Tuesday, August 19, 2008

M.B.A. Students Choose to Follow Their Own Career Paths

The August 19th Wall Street Journal article by Samar Srivastava titled “M.B.A.s Skip On-Campus Recruiting” made my heart sing. The article focused on M.B.A. students who took the road less traveled by looking for their own post-M.B.A. jobs instead of going with the jobs-on-offer through campus career services.

Having an M.B.A. myself from Wharton, I know exactly what those on-campus interviews can be like -- the major companies offer the major jobs. And if one of those consulting or Wall Street jobs is not your cup of tea, you have very slim pickings of on-campus job interviews.

One advantage in choosing your own path and working on finding your own job is that you are often a potential work pool of one person when you get interviews on your own. Thus, if you do your research and connect with the right companies, you can have an excellent opportunity of getting the job that you want.

The Journal article says that Michelle Antonio, director of Wharton’s M.B.A. career-services office, talks about the students who opt for their own job searches working at an internship to gain experience. As readers of this blog know, one of my main emphases is on getting internships to try out careers.

One M.B.A. student interviewed for the article said she took an internship to “show her commitment” to the new career path she wanted to follow. This is precisely the opportunity that can be available if you have an open mind towards finding the path that suits you best rather than following the traditional path of someone who just earned an M.B.A.

The moral of this story? If you don’t want to follow the traditional path, be willing to use networking and other techniques discussed here and elsewhere to find your own path.

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