ONLINE MBA GUIDE
First things first, you owe yourself big congratulations. Not only have you worked hard on preparing applications, contacting references and perhaps doing interviews, you have now completed (or almost completed) many months of projects, commitments and learning the ins and outs of business. As you prepare for the next phase of your career, there are some key steps you’ll need to take to make sure you find a job as soon as possible if you are looking for employment after your MBA. Let’s break down how to conduct your job search as well as what you’ll need to do to ace your job interviews.
In 2016, 88.3%
of students who were earning their MBA
and also seeking employment
reported accepting jobs within
three months after graduating
First, let’s look at the numbers. What are you up against? According to data compiled from U.S News & World Report in 2016, 88.3 percent of students who were earning their MBA and also seeking employment reported accepting jobs within three months after graduating.* While this data was drawn from a total of 471 AACSB accredited schools, it is safe to say to say that job placement rates for MBA graduates is high, and those seeking new employment have the odds in their favor.
To supplement this positive prospect, in 2016, the Graduate Management Admission Council in conjunction with the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) and the MBA CSEA conducted their annual Corporate Recruiters Survey, which polled 748 employers in 47 countries across the globe, with 46 of the 47 being Fortune 100. Of these employers, 88 percent planned to hire new MBA graduates into their workforce.
Now how do you find those jobs? First, know that, because it is difficult to be accepted in an MBA program, employers have a general sense of comfort when they come across an MBA graduate. All that hard work means you’re motivated, talented and willing to get to the grind. Here are a few ways to find jobs, but always remember that personal connections are key. People hire people, so the more people you know and talk to, the better your odds will be.
Whether you’re connecting through alumni associations, networking events or on LinkedIn, keeping in contact with alumni is imperative. Not only will you have a sense of camaraderie and shared experiences, you’ll get a first-hand view of the job market and what opportunities are available across the board. Alumni are also more likely to internally recommend you at a company or drop a good word about you because seeing people from their own universities succeed gives more credit to their education. It’s a win-win for all, so, if you haven’t joined your university’s alumni network, do so as soon as you can.
While networking can be an arduous task at times, an MBA education should prepare you for that. It’s important that you master your own ‘elevator pitch,’ a short spiel you give to people who want to know about you, but that is informative and personal. Direct networking can take the form of attending a networking event and meeting new people, or reaching out to former colleagues or friends who work in fields or companies that are of interest to you. LinkedIn provides a world of networking opportunities right at your fingertips.
This is a big one and covers a lot. Using online resources to find a job can even be a post on social media letting your connections know you’re active in the job market. But make sure to be specific—don’t just say you’re looking for a job, tell them what kind of position you’re aiming for. As mentioned before, online networking sites like LinkedIn are a must not only to see what jobs are out there, but to connect with people who have proven track records that you can learn from. Besides word of mouth, finding a job online gives you a sea of job opportunities you can apply to. Search job boards, whether those are standard hiring sites or a specific company’s list of job postings.
Recruiters, or headhunters, are people whose job is to find you a job. There are many agencies around the country that offer job-hunting services, and they only get paid once you land a position. Depending on your MBA background, you can find recruiting agencies that specialize in certain fields, such as technology.
In 2016, 93%
of graduate management education alumni
felt pursing their MBA degree
was worth the career
outcomes they achieved
No matter how you go about finding employment, keep in mind that a large majority of MBA graduates report feeling prepared for the workforce and confident in their decision to pursue an MBA degree—a staggering 93 percent of graduate management education alumni say they would pursue their graduate management education again if given the choice, considering their motivations for pursuing their degree and the career outcomes they achieved.
*Source: AACSB DataDirect. 2016 BSQ Employment Module.
**Source: 2016 Alumni Perspectives Survey Report
Now you’ve landed an interview, or maybe many, but you’re not sure how to approach this high-level task. It’s safe to say that one of the best things you can do to prepare is to always stay current. Employers expect MBA grads to have a pulse on the market, including the economy, business trends and new innovations. One way to stay ahead of the game is to search industry keywords on Twitter, a major hub for businesses to share their news. In addition to keeping up with the latest business news, there are a few key steps to take before, during and after your interview. Let’s break them down.
