Archive for the ‘MBA’ Category
In 2007, when the financial industry was at the brink of collapse, one executive at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) saw opportunity. Shannon Schuyler, then a member of PwC’s recruitment team, wrote a white paper for company leadership emphasizing that the firm needed someone to reorganize and refine their community initiatives, and give their corporate responsibility a face.
Three months later the job was hers. How did she re-strategize the firm’s hiring policies and recruitment outreach to encompass PwC’s commitment to corporate responsibility?
- For one, having a background in experienced hiring and on campus recruitment helped. She has seen first-hand the gradual evolution of the hiring landscape, where candidate priorities shifted from the best-paid job offer to work/life balance, and today, to a company’s commitment to responsible corporate citizenship. Her experience assured peers that directives coming from the new Corporate Responsibility Leader would be balanced and realistic.
- Secondly, the message from campuses was loud and clear. According to Schuyler, candidates are increasingly asking what the firm is doing to give back to the community, who they donate to, what they do toward the environment, etc. “They want to know how they can get engaged when they start. They want to know what our strategies are,” she said.
- Finally, she noted, markedly changing business strategies and decision making processes can be a double-edged sword. As her team continues to work on ensuring that new hires are aware and receptive of the company’s commitment from day one, she is also responsible for inculcating a deeper cultural change among current employees. And that is where her real battle lies.
Her observations mirror findings of Vault’s recently concluded Job Hunting in CSR series, where four MBA candidates discussed business school, their career transitions and job hunting, all connected with a commitment to CSR and change management.
For now, Schuyler is focusing on the “life cycle of a student.” Her team is busy redefining the firm’s hiring strategy by shifting their focus from best practices to candidates’ personal journey. “Increasingly, we ask, what are the opportunities? What could we continue to build on as a continuum? Would that really change what their education experience is, and ultimately, their success? It’s not just how you do the equations, but how you’re taking that and making it part of their life.”
–Posted by Aman Singh, Vault’s CSR Editor
I coached a client who had made wine in Paris, modeled for major magazines, and started and sold a tech company. Most recently, to better round himself out, he went to business school. So when he introduced himself, did he talk wines, high fashion, or life as a former CEO? No, he called himself an MBA.
This eclectic, accomplished professional immediately lumps himself along with thousands of others by picking one of the most generic things on his resume. The MBA was from a good school, yes. It was an interesting counterpart to his otherwise very technical background, check. So it deserves to be mentioned, sure. But not first! It’s still much more plain vanilla than any of the other things he also had.
So, rule # 1 for your pitch is to lead with the memorable.
As a recruiter, I’ve interviewed tons of MBA’s (this guy wanted a financial services career, so no shortage of MBA’s there). But, I can count the number of successful entrepreneurs and/ or fashion models. Are you a black belt in karate, a former prima ballerina, fluent in multiple languages? Don’t be afraid to be unique.
I’m not suggesting to not mention the MBA at all. It’s a key part of his added value because he has the finance and technology combination. But it’s the combination that’s so interesting.
So, rule # 2 is to frame your qualities so that they build on each other.
Absolutely mention the different degrees you’ve completed, industries where you’ve worked, and functional roles that you’ve held. But weave them into a coherent plot line so that each adds a welcome dimension, not just another factoid for me to remember. So you started and sold a tech company and have an MBA from Top School X – interesting combo!
Results still matter. The wine stood out because it was Paris, the modeling was significant because he had worked at a top level, and the entrepreneurship added value because of his successful exit. (The MBA also fits in nicely because it’s from a top school.) You can’t just mention every interesting thing you do, like fluency in Pig Latin, if there is no business context. When I listed out black belt, prima ballerina or language fluency as possible unique items, these are all levels of mastery.
So, rule # 3 is to pick the qualities that have substantive results to back them up.
You want to intrigue but also amaze.
Your pitch is how you introduce yourself at networking events, informational interviews, on your cover letter, to your friend’s friends. It is how you answer that interview staple, “Tell me about yourself.” It defines your brand and therefore drives your search. The pitch is critical to positioning yourself for the right role at the right level. Be memorable. Build on your strengths. Lead with results.
–Posted by Caroline Ceniza-Levine, Six Figure Start