Posts by Jon Pfeffer

Feb 14, 2018 by

Networking Strategies for MBAs Before and After Graduation, Pt. II

mba networking

The first installment of this series highlighted the fundamental importance that networking plays in a job search and outlined some of its basic strategies. Quick recap: start with friends and acquaintances; present yourself professionally on social media; and remember that the best networks are built from mutually beneficial relationships. This second article offers more nuanced networking tips tailored specifically to MBAs.

One of the best ways for an MBA student to grow their network is simply to volunteer their time. By seeking ways to volunteer in their desired field, one can expand a network by demonstrating their knowledge and experience to others.

Dr. Janis Moore Campbell, Ph.D., the Director of Graduate Professional Development at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, explains that volunteering is a great way to build relationships. “Without fail, others will gravitate to you if you are willing to share your knowledge and expertise. Before, during and after your MBA, strategic volunteering is an outstanding way to showcase one’s knowledge, skills, and generous spirit.”

While it is critical to offer to share your talents, remember that time is a scarce resource. Focus on getting involved in projects that will yield the most benefit. Dr. Campbell notes, “It’s important to think strategically about how best to demonstrate your strengths.”

Current MBA students should take advantage of the resources that their schools provide. Many schools have well established programs that are designed to aid in the process of networking. For example, Beth Briggs, the Assistant Dean in Career Services at the NYU Stern School of Business, points out that in her school’s MBA program, “Students participate in our career education program … which, among other services, helps MBAs become more conversant in their skill sets and personal stories, identify whom it makes sense to network with based on their goals, and then leverage Stern’s relationships and their own contacts to make those connections.” Other MBA schools have similar programs, and they should be thought of as a crucial part of the curriculum.

Another key way to capitalize on your school’s assets is to make use of the alumni network. Schools will often facilitate meet-ups between current and former students, and attending alumni events, for example, is a great way to forge new connections. Linking up with your school’s alumni is a crucial part of networking for any MBA student. Stephanie Johnson, Director of MBA/MS Career Services at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business in Philadelphia recommends, for example, that MBA students should “set weekly goals to attend at least one event and reach out to one to two alumni for informational conversations.” Contacting and talking to past graduates is not just about meeting new people and building your network. Alumni have been in your shoes, and will have essential advice to help you move forward.

Finally, remember that networking does not stop after you have found a job. As Mark Brostoff, Assistant Dean and Director of Graduate Career Services at the USC Marshall School of Business reminds us, “Having a vibrant network of professional contacts is a valuable resource to cultivate and maintain, even after landing the job.” Perhaps the best lesson is that networking is mostly about creating healthy and fruitful partnerships. A strong network is a web made of vibrant relationships, and it is a serious mistake to neglect those bonds. It is also necessary to remember not to spread yourself too thin or to focus solely on networking when finding employment.

“You need not name-drop or be a social butterfly to build a strong network of friends and colleagues” adds Dr. Campbell. “Networking is much more than “Hello, my name is …” nametags or the exchange of business cards.”

Posted in: Advice, Career, Featured Home, News | 0 comments

Feb 12, 2018 by

Finding Your Dream MBA Career at Barclays

Barclays Career

For over 300 years, Barclays has been one of the leading international banks for both consumer corporate investments. MBA candidates are drawn to Barclays not only for its stature in the global finance industry but also for the vast array of professional opportunities it offers. Within business banking, corporate banking, customer banking solutions, marketing, investment banking, and technology career paths, Barclays’ training, mentorship, networking, and travel opportunities are often unparalleled in the financial industry.

Barclays’ MBA Recruitment Program

At Barclays, one major key to continued growth and success consists of building strong interdisciplinary business networks. As part of Barclays’ ongoing development opportunities, the company maintains a robust campus recruiting system. Barclays makes a point to develop relationships with their future prospects as early as possible in their educational and professional careers.

