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Preparing for MBA Recruitment Before You Apply

As the MBA interview season kicks off, so does the MBA recruitment season for full-time MBA students entering their second year. While you may only be in the MBA application stage, it’s important to prepare yourself for the future before you ever enter a program. Heading into your MBA program with the right expectations about recruitment and how it will work for you is the best preparation you can make for your future. Recruitment will be a large part of the second half of your full-time MBA program and by preparing for it from the start, you’ll have a better chance of successfully gaining employment at the firm and in the industry you want.

Know The Reason Behind Your MBA

First, understand why you’re getting your MBA. Many individuals incorrectly assume that an MBA is only valuable for dedicated business and financial roles within a narrow set of industries. The truth is an MBA is an effective option for opening a variety of doors, including within the creative industry. You just need to remember that companies hire individuals with interests and behaviors that align with their brand and identity, so match your interests with a job that would benefit from an MBA.

Deepti Dabral, a full-time MBA student at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, shared his thoughts in a recent blog. He says, “Knowing the career path that really interests you can be a huge advantage.” When you know what you want, then you can figure out how your skills, competencies, interests, and course work can fit into your future job of choice. If you’re not sure what you want, recruitment season will require more work. You’ll have to attend a large number of informational interviews and speaking events to discover where you fit culturally and practically. Understanding what you want from your MBA in the beginning will save you time and frustration in the future.

Prepare to Be Highly Self-Motivated

“Recruiting preparation has to be highly self-motivated,” Dabral says, “since there is no particular course or format under which you can expect to achieve certain milestones.” An MBA program is only as beneficial as you want it to be, and the same goes for recruitment. It’s up to you to make the most out of your experience by continually preparing yourself to get the job you want.

Throughout your MBA career, you’ll need to take note of situations where you excelled as an individual, and then develop those into STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) stories that you can share with potential employers. Beyond that, you should plan from the get-go what classes you need to reach your end goal, and what summer internship will help you land your dream career. “Nothing can replace the value of solid and robust preparation,” Dabral says.

Plan to Network and Make Connections

The moment you receive your MBA program acceptance is the moment you begin networking. MBA programs are small and their size makes it incredibly easy to connect with your classmates. Every classmate will have something unique to offer your experience. And, according to Dabral, “It is essential and pragmatic to gain some wisdom from your seniors.”

When you start your program, second-year students will be returning from valuable summer internships and may even have coveted offers from sought-after organizations. You should use their experience to inform yours. “Casual coffee chats with them [second years] are an unparalleled way to get candid and sincere feedback about their industries and learn from their preparations,” Dabral shares. You should look at your classmates as an indispensable source of information about recruitment preparation and networking.

The path to the career of your choice begins the moment you make the decision to get your MBA. It would be detrimental to assume that you’ll have weeks or even months to wait before preparing for recruitment and your future. Instead, get the ball rolling immediately and you’ll find that you’re much better prepared to land the career you want.

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About the Author


Kelly Vo    

Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and personal development.

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