Monthly Archives

January 2012

Career Tools

Social Media & the Job Search

By now, I assume most of you know how to find jobs on LinkedIn.  LinkedIn is the new online gold   standard on networking and job searching.  Click on the jobs tab, search by company name, job title,  or location, and voila!  You are presented with not only a list of job postings but also can quickly see who in your network is affiliated with the company.  LinkedIn also provides lesser known information.  The bar graph tab takes you to a page filled with company stats including degree level and function of employees, names and titles of people who have left the company, and names of recent hires.  All great information for a job seeker trying to network his/her way into a company.

Did you know Twitter can be a great tool for the job seeker as well?  Long gone are the days when  twitter was used by Hollywood starlets to let the world know where they are dining.  Today, twitter  is used to follow impactful industry leaders in your profession, share relevant articles relating to your field, and yes, search for jobs.  Below  is a list of twitter job aggregators you may or may not  have heard of.

  •  Tweetmyjobs.com
  • Twitjobsearch.com
  • Twilert.com
  • Tweetalarm.com

Check these sites out and see what tool works best for you.  For a more in depth look at how to best utilize twitter read this careertipster.com article by Robert Starks, VP of Learning Initiatives at Max Knowledge.  Remember that as the social media space is constantly changing and adapting so should your job search strategy.

Career Tools, Job Search, Personal Development

Beyond Average

In Graduate Business Career Services we have long been addressing the importance of differentiating, standing out, and making yourself desirable to prospective employers.  As we continually invite professionals on campus to provide insight on hiring practices and share professional development tips, we repeatedly hear that today’s MBA and MBC students need to be educating themselves beyond what is taught in class and gaining experiences over and above what is learned in Applied Business Research.  As one CEO of a successful Twin Cities interactive marketing company recently told me, “ as a professional you need to be asking yourself  ‘what can my brand bring to this company’?  Not ‘what can this company’s brand bring to me’.”  Here marketing guru, Seth Grodin, provides additional evidence that in today’s tight job market, the job seeker who is comfortable shooting for “average” isn’t going to make the cut . As Grodin frankly states, “For 80 years, you got a job, you did what you were told and you retired.  But the days when people were able to get above average pay for average work are over.”  The point is make yourself different and unique.  Create a brand that employers need on their team.  Ask yourself “how can I stand out from the crowd?”

Career Tools

Consider Shadowing Someone in Your Career Exploration

Many UST MBA candidates are embarking on engaging experience today.  The Graduate Business Career Services Department organized Shadow Day experiences with 40 professionals from General Mills, Target, UnitedHealth Group and many other local organizations.  The Job Shadow experience provides MBA students an opportunity to interact as well as see the world of a leading professional.

This experience provides ample opportunity to network, gain insight as well as hands on experience in a professional setting.  Although the scheduling and matching has shadow_wallalready been completed, much more leg work is still required by the students.  If you are taking part in an experience like this, here are a few suggestions and questions to prepare to fully engage the “Shadower” as well as the “Shadowee.”

Self Assessment

Understanding your interests in a company, position, or industry are key factors when discussing your passion and displaying enthusiasm for a future professional career.  Be prepared with information about yourself, including STAR statements (Situation, Task, Action, Result), and a personal commercial.  Consider sharing classes or projects of interest, volunteering and professional experiences, any additional career exploration that has been completed and information about your work values, skills/abilities, work environment preferences, and/or work style.  Sharing this information allows the shadow professional to act as a guidepost during your education, career search as well as a referral after graduation.

Research the Organization/Position

Obtaining information on the organization as well as the position allows you to be properly prepared as well as knowledgeable.  Be aware of the company’s values, mission statement, competitors and goals.  Properly preparing and researching prior to a Job Shadow will allow you to sound knowledgeable and feel much more confident about the experience in general.  An additional benefit is learning more about the company and position beforehand to provide perspective before and after the experience.

Suggested questions to ask when completing a Shadow

Use your Shadow visit wisely to get all of your questions answered. It’s important that you prepare in advance a list of questions to ask during your visit. Some commonly asked questions are listed here:

  • What are your job responsibilities? Describe a typical day.
  • When and in what position did you start?
  • What do you like about your job? What are the pressures, problems and frustrations of your work? Is this typical of the field/organization?
  • What recommendations do you have for someone who would like to enter this field?
  • How competitive is entry into this field? What is the outlook for future openings?
  • What characteristics, skills and education does a person need to effectively do the job? What qualities make a person successful here?
  • What advice can you give someone who wishes to enter this field?
  • Describe some of your work values. How are those realized in your work?
  • What are the personal rewards of the job?
  • What challenges might a new employee encounter in adjusting to this job/organization?
  • What professional publications are read by people in this field?
  • What professional organizations do people in this field belong to?
  • Are there any internship opportunities offered through your organization?
  • Who else might you suggest I talk to for additional information? May I use your name to introduce myself?
  • For a soon to be MBA Graduate, what advice do you have in regards to my professional goals?

Jessica Bauer is a Career Specialist in the Graduate Business Career Services office.

Personal Development

How Early Do You Rise?

A recent list from Business Insider showcases 23 highly successful business executives who wakeSunrise_Tree-600x421 up with the roosters, allowing them time to put in double digit work hours AND have enriching family lives.  How is that for a balanced choice?  The 4:00(yes, a.m.) hour seems to be the time of choice for these CEO’s.  Many like to send emails early in the morning to international associates, hit the gym, catch up on world news by reading the paper, and get to the office before the team. 

A resounding suggestion to young business professionals is to get an early head start on the day as well.  As former Oxygen Channel CEO Gerry Laybourne put it,” if someone is up early in the morning then they are serious about life.”  Or you can take Ben Franklin’s (one of the mentioned 23 early risers) age old advice “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

All MBAs, Personal Development

Reading Outside of the Classroom

images[9]Learning is life-long; take it from leading business thinkers and strategists.  WSJ recently posted this article where notable business professors such as Warren Bennis, from USC, and Jeffrey Pfeffer, from Standford, share what books top their lists as must reads for anyone seeking success in the business world.  Research and acquisition of new knowledge should be sought long after the MBA is earned and  the desired position title is landed.  True game changers are constantly reading and learning from their surroundings.  This list provides some good reads that just might teach a new nugget of  information not gleaned through class lectures, projects, or research papers.  Insight can come from the most unexpected places, take Ray Fisman’s (Colombia Business School ) suggestion of the children’s classic, “Frog and Toad Together” because it shows the importance of understanding one’s own weaknesses.  What books make the top of your list?