For students pursuing an MBA, Barclays offers the MBA Ambition Diversity Program, a summer internship program dedicated to talented and motivated MBA candidates. Within the MBA Ambition Diversity Program, Barclays initially gives a candidate a “condensed version of our on-campus recruiting process during the summer before you start your MBA, culminating in interviews at our New York office.” Successful candidates will then be offered an internship position the following summer after the first year of business school is completed. Once a candidate has been accepted, Barclays offers a fellowship program that “provides $45,000 toward first-year tuition and academic expenses.”

Barclays prides itself in seeking out women, men, and non-binary individuals of all backgrounds to cultivate a diverse environment for employees to learn from one another. The idea is that this multifaceted workspace will help employees expand their cultural perspective as they embark on a career in global finance.

As of October 2017, Barclays has begun to offer free accommodation for graduates taking job interviews in London, Birmingham, and Manchester. This is for all graduates—not only Barclays applicants.

The Barclays Career

In 2016, Barclays’ head of banking associate recruitment, Kristi Robson, explained in an interview that MBAs are commonly hired into their banking division where Barclays has its largest intake. Banking interns and employees generally move into a product or coverage role within Equity Capital Markets or Technology, Media & Telecommunication, for example. Robson explains, “We do hire a small number of MBAs into our research business but this is dependent on business need.”

According to the 2017 WSO Investment Banking Industry Report, first-year analysts earn between $70,000 and $150,000 USD based on experience and by year three average between $120,000 and $350,000. “At the analyst level, it is not uncommon to work between 80 to 120-hour weeks at some firms. Most analysts start in the summer and receive their first investment banking analyst bonus around June or July, approximately one year after the analyst starts working. Analysts also often receive a signing bonus from $5,000 to $20,000, as well as a moving bonus if they are transferring laterally to a different bank.” For these reasons and more, Barclays strives to provide their candidates with every opportunity to grow professionally.

Education Opportunities

The following London MBA programs are reputable feeders for roles at Barclays. They are all remarkable schools for distinct reasons but each provides a formidable mix of business education and valuable alumni networks:

If you’re driven and wish to work for a large organization that still believes in “small-business”-style relationships and offers unique opportunities to develop business skill-sets and global perspectives, then Barclays could be the perfect fit.

Posted in: Barclays, Career, Featured Home, MBA Jobs, News | 0 comments

Feb 8, 2018 by

The 5 Important Things You’ll Need to Know When Getting an MBA

If you’ve gone through the rigamarole of an MBA application, chances are you’re feeling a bit taxed (no pun intended). Don’t slow down now! Sometimes when you have your life and education under the microscope it’s helpful to get a gentle reminder from a reliable source—like us—of what you hoped to get out of the degree in the first place. Here are a few tips that might help calibrate your b-school compass:

Practice On The Field

Cliff Oxford, founder of the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs, wrote in the New York Times that certain traditional MBA programs are “like having athletes studying game film but never practicing on the field.” This is why many schools encourage students to apply for internships during enrollment or summer semesters. These opportunities can be competitive—especially if you have your mind set on a large company—but don’t let that deter you.

There are many ways to stay connected with the global marketplace, where you will be employed in only two years. For starters, keep applying and remain alert to positions that may have a greater potential for longevity. Interviews that don’t lead to an internship are still essential experiences. If your chosen program doesn’t have adequate outlets for students to engage with employers, ask for them.

Let A Mentor Set The Pace

Mentorships reinforce the idea that there’s no substitute for experience. For students too intimidated to reach out to a professor, consider that mentorships may be the most rewarding part of their job.

Many schools offer a mentorship program built into the curriculum. Large schools like the University of Oregon and the University of Miami pair students with local professionals to “meet regularly throughout the academic year to discuss everything from study habits to career choices.” Schools have reported that these connections are pivotal for students in achieving their ideal positions and cultivating life-long relationships in the field.

Mentorship is also a staple of the career path designed for students at powerhouse business schools like the Yale School of Management, which recently revamped its WE@Yale program.

Change Your Perspective

When under pressure, remember to give yourself a break. Exercise and meditation are steadfast options, but use your imagination. Jerry Seinfeld reportedly displayed images from the Hubble Space Telescope on the walls of his writing room to calm his nerves. ”I don’t find being insignificant depressing. I find it uplifting.”

