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All MBAs, Career Tools, Careers, Finance, Job Search, Operations Management, Personal Development, Sales & Marketing

The 2012 Trend of the MBA

According to recruiters across the globe, “Leadership, innovation, problem-solving, critical thinking and strategic planning are among the many skills that employers need in today’s market,” says the 2012 Graduate Management Admission Council 2012 Corporate Recruiters Survey.

Some of the leading complaints companies made were:

“Coach students to do more homework on the companies they are interviewing for; it’s frustrating to lose candidates who are just on ‘fishing expeditions.'”

“…prepare…the students to truly understand their motivators and what they are looking for in their career; just because a company has a household name doesn’t mean that it’s the best [fit] for everyone.”

“Overall, align candidate interests with the right potential career opportunities and do a better job of understanding what companies offer as a career platform.”

According to GMAC, MBAs should have several years of work experience prior to entering their degree program, and employers said they would like to see all candidates have industry related experience, either from a job or an internship.  27% of recruiters consider internships a primary factor in deciding whether to interview a candidate.

Employers also want leadership traits; those with examples and experience of aiding companies in enhancing their effectiveness, facilitating direction, providing delegation and progress as well as being innovative and effecting change, are in high demand.

Hiring projections for 2012 show that companies world wide are expecting continued growth.  Nearly 4 in 5 companies, or 79%, plan to hire at least one MBA candidate in 2012, an increase of 5% from 2011, and a nearly 30% increase from 2009. (GMAC Survey, 2012)  Hiring tactics still remain the same, as company based referrals lead the recruiting efforts.

While much dedication is placed on the technical skills developed during a student’s classroom tenure, the soft skills such as communication, time management, camaraderie,  and leadership, fostered while completing group projects, internships and presentations, develop each candidate as a whole.  With hiring trends increasing,  the demands of employers are as well.  Equipped with a well suited degree, strong professional and interpersonal skills, MBA graduates are well versed to tackle the turbulent job market.

To view the Graduate Management Admissions Council Recruiter Survey, click here.


GMAC – Graduate Management Admission Council®. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Career Tools, General Information, Job Search, Personal Development, Sales & Marketing

Editing Yourself – Successfully Selling YOU

The most essential business skill is the ability to “Self-Edit.”

This process involves the tailored creation and delivery of a great message that is not only powerful but also concise.  This message must also carry an authentic voice, that of the speaker, which is well suited to the audience.

Terri Sjodin, Owner of Sjodin Communications, National Best Seller and National Speaker, solves the difficulty of creating a perfect commercial as “The solution depends on your ability to “self-edit” and apply a tight analysis of your content—keeping the best parts of your message, and dropping the unnecessary—while still giving a rock-solid talk.”

Sjodin continues on to describe how to time the elevator speech or personal commercial as a process that must be practiced and timed out loud.  The speech must be balanced into specific points and or broken down into key important items.  For example, if there are 6 points and 3 minutes, 20 seconds should be designated to each point, which a conclusion to summarize and close the presentation or personal commerical.

“As you practice, you will develop almost a sixth sense about the timing. After a while, you will better understand how to flow through your content with smooth transitions from talking point to talking point. The best way to stay on track is to literally track the time and become aware of what it feels like when the clock is ticking,” says Sjodin. 

So how does one accomplish this?

Each presenter, job seeker, networker and peer must be aware of the common complaints his or her audience feels, and how to improve his or her talk next time, as well as how to get the buy-in of the audience.

Here a list of common complaints to get you started when considering your next presentation, conversation or meeting:

Push-back No. 1: I’ve heard this all before.

Self-edit trigger question: How do you open your talk in a fresh and timely way that creates an awakening in the mind of the listener?

Push-back No. 2: I don’t need this.

Self-edit trigger question: Ask yourself why do they need you, your company, and why now?

Push-back No. 3: I don’t think this is going to fix my problem.

Self-edit trigger question: Did you really show and illustrate for the listener the solution for how you can fix their problem?

Push-back No. 4: I don’t see myself doing that.

Self-edit trigger question: Did you help the listener “see their possible new future” and help them to visualize the change as worthwhile?

Push-back No. 5: I’ll think about it.

