Tag Archives: post-MBA career goals

Do These 4 Exercises Now to Crystallize Your Post-MBA Career Path

These days, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who stays with one company or even one industry throughout his or her entire professional life. If you’re looking for the fast track to gain the …

Determining Career GoalsThese days, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who stays with one company or even one industry throughout his or her entire professional life. If you’re looking for the fast track to gain the skills and network to launch your career in a new direction, a popular way to do so is through an MBA program. In fact, by some estimates, two-thirds or more of graduating MBAs use the degree as a means of switching careers.

The skills typically strengthened during an MBA – leadership, intellectual creativity, analysis and critical thinking, cross-cultural awareness, communication, even greater IT mastery – will serve you well as you find your way toward your ultimate career goal.

But what if you’re having trouble distilling what that goal is? Julia Zupko, Assistant Dean for Career Development at the Yale School of Management, recently tackled this very topic.

Most people don’t spend enough time proactively managing their careers, and time and again Zupko has encountered applicants whose post-college career path was greatly influenced by family or friends, campus recruiting limitations, or the heavy burden of student loan debt.

Before you launch into the MBA admissions process, take time for some serious introspection to determine what you have liked or disliked about your professional experiences thus far. What awoke your passions or bored you to tears?

To help you with this process, Zupko recommends four exercises to get you thinking deeply about your post-MBA career goals:

At My Best
The At My Best exercise focuses on peak experiences—an amazing accomplishment you’re proud of, a transformational personal experience—where you’re at your best and fully leveraging your strengths.
Available through: StrengthsQuest Activity Workbook

Job Envy
Think about jobs you have heard about and think you would enjoy. After conducting the job envy exercise, you can review your notes to identify job themes.
Available through: Discovering Your Career in Business, Tim Butler and Jim Waldroop

Letters about You
Choose at least five people who know you really well to write a letter to you. Ask them to answer questions like: What would be the ideal career for you? What are your blind spots?
Available through: Discovering Your Career in Business, Tim Butler and Jim Waldroop

StrengthsFinder
Decades of Gallup research have proved that when individuals have the opportunity to discover their natural talents and purposely develop them into strengths, the effect on individual and organizational performance is transformational.

You can take Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment to discover your top five strengths. Your results will include a Signature Theme report detailing those top five strengths, what they mean, and how they are typically recognized and applied.
Available through: www.gallupstrengthscenter.com; $15 for assessment and bestselling StrengthsFinder 2.0 e-book

“While it may seem early, now is the time to catalogue those likes and dislikes, to read and learn more about positions you see in the employment reports of business school graduates, and to think deeply about yourself—what strengths you want to leverage in the future, what values and motivators are critical to you in your next position,” Zupko writes.

“Doing so will help you stay true to yourself as you pursue—and eliminate—some of the various career opportunities that will be available to you during your time in business school.”

You may also be interested in:

Ask Yourself 4 Questions Before Applying to Business School

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SBC Survey Results: More MBA Applicants Drawn to Consulting, Swayed by Scholarships

More than 50% of business school applicants say they would attend a less desirable program if awarded a scholarship, according to SBC’s annual survey of MBA applicants. Our survey also reported that a post-MBA career in consulting (47.9%) …

SBC4

More than 50% of business school applicants say they would attend a less desirable program if awarded a scholarship, according to SBC’s annual survey of MBA applicants.

Our survey also reported that a post-MBA career in consulting (47.9%) was the top pick, up from 39.2% last year.

After consulting, finance is the most popular post-MBA career choice, according to 26.75% of respondents this year, up from 18.37% last year.

Interest in entrepreneurship continues to grow, capturing 26.47% this year, compared to 24% last year. Technology is also a popular career choice, with 23.11 % planning to pursue a career in technology according to this year’s study.

The survey also reported that 37.69% of applicants plan to apply to five or more schools this year, down from the 44.9% that planned to apply to that many schools last year. Last year, 17.1% planned to apply to six schools and 23.34% to five schools.

At the same time, traditional two-year, full-time programs continue to be the most popular, with 85.75% of respondents considering two-year programs, 35% considering one-year programs, 14.51% considering part-time options, and only 4.13% planning to apply to online programs.

Reduced application requirements (fewer and shorter essays) motivated 51.8% of respondents to apply to more schools (down from 60.49% last year).

While video essays and interviews have become more common in the application process, they don’t get high marks from prospective students, with only 11.48% indicating video-based application elements represented them “extremely well,” 39.65% “well,” and 32.98% indicating such requirements are “limited.”

Other survey results include:

*49.47% of respondents indicated reputation is the most important factor influencing their decision to attend a particular business school, followed by 17.38% for strength of job placement, 12.7% for the culture of the program, and 8.56% for the strength of a school’s alumni network.

*Career advancement continued to rank as the top reason to attend business school at 47.76% (44.95% ranking it as most important last year), followed by career change at 32.31% (compared to 34.02%  of respondents last year).

*Interest in the GRE declined, with only 8.95% planning to take it this year, compared to 10.91% last year. Whereas 91.05% plan to take the GMAT this year, compared to 89.09% last year.

The survey was conducted with 751 respondents between May 1 and May 31, 2016. For more of my thoughts and reactions to these survey results, check out my interview with Poets & Quants.

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Think Through Your Post-MBA Career Goals

While you don’t need to have your career goals set in stone when you apply to business school, you should have a very clear idea of how the MBA degree will help you prepare for …

career goals at Chicago Booth

While you don’t need to have your career goals set in stone when you apply to business school, you should have a very clear idea of how the MBA degree will help you prepare for your future career.

The full-time MBA admissions blog at Chicago Booth School of Business has published an informative and insightful post written by Nima Merchant, a new member of the admissions team who has just transitioned from Booth’s Career Services employer development department.

“I’ve gained a very clear perspective of what employers who hire at Booth are looking for — and how those values can be important to highlight in your application.”

Merchant suggests applicants start by studying the Booth Full-Time MBA employment report. You can get an overview of the career paths students pursue under the Profiles tab, and the Employers section details the top companies recruiting at Booth.

You’ll see trends in the career interests of students through the Function and Industries tabs, which provide a break down of full-time positions and internships accepted—plus salary ranges and the number of hires per company.

The report also shows where students find work, and the Job Source section indicates that more than 75% of all employment offers last year were facilitated through Booth, which Merchant calls a “glowing example” of the powerhouse that is the Chicago Booth alumni network.

As you prepare your MBA applications, think about your future career goals, how the program can help you reach those goals, and what you will contribute to the school as well.

“It will be essential for you to connect with students and alumni to get their personal perspectives how the MBA, and Booth, helped them get where they wanted to be,” writes Merchant.

To that end, here’s a link to Chicago Booth’s upcoming online chats, where you can engage with current students and career services staff to get answers to all of your burning questions about the resources and opportunities available at Booth.

image courtesy of Chicago Booth School of Business

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