Completing your MBA is a personal exploration above all else. Don’t forget your true entrepreneurial spirit while finding your footing. After all, changing ones career is the second most common reason, according to students, that they pursue an MBA in a first place.

Experiment With Electives

Special projects and electives are a chance to step out of your comfort zone. These courses are updated on a yearly basis, meaning that they cover cutting-edge topics that can open up new worlds and help you garner skills that separate you from the rest.

For example, the Stern Signature Project at the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights recently led students to create a business plan “focused on sustainable employment and profit” for a private Kenyan social enterprise.

The NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights launched in 2013, focusing on various issues like manufacturing, sustainability, and much more.

Get To Know Your Pack

A drive to succeed doesn’t mean that you have to be the lone wolf on Wall Street. Every MBA program has students who come from unique backgrounds, cultures, and histories. These are your future colleagues. They’re also hidden mentors who may be your most valuable supporters.

Many schools, like the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, actively acclimate their students together with unique Olympic-like events, helping bridge the various cultural gaps of the incoming students. Not only are these events fun, unless you hate being outside or sack races, but they are potentially powerful networking events for you and your peers.

Posted in: Admissions Tips, Advice, Featured Home, News | 0 comments

Feb 7, 2018 by

Northeastern Prof Talks About Amazon Automation and Future Shopping

amazon automation

After the emergence of Amazon Go, a cashier-less convenience store the e-commerce juggernaut recently opened in downtown Seattle, Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business explored the potential impact of automation on the future of commerce.

The simple concept behind Amazon Go is a streamlined mini-mart experience in which customers “scan their smartphones with an app [and] grab what they want.” DMSB Associate Professor of Marketing Strategy and Managerial Decision-Making Bruce Clark discussed the implications of what New York Magazine dubbed the “automated 7-Eleven killer.”

“Unless you have an Amazon Go next door to your store, I’m not sure this is a big deal. It’s not clear to me the customer experience of an Amazon Go store is sufficient to make me walk past the local 7-Eleven. Geography is destiny in this sense: where you have more convenient stores, you will do well. A longer-term threat might be if Whole Foods went cashier-free and you had a Whole Foods next to your convenience store.”

Clark is quick to point out that AI more commonly automates pieces of jobs rather than entire gigs and cites the advent of the ATM in the late 1960s and ’70s as a key example.

“Despite widespread adoption of ATMs, employment of bank tellers increased over much of the past three decades. The driving factor was that while a given bank branch might require fewer tellers, that reduction in labor costs meant that banks could open more branches, offsetting the loss at any given branch. Tellers’ jobs in turn became more like that of a customer service representative rather than a paper- and currency-pusher.”

Clark remains cautiously optimistic about the future of retail, according to reports.

“The common thinking is that over time, human jobs will evolve toward processes at which humans remain better value, notably in emotional intelligence and physical dexterity. Retail employees will find their jobs increasingly specified in those terms. You’re either interacting with customers or efficiently managing the stocking and layout of a store. Employees who excel in these areas should be okay.”

But perhaps less so about the future of employment across the board. “All that said, I’m not sure any of us should be assuming we will have stable, well-paid employment in the future.”

Posted in: Boston, Featured Region, News | 0 comments

Feb 6, 2018 by

New Stanford Study Looks the Effect of the Status Quo Bias

status quo bias

There’s a bias to keep things the way they are, even if things aren’t going well, according to the Stanford Graduate School of Business. But what is the efficacy of the so-called “status quo bias?”

Nobel Prize-winning economist Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein’s 2008 book Nudge popularized the default effect, which explains that if consumers are offered a “side dish of salad instead of fries,” for instance “then people [will] eat more salad.” In other words: “we tend to stick with what we’re given.”

In new research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Stanford Professor of Management Margaret Neale and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Professor David Daniels, along with Stanford graduate students Julian Zlatev and Hajin Kim conducted an experiment to put this notion to the test. To their surprise, the experiment revealed that the exact opposite was true.

