February 9, 2012

An IMBA's Experience with the Job Search Process

Post by:
Brian Driscoll
International MBA, 2012

It’s OK to Change Directions: When I began the IMBA program in China in May 2011, my intent was to secure a position as a Product Manager but as my courses continued, I discovered that my strengths were more closely aligned with operations and process management than with marketing or consumer behavior. As you progress through the MBA, it’s important to continuously evaluate the direction of your interests and be able to switch gears quickly.

Develop an Initial Plan: Develop your 30-second pitch early - people are always interested to hear what you want to do after your MBA and they will ask whether or not you’re ready to answer. To develop your pitch, you’ll need to reflect on your skills, previous roles, and potential career path with target companies in mind. Be ready to tailor your pitch to your audience on the fly.

Narrowing Search Criteria: To keep the job search practical, it’s critical to narrow down your list of target companies. Each application may turn into a life-changing decision, so prioritize your most important criteria. I searched based on location, manufacturing capabilities, industry, size, and revenue. This process also helped me develop my answer to the standard interview question “Why do you want to work for us?” Even after honing in on a target profile, it’s ok if your list of companies still remains broad.

Job Search Success: In January 2012 I proudly accepted a position with United Technologies’ Operations Leadership Program. While having a BU MBA certainly breaks down barriers to get your resume on the desks of hiring managers, companies often expect more from MBA candidates than they do from others. But don’t let this intimidate you, because Boston University has more than enough resources to help you land the right job for your career.

UTC Interview Phases: The UTC Interview Process consisted of two phone screens, a weekend assignment, and a “Superday” onsite interview. The “Superday” involved an overnight stay, dinner with current OLP associates, presentations, team negotiations, and a panel interview. The sessions were intensely challenging but team skills, presentation skills, and operations concepts that I’d sharpened through the BU MBA were critical to my successful outcome.

Support from Feld Career Center and BU Professors: I first found and applied to UTC’s position through one of my weekly searches on MBA Careerlink. The Feld Career Center’s Gary Bergman provided excellent support and personal attention throughout my job search. His Career Management course, mock interview feedback, cover letter & resume templates, and advice in my negotiations were all critical to the successful progression toward my final offer. The pre-interview meetings I had with professors Janelle Heineke (OM726) and Nitin Joglekar (OM880) were also extremely important for me to readily apply their course concepts in the scenarios I faced in my interviews. And most importantly, I received a lot of helpful support from my classmates around the time of my interviews.

Brian is an International MBA candidate with experience in startup companies and bringing product designs into production. You may find him exploring around Boston with friends or studying at a nearby Starbucks.

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