SBC Scoop: A New Job and An MBA Application

We’ve addressed the concerns of applicants with a history of layoffs, or family business experience. What would you do if you needed to move into a new job just a few months before submitting your MBA applications?

Josh started working with Stacy Blackman Consulting last August and during our initial conversation it was clear that his current workplace was not incredibly stable. Soon after his third draft of essays for his Round 1 applications, he landed a new job. This was in the nick of time, as his former company lost a major client and started a round of layoffs. He was relieved to start a new position in a field he was interested in, but Josh was also concerned that switching jobs right before submitting his MBA applications would be an issue.

Josh had two concerns related to the fresh job:

1. How to talk about new work responsibilities in essays and the resume when he was still learning the ropes.

2. Most schools prefer current supervisors as recommenders and he wasn’t sure how to handle.

For his first concern we actually decided to frame most of his career goals story in the context of the work he had done for the previous three years. He worked in technology and had rapidly risen through the ranks of his former company, which was a startup. Josh discussed his lessons learned and what he wanted to gain from his MBA and future career and his eventual goal to start his own company. He also described the reasons he joined the new company, but spent most of his work experience examples on the responsibilities of his old position.

Josh’s resume was something we decided to push a bit later in the process. By the time we revised it for MBA applications he had almost two months of work experience at the new company under his belt and was more confident in describing his position.
Recommenders were trickier because Josh did not want to inform his new company about his MBA plans. He was able to explain in an optional essay that his current supervisor had only known him for a few months. Therefore he made the case for asking recommenders from his previous three years of work experience to comment upon his work and ability to achieve.

Josh ended up enjoying his new job tremendously, and was excited to recently learn he was accepted to Michigan Ross.

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