Research the company. It’s imperative you treat every interview as unique, because every company is unique. Tailor your résumé to that company’s business goals. Is the job you’re applying to a management position? Then change your résumé to say “Management Experience” instead of general “Relevant Experience.” This also means that you know exactly what the company is trying to achieve. Answer questions in terms of how you can drive their bottom line or make processes more efficient.
Memorize your résumé. It’s important to show that you can what you’re talking about, so memorizing your résumé and your accomplishments will help the conversation go smoothly. When you’re talking about your experiences, make sure they are relevant to the position, which means you should memorize the job description’s specs as well. Don’t forget to print out several copies of your résumé and bring your portfolio as well.
Practice interview questions. Ask friends or family to help you prepare by asking you relevant interview questions. This includes your elevator pitch and some of the tougher questions that may stump you. Some good ones to prepare for include:
- Tell me about a problem you encountered and how you solved it.
- Tell me how you met or exceeded a business goal.
- Why are you interested in this role/company?
- If X is performing poorly, how would you fix it?
This starts with your wardrobe. As the saying goes, don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want. The business world warrants a professional look, so acting the part is important. For women, conservative dresses, skirts or pant suits are appropriate. Depending on the company, a more formal look may or may not be appreciated, which could mean different colors or statement jewelry. The important thing is to be authentic yet professional. For men, a suit and tie is usually best, although the need for a tie has become less and less in current times. Doing research on the company culture can help you better understand what they’re looking for. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep as well. You want to look and feel on top of your game.
Being about 10 minutes early to the interview shows organization, and the interviewers will appreciate you respecting their time by not being late. Once you meet your interviewers, make sure to smile and shake everyone’s hand while making eye contact. Don’t be afraid to ask clarification questions during the interview, as this shows you are serious about understanding what they do. At the end of the interview, it is common to be asked if you have any questions for the interviewers. The answer should always be yes. By having several questions ready to go, you are showing them that you have done your homework because you want the job.
The same day, you should send a note to the company thanking them for the opportunity and for taking time out of their schedules to meet with you. You can highlight something you really enjoyed talking about.
After about a week at minimum, it is appropriate to gently follow up on the interview to inquire about your status, unless the employees told you a specific timeframe for hearing back from them.
If you’re curious about specific careers you can enter, take a look at the breakdown below to see what a profession in these sectors entails.
MBA in Accounting
You’ll study finance, taxation and accounting so you have the option for working for a wide variety of clients. While CPAs are a favorable job prospect, graduates can also become tax examiners or auditors.
Median Pay*: $114,064
MBA in Acquisitions
This degree is designed to produce leaders who can manage acquisitions of businesses or corporations in many industries. Those interested can get jobs as management analysts in private equity, investment banking, hedge funds or companies looking to merge or acquire.
Median Pay*: $91,910
MBA in Economics
Economists collect data so they can research trends, evaluate issues and make predictions on market trends. Those studying economics can be financial or management analysts in a variety of fields analyzing a multitude of factors such as taxes, inflation, business cycles or interest rates.
Median Pay*: $91,910
MBA in Entrepreneurship
Those looking to be leaders that make lasting changes and seek new ventures should consider an MBA in Entrepreneurship. This degree helps foster innovation, social entrepreneurship, and business and technology management. Many graduates aim to have C-level careers where they are defining business goals and company culture.
Mean Pay*: Wages range widely depending on occupation.
MBA in Environmental Management
Environmental management means maintaining business standards and practices while incorporating environmental and scientific sustainability. This involves life and physical sciences, specifically the overseeing of research and development, quality control and environmental impact assessment.
Median Pay*: $120,320
MBA in Finance
A finance concentration will help students prepare for a career in banking, hedge funds, insurance or at companies who are looking for money management. Students can often find jobs as personal financial advisors or financial analysts for larger business and corporations.