In the context of a game, “choice architect” attempts to convince a “choice maker” to select one option over the other. However, before the “choice architect” presents any options to the “choice maker,” Zlatev explains that “the choice architect was able to select which option showed up as the default.”

“When we looked across all of the studies, people chose to set the desired option as the default roughly 50 percent of the time.”

This phenomenon, which the researchers dubbed “default neglect” came as a surprise due to the fact that many participants “demonstrated a partial intuitive grasp of reasons why defaults can sway individual choices.”

“If you prompt people about specific reasons why people tend to stick with defaults, then they’re more likely to give you a reasonable answer,” Daniels says. “When left to their own devices, choice architects didn’t seem to spontaneously consider why people might be susceptible to defaults.”

Neale believes that the presence of default neglect exerts an invisible but potent influence on our decisions. “These are small changes in how we present decisions that can dramatically affect the quality of people’s lives, the quality of their communities and the larger world. But we don’t use defaults because we don’t realize in any kind of day-to-day environment how powerful these things are.”


Posted in: Featured Region, News, San Francisco | 0 comments

Feb 6, 2018 by

How to Begin Your MBA Search, Part I

begin your mba search

You’ve weighed your options, and it seems like getting an MBA might be the best route to attaining your professional and personal goals. You’ve considered the expense and the time spent away from the workforce that an MBA requires, and you’re finally ready to begin your MBA search.

You’ve even read Philip Delves Broughton’s advice against attending business school in The Economist, and still find yourself cracking GMAT Study Guides and searching ROI figures in U.S. News & World Report. But even if you’re the most motivated future MBA, it is of utmost importance to ask yourself a number of questions as you embark on the process of applying and gaining admission to business school.

“Understand Where You Want to End Up Before You Even Begin”

Those are the wise words of Jeremy Schifeling, the founder of Break Into Tech and a veritable guru on the subject of how to find meaningful work in the tech world without engineering experience. A graduate of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, Schifeling also speaks to his experiences there, adding that “way too many people show up on campus just because other people are doing the same. And without a plan, they walk away two years later, six-figures poorer but not six-figures wiser.”

The end lesson from Jeremy’s advice? Suss out what you want to do with an MBA, and don’t just go into a b-school program to make a lot money, or because everyone else seems to be doing so. Make a plan, and even if that plan changes, you’ll still have a leg up on many of your classmates.

Figure Out What Programs Best Fit Your Plan

Let’s imagine that you know that you are interested in supply chain management. You could search around the web for schools that have special programs in logistics and supply chains, but that will only take you so far. Consultant Stacy Blackman notes, “some of our clients call up companies they are interested in working with to learn their opinions of target schools and where they recruit. If you are very specific about where you want to end up, this is a great idea.” Thus, if you’re certain about a career in operations and logistics, it might behoove you to contact companies like XPO Logistics or Werner Enterprises to see what b-school programs their management team recruits from.

If you’re not certain of exactly what career you want an MBA to lead to, but you have a general idea of the business field that you’d like to pursue, then it might be more reasonable to think about where you want to end up.

Location, Location, Location

Paul Bodine of Paul Bodine Consulting/Admitify says that it is absolutely necessary to ask yourself, “what geographies are essential to your post-MBA career and/or life goals?” The question can make all the difference in what schools you consider applying to—Bodine notes that “you can spare yourself the challenge of seeking admission to the top 10 schools if you have a defined region where you want to make your stand professionally and personally.” If you are wedded to working in traditional commodities markets (and bitcoin, surprisingly), then it wouldn’t make sense to stray far from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, for example. If your search is geographically limited for reasons beyond your control, then find out which programs suit your needs best within that area. A tech business mind in the South might ponder schools in Knoxville or Atlanta, whereas a future lumber baron in the Pacific Northwest need look no further than Oregon State in Corvallis. There are opportunities everywhere, but it is up to you to find those that are most in line with your goals!

Stay tuned for part two of our series, coming soon!

Posted in: Admissions Tips, Advice, Featured Home, Featured Region, News | 0 comments