Self-edit trigger question: Did you “close” at the end of your talk? Meaning did you ask them to specifically do something, and, if so, what did you ask them to do? (Note: Many people conclude but do not close.)

Push-back No. 6: I’m bored.

Self-edit trigger question: Is my talk interesting, fresh, entertaining, insightful and/or fun? Did I tell a good story and use clever analysis?

Push-back No. 7: This is taking too long.

Self-edit trigger question: Did you let them know up front how long your talk would be and what you were going to cover? Did you stay within the time limits they requested?

Push-back No. 8: Where is this presentation going? He’s all over the board!

Self-edit trigger question: Begin with your goal and ask yourself, What do I really want to have happen as a result of my “talk or presentation” when I share it with others? Does it take the listener on a journey, with a clear beginning, middle, and end? Is there a sense of progression to your message, leading to a natural conclusion and action step?

By taking these audience push-back complaints into consideration and applying them to your personal pitch or next presentation, the message and outcomes are sure to be a success.

To read more regarding Terri Sjodin and other communication tactics visit:

Careers, Job Search, Personal Development

Career Mistake Worth $500,000

With a job offer on the table, far too many people, especially women, are quick to accept without considering their professional worth.  “Over the course of their careers, women stand to lose as much as half a million dollars just by failing to negotiate their first job’s starting salary,” says Lydia Dishman.  According to the 2012 Labor Force Survey, females currently contribute to 47.7% of the labor force, 35.4% held management positions and 22.9% detained senior management positions. With the hiring gap slowly shrinking, both sides of the gender fence should remember that a job offer is just an offer, until a contract is signed.

Excellent candidates, those that know their skills and expertise in relation to the position at hand are far better equipped, as well as more confident to navigate the daunting road of salary negotiation.

“Usually the salary range has 10% play,” argues Pat Palleschi, PhD, founder of the Executive Agency coaching firm.  The set range is best discussed with the hiring manager in a face-to-face meeting. For those cringing at the thought of taking a hard line in an initial meeting, Palleschi advises starting with a positive statement. “I really want to work for you but to perform at my best, I need to talk with you about the total rewards picture and work with you to create a total rewards package that will be both fair to you and motivating to me.”

When negotiating compensation is not an option, consider additional options, such as vacation time, a flexible schedule, telecommuting, tuition reimbursement, or other relevant possibilities. 

Kathy Sweeney, a certified employment interview consultant, advises candidates to “…look at their job description, identify areas where they excel such as making the company money, decreasing costs, or improving productivity, and detail those achievements in writing. Also, include work that isn’t part of their formal job description.” 

Lastly, timing is a contributing factor to the success of any negotiation process. With new positions, the negotiation should be done prior to accepting the new role.  For salary raises, the advisable times are when a company is doing well, and in the begging or middle of a fiscal year.   Although the answer may be a resounding no, it allows for insight into the company and how valuable employees may be seen.

Negotiation should be an important step in any occupation acceptance process; be sure to examine current pay scales in relation to the future occupation and location.  Sources that can assist are:

Department of, or


Article reviewed for this publication:

The One Career Mistake That’ll Set You Back $500,000

By Lydia Dishman, November 14, 2012

All MBAs, LinkedIn, Networking, Sales & Marketing, Social Media

Facebook – The New Job Board?

Last week Facebook announced its newest endeavor, recruiting.  The Social Jobs Partnership application was released, aggregating over 1.7 million openings from Work4 LabsBranchOutJobviteDirectEmployers and  This implementation allows the job search to be taken one step further by allowing users to apply directly through Facebook and instantly share the jobs to their social network.

Author J.J. Calao of Forbes says, “according to Facebook half of employers in the U.S. use the social network during their hiring process. Of those companies already using Facebook to engage with customers, 54 percent anticipate using it more heavily in their recruitment efforts in the future. Given those numbers, the lucrative nature of the recruitment industry and the success of companies like Work4 Labs—not to mention increasing pressure from battered shareholders—it appears likely that Facebook will seek monetize recruitment efforts at some point soon.”

While Facebook may be trying to monetize the recruiting front, it is well behind that of Linkedin, a professional networking site.  Linkedin allows seekers to market themselves professionally, while keeping their personal life separate, not the case with Facebook.  Linkedin also utilizes recruiting efforts directly from companies hiring for hundreds of positions, like that of Adobe.

