Thinking of an MBA? A Recent Trend that will Force you to Start Planning Today!

Obtaining an MBA is becoming an increasingly popular step in a young person’s career. With competition even tougher than before, being admitted to a top program requires careful planning. New trends are also emerging changing what the “ideal” MBA candidate is. If you’re thinking about an MBA in the future, whether it’s applying this fall or years down the road, let me highlight a recent trend that will force you to start planning today.

Continue reading →

How to Ask Good Questions? It’s Not About You, It’s About Them

Ideal interviews are ones where you and the interviewer(s) are carrying a normal conversation. Both parties take turns asking and answering questions within the flow of the conversation, and you don’t feel like you’re part of an interrogation. While you may not have the opportunity to ask questions in the middle of the interview, you will always be given at least a few minutes at the end. Most people now know that asking good questions is a key part of the interview. Asking the right type of questions can definitely leave the interviewer with a great impression about you. But what are good questions to ask? Here are 3 rules to keep in mind…

Continue reading →

How to Introduce Yourself in an Interview

Interviews are won or lost in the first 5 minutes. Experienced interviewers can tell in your initial interactions with them if there’s potential here, or if you’re just not going to fit in. Over the last 2 weeks, I’ve worked with over 75 undergraduates conducting 1-on-1 mock interviews with them, and I can definitely tell you, after just the first few questions, which were the handful that stood out from the crowd.

So what does this mean? You need to start your interview strong! Prepare for the typical introductory questions (e.g. can you start by telling me a little bit more about yourself? Why are you interested in working for us? Why this role?), and be ready to really impress the interviewer with your answer.

Today I want to focus specifically on the introduction – what should you say and how much should you say if the interviewer asks you to tell them more about yourself?

Continue reading →

Forget Networking, Start Mingling

Everyone has heard the importance of networking and building a personal network, and in today's struggling economy that's even more true than normal. While job creation is beginning to slowly pick-up, experts say that as low as 10% of all available jobs are ever posted publicly (i.e. in the newspaper or on the Internet). That means that potentially up to 90% of jobs form what we call the Hidden Job Market. With that in mind, letting people know what you're interested in, what you're good at, and what you're most passionate about are critically important.

Reaching out to your existing network is the first step, but that typically won't be enough. You will need to re-connect with people you haven't talked to in sometime, and you will definitely want to meet new interesting people. Well, there's no better time to get going than right now!

Continue reading →

The Power of Student Blogs

If you're reading this article via a RSS reader or by subscribing to my feed or through email, I don't think I need to tell you too much about how powerful and informative blogs can be. Blogs have quickly moved from a niche personal outlet to the mainstream. CEOs from large MNCs to celebrities and politicians are all jumping on the blog (and for that matter Twitter) band-wagon.

The education industry is no different. As students begin to move away from their home town to their new university environments and experiences, they have been quick to use the blog, and other social media channels, as a way to let their friends back home know what they are up to.

Admission departments are now beginning to embrace this new marketing channel as well. While MBA programs have been soliciting student volunteers to be part of their official blogs for sometime now, undergraduate programs are joining in on this growing trend.

Continue reading →

The Best Places to Launch a Career in 2009

This week's (Sept 14) cover story of BusinessWeek magazine highlights their results of the 2009 edition of "the Best Places to Launch a Career"...and $10 says you won't be able to guess who it is. I'll give you a hint. I know this company better than ANY other one in the world.

First, a caveat. This article is heavily biased towards the U.S. job market, and while most of the companies on the list are MNCs (multi-national corporations), some of the specifics that are mentioned in the article apply only to certain U.S. office locations, and not necessary to what is happening in all countries of the same company.

And the winner for 2009...

Continue reading →

New English Test for B-School Candidates

Ensuring that MBA candidates, who's English is not their native language, can handle the rigours of the classroom and academics is a big concern for the Admissions Committees (AdComs), especially given the huge increase in applications from both India and China.

The new English test, known as the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic), seems to be another way to help filter and legitimize the candidate pool. Endorsed by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), who runs the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), the new test will debut on October 26, 2009 for non-native English speakers.

Part of this computer-based test involves providing a 30-second voice sample / recording for schools to assess your English proficiency. According to the official press release, schools already signed-up to accept these new test scores include London Business School, University of British Columbia, Queen's University Belfast, University of Edinburgh, HEC Paris and Yale University.

Continue reading →

Advice for Graduates (from Ken Morse – MIT)

Blogging has definitely become very mainstream today, not only in our social lives but in the corporate world as well. CEOs maintain blogs, companies may have a recruiting blog, even Business Schools have admissions-based blogs. Last week, I happened to find the blog of Steven Sinofsky, who used to be the SVP at Microsoft in charge of Microsoft Office, but several years ago was promoted to President of the entire Windows Division.


To try and stop some of the exodus of Microsoft employees to other up-and-coming technology firms (aka Google), Steven was asked to start a blog to reach out to potential Microsoft candidates and offer insights into what it's like to work at Microsoft, the different roles, and generally the valuable contribution new graduates can make at the company on Day 1.


As I was scrolling through, a short post from 2005 caught my attention that offered some advice I want to share with you today...

Continue reading →

How to Impress at Company Presentations

As campus recruiting season kicks off, companies are quickly lining up to come onto campus to tell you that they are hiring, they are looking for the best & brightest, and why you should come work for them.

Attending all these company presentations can be a tiring and time consuming process, but many students feel that if they don't go, it will lessen their chances in getting hired. Is that really the case?

Well, not necessarily. While making a good first impression can get you noticed and help you score some early points, the opposite can also happen. Being rude, too competitive, or asking the wrong type of questions can also get you noticed, but for the wrong reasons. In this post, I want to let you in on some of the secrets and the mindset from the company / recruiter's perspective

Continue reading →

Best Careers of 2009

As you enter your final year of school before graduation, whether it's at the high school, university or post-graduate level, you will inevitably have to make the choice of what you want to pursue as a possible career. One of the challenges when trying to determine what career to pursue is understanding what one actually does in a certain profession.


The U.S. News & World Report has recently been publishing a list of Best Careers which it updates each year. While I wouldn't put too much weight on what they consider "hot or not", the 1 page profile they include on each career mentioned is a great source of information.


Here are some of the professions that made the Best Careers in 2009 list...

Continue reading →