me well and they knew my skills well and they had confidence in my abilities," says Aaron Glade, MBA 2010 Portland State University, "...they felt really good about putting me out there for different employers that they were engaged with and had different positions. The job I have now came to me through career services. Our firm was looking for someone with a particular skill set and they got in touch with career services who thought of me and forwarded me the job description. Career services became the point of contact – they were submitting my resume to the employer and putting us in touch."
3. Networking with classmates and industry professionals
Networking is extremely important in the MBA job search. Students can network with classmates, professors, industry professionals, as well as alumni in order to get a better grasp on their post-MBA career trajectory. Schools often host networking events, mentoring events, and career fairs that function as useful resources during the job search by bridging the gap between school and industry.
When it comes to the MBA job search and networking, Stephanie Bauer MBA 2003 Maryland Smith School of Business says,
"Don't expect it to be handed to you. Network with your peers, network with other organizations, and through your internship, to really get an understanding and think through: what is my next step, and what do I need to do to get there? Networking, coupled with the education and academics that you are getting with your MBA will really help catapult you to the next level."
Jenny Strange, MBA 2011 University of Georgia Terry College of Business, also has unique advice about using internships as an opportunity to network and gain experience in your field of interest:
"Use internships as opportunity to get experience, but then truly link it back to what you want to do. An internship is a networking opportunity - keeping in touch with those you met with and worked with during your internship will help you secure a job upon graduation."
4. The alumni network
Networking is not limited to your peers and industry professionals. MBA programs have strong alumni networks, where alumni are eager to help out fellow students.
"It is priceless to be continually involved with that community. When I started my business, many of the investors that invested in my business were alumni or classmates," says Michael Lee, MBA 2010 USC Marshall, "many of the people I turned to for advice were either mentors of mine at school, or people referred to me by mentors or former classmates at school. I know that at any given point if I need advice or need a contact, it is just a matter of time before I find the right contact through my network because everyone is so willing to assist."
5. Clubs and organizations
Getting involved with clubs and organizations are a great ways to pursue your career interests and bring you closer to your target industry or profession.
To help explore a future career in luxury brands, Edmund Amoye MBA 2012 College of William and Mary Mason School of Business, started his school's first Luxury and Retail Club which eventually helped him land a job at LVMH Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton.