Life after Your Master’s
How to Increase Your Chances on the Job Market
Specialised Master’s programmes in business are experiencing robust growth, making them a wise move. According to GMAC there were 160,500 GMAT score reports sent to U.S. specialised Master’s programmes in 2012, up 15% from last year and 86% from five years ago. The 2013 job market for specialised Master’s degrees is showing striking strength and demand compared with 2012.
According to a GMAC press release, employers are expressing optimism for 2013 specialised Masters: 43% of employers plan on hiring Master in Management grads (up 10% from last year); 40% expect to hire Master of Accounting grads (up 8% from last year); 39% intend to hire Master of Finance grads (up 7% from last year); 46% plan to hire other specialised Master’s in business grads (up from 34%). You may find that pursuing a specialised one-year business Master’s degree gives you a real edge in the job market, good return on investment and skills that are in demand – all at a time in your career when your opportunity cost is much lower.
Pick a specific area, as competition on the job market is fierce and recruiters can easily see through a candidate who lacks motivation and focus. You need to start planning as soon as you have been admitted to the business school of your choice. When you have a clear idea of what you want to do after you receive the diploma, study the different industries and positions you are considering. Reading specific job descriptions and meeting people in similar positions in the industry is invaluable and provides very good networking opportunities.
Becoming too narrow in your choice, however, is not a very good idea. You should have several backup plans in order to maximise your chances of success. For example: if you're gaining a degree in marketing, you should also look into consumer goods, small brand companies and retail. It is important to see what the trends are in the job market and talk to various recruiters and career placement counsellors to gain a better understanding of the employment outlook.
The majority of business schools want students to properly consider all their options, to get to know themselves better. All offer career counselling and many send out self-assessment tests to their new students. The goal is to help students choose the right job. For example, at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, staff speak to about 20% of students before they arrive. The Financial and Investment Banking Boot camp provides an in-depth course in recruiting processes and career opportunities.“It’s like the Wizard of Oz,” says Damian Zikakis, Director of Career Services at the University of Michigan. “Look in your own backyard.There’s no place like home.”
Market yourself and connect
You already know that the rѐsumѐ is very important. There are numerous lists of dos and don’ts, but the single most important guideline is KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid. Ideally your rѐsumѐ should be one page long. Be focused and relevant. Do your homework and target your rѐsumѐ not only by industry, but also by company. Ask current and former employees about the climate, fit, and culture of the place. “You might find that one companyplaces greater value on creativity,whereas anothervalues teamworkmore,” says Michael Malone, managing director of the Career Management
Center at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. The movie '6 Degrees of Separation' points out that we are 6 people away from knowing someone of influence. You could be 6 people away from knowing someone who is in a position to hire your skills or services. Developing
this powerful networking attitude will be a fundamental source for success.
Prepare and rehearse
So after all your efforts, you are invited to a job interview. Unlike all previous steps where you have time to contemplate, the interview is up close and personal and stressful, and questions could catch you off guard. Do your homework, read the company website and enquire in detail about the position you are applying for. Try to be genuine and professional, and leave a good impression. Show your potential employer that you can do the job; give them an example if you have done something similar.
Know what you want and where you’re headed, and you will get it. Be specific about your skills and how you can meet all requirements of the job you’re after. Recruiters today are often looking for graduates who can fill specific roles within their organisations, says Price College’s Mel Penn. “As more companies convert to ‘justin time’ hiring, they are hiring for aparticular job or need as opposed tohiring a class of students.”
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