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When to Start Your MBA Job Search
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If we’re honest, the main reason to obtain your MBA is to enhance your career prospects. By enrolling in an MBA program, you hope to obtain the skills and credentials necessary to land your dream position. To help you out, we’ve put together a guide that includes everything you need to know about the MBA job search process:
Starting Before You Enroll in Your MBA
Obtaining your MBA is one of the most important steps on your ultimate career path. Because of this, it’s important that you have an idea of where you want that path to end before you actually enroll in a specific MBA program. You need to figure out what type of position you want to ultimately hold, and in what type of company. If you want to work for yourself, you’ll need to know exactly what industry you’ll want to use your entrepreneurial skills in.
This is because the MBA program that you enroll in has a significant impact on your career’s future.If you see yourself in a marketing role, you’ll want to enroll in a school that’s well-known for their marketing prowess. If you’re interested in the tech industry, you’ll want to target schools that have strong connections to that industry. If you end up obtaining an MBA from a school that isn’t a strong fit for your ultimate goals, it’s going to be much harder to land your dream job.
Enhancing Your Job Search While Working Towards an MBA
The same way that it’s important to think about your career goals before applying to your MBA program, it’s important to begin and nurture them while you’re actually in the program.
There’s never a better time to network than while enrolled in an MBA program, and networking is one of the most effective ways to land a job. Make sure to attend any social functions your university offers. Take the time to build a relationship with classmates and professors. Send thank-you notes to any guest speakers who offer their time to provide a lecture. There stronger your professional network is upon graduation, the more opportunities you’ll have.
This is also the perfect time to make sure you’re building a strong social media presence. LinkedIn is especially important for your MBA job search. It provides an easy way to keep in touch with former or current colleagues and classmates. You can find alumni who are good connections. You should start positioning yourself as a thought leader by posting blogs and comments. Most importantly, you’re building a professional web presence for any recruiters or HR professionals who take the time to look into you further.
Finally, this is the perfect time to start making more specific decisions about your next job. Keep up with industry news and try to spot important trends. When it comes time to start sending out applications, you’ll be able to use this information to determine your best landing spot.
Taking Your Career Search to the Next Level Upon Graduation
Upon graduation, it’s time to really take your job search to the next level. If you’re lucky, your current employer may offer you a promotion or increased responsibilities based on your accomplishment. It’s quite possible, though, that you’ll need to take matters into your own hands.
Searching for a job can be stressful and takes a lot of time and effort. With an MBA, however, you need to make sure you have a job that’s suited to your abilities. Here are some of the best ways you can jump-start your MBA job search after graduating:
- Take advantage of your school’s resources. Every school has a career resources office, so make sure to take advantage of it. They’ll help you figure out what types of jobs you should be targeting, edit your resume, and possibly even make important connections.
- Leverage your personal network. We spoke earlier about building your professional network while working toward your MBA, and now is the time to leverage them. If a former classmate or professor has a connection to a company you’re interested in, reach out to them. A warm introduction is all it takes to make sure your resume gets into the right hands.
- Look towards alumni associations. Don’t be shy about joining your school’s alumni associations and fostering relationships to benefit your job search. These associations exist to help you connect with alumni that have relevant job titles and industry experience.
- Go straight to the companies. Everybody uses the same search engines like Monster and Indeed. You’re not going to find any interest opportunities there. Instead, you’ll want to target specific companies and key an eye on their corporate websites. If you have any connections, reach out directly and ask if any opportunities will be open in the future.
Once you land a position, it’s important to keep your eye on the prize. Make sure to check in with other companies once in awhile and continue to build your network. Sooner or later, your experience will meet with the right opportunity and you’ll have a chance to land the position you always wanted. Until then, you simply need to continue building your personal brand and keeping an eye out for the next great opportunity.
An Important Tip – Don’t Necessarily Look For Your Dream Job Immediately
Graduating with your MBA is an extremely exciting time. You’re ready to go out and become a titan of industry. The problem, however, is that you might not have enough experience just yet. If you truly want to become an important leader, you still need to make sure you have all the necessary tools.
Today, many MBAs are choosing to spend the years immediately following their MBA developing and honing the skills obtained in their MBA program. Instead of aiming for their dream jobs, they’re looking for jobs that give them hands-on experience with important leadership skills like building up an organization, hiring and training the right people, and navigating various industries.
A great way to earn this kind of experience is by working for a startup. Startups provide the opportunity to get your hands dirty with a wide variety of tasks, figuring out exactly where your strengths lay. This information will be vital as you attempt to move up further throughout your career. It also provides you the perfect opportunity to continue building your personal brand if you don’t necessarily have the experience you need to land the position you want.
Concluding Your Job Search by Nailing the Interview
Having an MBA is often enough to land you an interview, but it won’t be enough to land you a job. Unfortunately, you’re still going to have to nail the interview process in order to be hired. While interviews are stressful, there are a number of things you can do to make sure you put your best foot forward.
Have a Conversation
Keep in mind that the company isn’t the only one doing the interviewing. You’re taking the time out your busy schedule to make sure that they’re a good fit for you, too. By keeping this in mind you’ll be able to turn the interview into more of a conversation. You’ll be more at ease and in a better position to decide whether it’s a good opportunity for you or not.
Practice Until You’re Perfect
The more often you interview, they better you’ll be at them. Your school’s career services department will offer interview practice, which is a great start. You should also consider taking interviews for positions you aren’t necessarily interested in to practice even further.
Do Your Research
Your interview is about much more than your own personal skills. It’s about how those skills fit into the company and position you’re applying for. Take the time to really dig into the company, the industry, and the position. It will give you a better idea of exactly what your potential employer is looking for, and how you should answer their questions. In order to land your dream job, you need to find the perfect MBA program.