When four students at MIT Sloan School of Management approached the Career Development Office to ask for support in offering a social media workshop for MBA program students last summer, they were entering breakthrough territory.
With the CDO’s approval, Amanda Peyton, Ariel Santos, Brian Cantwell, and Sarah Park created a pair of workshops, “Twitter for Beginners” and “Social Media for Beginners.”
The goal: to create a peer-to-peer learning environment where students share and test ideas about how best to leverage social media tools as part of the job search.
Each workshop laid out practical techniques for using Twitter and other online tools to help students research companies and distinguish themselves in interviews.
Students who participated in the “Twitter for Beginners” workshop came away with an expanded understanding of how to network and follow emerging industry trends online.
One workshop attendee wrote, “I used to wonder, ‘Why use another Facebook that does less?’ Now I realize that the way you build your network, interact with people, and gather information using Twitter is totally different from the way you use Facebook and Linked In.’”
Students come to MIT Sloan to explore new careers, which means efficiently and creatively expanding one’s professional networks is a critical endeavor. These workshop organizers – whose backgrounds represent a range of experiences in technology and online media – recognized an opportunity to supplement the traditional career development offerings and support their peers in this regard.
A year later, many top programs have begun adding courses on social media to their MBA curricula. Social media skills just may provide an all-important edge when the time comes to parlay an MBA into a stellar job offer.
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