Received job offers 3 months out: 95%
Switched location, function or industry: 86%
Average salary package: £ 85,248 – Cambridge MBA Employment Report
It’s quite an amazing list of statistics. But then again, statistics are not going to get you a job. Ultimately, it’s down to you, your ability and your effort. This is a brief story about my job search so far, two months into the MBA program.
I come from a non-traditional background (whichever way you look at it) where I graduated as an Electronic Engineer in the UK, but somehow found my way to China – first as a Project Manager then Vice General Manager of a real estate development company, where I stayed for 7 years. In those years, I learnt a great deal about doing business in the difficult environment that is China. However, I felt I needed a new challenge, so I decided to try to make a career change into management consulting and I applied to the Cambridge MBA to help make this transition.
So here are a few words of advice from the first two months of job searching, that I wish I knew before starting the MBA:
- Make a shortlist of the firms that interest you and importantly, find a way to rank them. Do this in a spreadsheet. For me, this list has about 25 companies on it and is still growing.
- After this, make sure you research the application deadlines and write them into the spreadsheet. Some will be at the start of term.
- For each target company, consulting firms especially, think about which office you will apply to and why it makes sense for them to consider your application. What is your value proposition? Why would they hire you out of the vast talent pool available to them?
- Find ways to speak to people working in your target firms that are in your social circle, alumni, etc. This will provide you with some inside information on how to best put together a compelling job application (cover letter and CV).
- Tailor your cover letter and CV for each company. Do not copy and paste cover letters… recruiters can tell the difference between someone who has put the effort into their job application and someone who is copying and pasting.
- Practice behavioral interviews as well as case interviews (for consulting firms). Ideally, with someone in your target industry/firm. Use the resources at your disposal, including classmates and the careers office. Know each bullet on your CV inside out.
- Lastly, do not get upset if you get rejected on your first few tries. Expect rejections and take them in your stride. Especially if you are trying to make a career change into a new industry, new role, new country or a multiple change (like me). In that case, keep looking for your value proposition.
- Also, don’t think you need to get that dream job lined up immediately after the MBA. It might be more realistic to find an interim role that allows you to build up your skill-set for the switch to your dream job later.
- Lastly, keep an open mind and explore the wonderful opportunities available to you in this special year in Cambridge.