“The Weight of the World off My Shoulders”

By: John Gurskey
Corporate Relations Manager
Georgia  Tech College of Management

This is what a Georgia Tech MBA graduate exclaimed when he told the MBA Career Services staff he landed a job.

This student faced an even more difficult time as he was switching careers from a laboratory position to a marketing role.  We have all counseled students in this type of situation.  Staying focused on several best practices kept this student focused and enthused about his job search.

The best practices we encourage our students to follow are:

  • Don’t give up – Many times students feel overwhelmed when they can’t seem to advance in the hiring process.  They are especially vulnerable at this time and need re-assurance that if they apply themselves they will succeed.
  • Stay focused on your industry – Often times students start to “spray and pray” when they get desperate.  Instead of staying focused on their key industry they start applying for jobs with any and all companies.  Our student was focused on life sciences companies but when he interviewed for positions that weren’t in that industry his passion didn’t come through in the interview. We encouraged him to not lose this focus and when the opportunity presented itself in a life sciences position he was genuinely able to exhibit his enthusiasm and got the job.
  • Practice Interviews – We encourage our students to conduct practice interviews before every interview they have.  This alleviates some of the pressure and reinforces good interview habits during the interview.
  • Know the Company – MBAs must be able to speak to the challenges, strategies and history of the companies they are interviewing with.  Simply reading the webpage won’t set them apart.
  • Passion – All things being equal, the interviewee who is the most passionate about the company and opportunity will get the job offer.
  • Future – Students who can project and articulate a future with the company will stand out as long-term hires that are willing to stay and grow with the company.
  • Celebrate Achievement – At Georgia Tech all MBAs ring a ships bell when they land an internship or full-time job.  Ringing the bell symbolizes the joy and happiness of taking a major step in their MBA career. At first we weren’t sure how this would be received but we have found that the students can’t wait to come in now and ring the bell. It has become a highlight in the achievement of their goals.

What are your best practices?

One thought on ““The Weight of the World off My Shoulders”

  1. Great blog John! Encouraging the students to stay focused and to not lose sight of their goal is key in maintaining and exhibiting their passion during the job search. Hopefully, we and other institutions will be ringing a lot of bells in the very near future.

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