“Today Adobe leases 70 Recruiter seats for their hiring efforts. A typical user is Trisha Colton, who leads Adobe’s hunt for digital media executives. On a recent afternoon she needed to fill five positions. With a few clicks of the mouse on her ThinkPad laptop, she could tailor a project-manager search that enabled her to look at possible candidates from 21 leading ad agencies, 15 publishing outfits and a host of other suitable backgrounds,” says George Anders, a contributor of Forbes.

LinkedIn enjoys a vast sweet spot between two extremes – low paying part time jobs, that will most likely be posted on Facebook and executive level positions- helping fill high-skill jobs that pay anywhere from $50,000 to $250,000 or more a year. (Anders, 2012)

While Facebook continues to evolve their utilization of social media networking, Linkedin has continued to be the juggernaut of professional networking and recruiting that is both effortlessly accessible and specialized to each members professional endeavors.

How has social media helped or hurt your career goals?  

Articles discussed:

Facebook Job Board is Here: Recruiting will Never Look The Same

How Linkedin Has Turned Your Resume into a Cash Machine




All MBAs, Interview, Job Search, LinkedIn

A Recruiter’s Guide to Job Seeking

Ever wanted to get inside a recruiter’s head?  What is he or she thinking when you are relaying past experiences and attempting to answer those behavioral interview questions succinctly with the right amount of detail and passion?  What do recruiters deem the greatest interview mistakes and how are they using social media these days?  These are a few of the questions that were posed to the recruiters from Target, Buffalo Wild Wings, Moneygram, Datacard and CMD Associates at the Recruiter Panel lunch event held by Graduate Business Career Services on March 6th.

 Jennifer Finkelson (Buffalo Wild Wings), Dana Schulz (Target), Stefanie Haglend (Moneygram), Twanda DeBorde (CMD Associates), and Julie Serlin (Datacard Group) spent an hour and half with the full time MBA students providing interview tips and answering  an array of student questions.  Here is a quick summary of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to applying and interviewing at these  top corporations.


 Come Prepared:  Be ready with a list of questions for your interviewer that show an understanding of the company values, recent newsworthy events, and overall culture.  Make sure you have stories (2 minutes max) ready to share when behavioral interview questions are asked. The scenarios you share should include quantifiable results that had a broad impact on your overall job.

Show Passion, Be Energized, Come Curious:  Recruiters want to feel your excitement for the position.   Show them your interest through answering questions passionately with the appropriate level of enthusiasm.   Let your natural curiosity shine through with questions and an attitude that shows you are ready to learn and contribute.

Be Confident:  Confidence is portrayed through good eye contact, a firm (not death grip) handshake, and succinct to the point answers.  Be confident, but be yourself. 

Complete your LinkedIn Profile: Julie Serlin, from Datacard, remarked that she keeps LinkedIn open on her desktop throughout the day.  She refers to it repeatedly to source candidates or to ensure that resumes are consistent with LinkedIn profiles.  An incomplete profile is akin to  an incomplete brand.  Make sure you have a professional looking photo,  a detailed experience section with 2-3 bullets for each position held in  the past 10 years, and a least a few recommendations.


 Ask a Transparent, Inappropriate Question:  “How long until I get promoted” does not show passion or interest in the current position.  It does, however, portray overconfidence and, quite frankly, doesn’t make you overly likable.

 Get Caught without Enough Questions:  This comes with preparation.  There really is no such thing as too much research when it comes to interviewing.  Familiarize yourself with the company website, read articles in Forbes, WSJ, and Inc. to get up-to-date on news worthy events relating to the company or its competitors.  All of this research proves useful when it comes to the point of the interview where the candidate can pose questions.  When you meet with several representatives at a company, it’s crucial to have curious, insightful, unique questions for each interviewer.  The only way to be ready for this is to research.

 As always be true to yourself, be polished, be prepared, and be passionate.  Approach each interview as an opportunity to learn and grow, and always do your best.  Even if you don’t land the position you are applying for, you will have made an impact on the recruiter and hiring committee.  You want to make that impact a positive one.