Reflections, Part 2: Top 5 things I learned at the 2011 MBA CSC Conference (and why 2 were from Joshua Waldman)

In the spirit of David Letterman I’ll list these backwards:

5. The role of career services in MBA admissions is a hot topic

When I was hired as the Director of the Graduate Career Management Center at Baruch College it was with the explicit understanding that I would be actively involved in the admissions process for our full time MBA program. We formed a committee made up of representatives from admissions and graduate programs, a faculty member, a student, and myself, and much of the evaluation has centered on employability. I found that many I met in Colorado envied this chance to weigh in on candidates. And yes, now that I’ve gotten spoiled I’d find it very hard to go back to not having a seat at the admissions table.

4. Your LinkedIn profile shouldn’t include your job title

Did you know this? I didn’t. According to Joshua Waldman, of Career Enlightenment in Seattle and author of the upcoming Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies, your headline portrays your personal brand more effectively when it incorporates elements of your personal pitch, not simply your job title. This seems obvious to me now, but until I heard that I hadn’t thought twice about just using my title despite the fact that I have a consulting practice on top of my day job. Career counselor, heal thyself!

3. Three of the top 50 corporate visa sponsors in 2010 claimed on their websites that they didn’t sponsor

And international students are supposed to figure this out on their own? As Dan Beaudry pointed out both at the conference (Hiring International Students: A Recruiter’s Perspective) and when he spoke on our campus last year, companies will often sponsor if they feel there is a compelling business need and they have a candidate in mind.

2. The case interview preparation model can be adapted for finance interviews

In his break-out session Preparing Students for a Career in Finance: An Intuitive Approach, NYU-Stern Associate Director Michael Katz shared a framework he’s developed for approaching common finance interview questions like, “What do you think about Kraft’s decision to buy Cadbury?” His SAVED model shows the student how to break down the company’s perceived Strategy, Assets, Value, Expectations and Delivery to come up with a concise but well-thought-out answer. For someone like myself who is reasonably well-versed on the case interview process (Marc Cosentino is my hero!) this model provides a welcome way to work with finance students without having to learn about discounted cash flow in my spare time. For more on this model see the upcoming new edition of David Ohrvall’s Crack the Case.

1. A 2009 survey found that 80% of hiring managers were using LinkedIn to find talent

Thank you again, Joshua Waldman, for citing this in your session 7 Mistakes Job Seekers Make Online and for stressing that this survey is two years old. At Baruch we’ll now be providing incoming full time MBA students with critiques of their LinkedIn profiles upon entry.

The bottom line: if networking is important, then effective social networking is rapidly becoming vital. Every counselor is going to need these skills in their tool kit from here on out. Are you prepared?

Sharon Belden Castonguay, EdD
Director, Graduate Career Management Center
Baruch College, Zicklin School of Business
New York, NY

One thought on “Reflections, Part 2: Top 5 things I learned at the 2011 MBA CSC Conference (and why 2 were from Joshua Waldman)

  1. Sharon, Thank you so much for your post and sharing your learnings. Great observations and how wonderful that you are building a LinkedIn profile review into your curriculum. It’s one of the most powerful changes you can make. Others might take your lead on that!

    I’m happy to help any fellow member of MBA-CSC as they begin to further adopt social media into their curriculum.

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