So far, we’ve talked about understanding the purpose of the MBA, picking the right format, understanding and using rankings appropriately, how to make a good impression during the recruiting process and how to develop a high quality application that differentiates you from others with similar grades and test scores. We’ve also discussed how to effectively negotiate for scholarships, and how to maximize the experience once you are admitted to the program of your choice. Last week, we covered an important tip for what NOT to do: cheat in any way, shape or form.

In Chapter 9, we discuss the importance of going beyond career services and owning your job search. The chapter opens with a story of a student who found herself unemployed at graduation, and believing the career services team was responsible for her unfortunate predicament. While she ultimately found a job by leveraging her alumni network (more on this in the last chapter), she graduated without understanding the critical skill of how to conduct a successful job search. Yes, students can (and should) utilize all services provided by the program and its alumni network, but—at the end of the day—they need to be driving the search, not sitting in the back seat waiting for someone to find a job for them.

Chapter 9 works to define the efforts provided by career services and offer some tips for successful interactions with career services professionals (hint: have a focused plan, be professional in all interactions and never, never miss a scheduled interview with a potential employer!), but—more importantly—offers some suggestions for going beyond career services to land your dream job. Networking tips, suggestions on how you can market yourself via social media, and connecting with students in other programs within your school are covered in detail (for instance, if you are in a full-time MBA program on campus, be sure to meet your classmates in the part-time and executive programs. Often, they are great sources for insider job tips).

Next week, we’ll cover the final lesson (don’t cry): maximizing the value of your alumni network.

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