Median Pay*: $90,530
MBA in Global Management
Global management includes finding business solutions for global trends, understanding the global economy and learning how to be a global leader. Usually, those who study this type of management take analyst or executive roles in a company, helping them drive their goals further within a global context.
Median Pay*: $103,950
MBA in Healthcare Administration
These folks plan, direct and coordinate healthcare services in a variety of workplaces, from hospitals to private medical centers. They keep on top of medical practices, regulations, technology and staffing.
Median Pay*: $96,540
MBA in Hospitality Management
Earn this degree to learn the business side of travel and leisure. Students study accounting, human resources, finance, tourism, marketing and advertising. Careers can include lodging management, food management or event management. Depending on your career, salaries may vary greatly.
Median Pay*: $51,840
MBA in Human Resources
Human resources professionals are in charge of hiring, training and understanding company culture. They also help executives with strategic planning and serve as the point of contact between those executives and other employees.
Median Pay*: $106,910
MBA in Information Security
Information security means directing and implementing security measures to protect a business’ computer network and systems. With the increase in cybersecurity threats, this is an important job that can cover the role of information security analyst.
Median Pay*: $92,600
MBA in Information Technology
Similar to above, those working in information technology are in charge of maintaining current technology and making upgrades if necessary. They work to meet a business’ goals by providing the best tools to do so.
Median Pay*: $87,220
MBA in International Business
If a company or organization is involved in business practices or services that expand beyond their own country, they many need a professional who understands the international business market. This multinational scope requires the employee to be well-versed in foreign practices, international markets and economies as well as trade laws.
Median Pay*: Wages range widely depending on occupation, including international marketing managers, global business managers or human resource managers.
MBA in Leadership
Getting your MBA in Leadership gives you an opportunity to take on many administrative tasks, such as supervisory, operations or records management. You’ll have an opportunity to be involved in the higher-level workings of an organization and make sure business protocols are being followed. Students may find careers as administrative services managers, operations managers or even C-level executives.
Median Pay*: $90,050
MBA in Marketing
With more social outreach, marketing management is on the rise. These managers target audiences and build brands to attract them while keeping up with industry trends and outreach. Marketing managers can specialize, such as in advertising or public relations.
Median Pay*: $127,560
MBA in Organizational Leadership
These leaders are in charge of team management within the scope of the changing economy and business markets. They help provide companies with diverse, strong staff and organizational structure for an efficient and productive business. Many graduates become training and development managers.
Median Pay*: $105,830
MBA in Operations and Supply Chain Management
Here you will learn about goods within the delicate cycle of purchasing, production and distribution. You will focus on inventory cost reduction, waste management and sustainability.
Median Pay*: $74,170
MBA in Project Management
Project management encompasses product vision, cost, energy, scope and quality control. The role is a vast one that requires great organization and communication skills. Students will learn to break projects down and allocate resources to every task that’s a part of the production process. Project management can occur in special areas such as IT or content.
Median Pay*: $135,800
MBA in Public Administration
Students can find themselves in government, nonprofit, finance or educational sectors, among others. With a strong knowledge of business practices and management techniques, students can really specialize in an area of their choosing.
Median Pay*: Wages range widely depending on occupation.
MBA in Risk Management
Risk management is a key part of protecting financial assets and developing strategies for investing and managing cash flow. You’ll learn how to prevent risks for companies and have solutions in place with your knowledge of regulations, compliance, auditing and compensation.
Median Pay*: $121,750
MBA in Sports Management
Careers in this sector can include everything from coaches and scouts to talent agents or marketing managers. A solid grasp of specific sports practices is key, along with understanding talent management and contract negotiations.
Median Pay*: $62,080
MBA in Technology
For those who wish to have higher level IT positions, this is a great degree. You’ll come out knowing how to manage networks and systems as well as how to find solutions that give businesses more efficient resources. This degree also covers customer and client relationships and can lead to positions as specialists, managers or even Chief Technology Officers (CTO).
Median Pay*: $92,600 (Information Security Manager)
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook & Occupational Employment Statistics
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