Are you working with a coaching client who is attending business school (or even earning an undergraduate degree)? As I collaborate with MBA career coaches far-and-wide and hear the challenges they have in working with students, these common themes surface when it comes to students landing a summer internship or job after graduation. I call them the 5 Myths & Misconceptions students often have about landing their first MBA job. Perhaps you’ve heard them too?
“My Degree Will Do It”: An MBA degree is a huge asset, and yet it shouldn’t be relied on as the Golden Ticket. Those that do may have to stand in line behind candidates who have an MBA plus more years of experience than you have. Ultimately, it’s about one’s ability to connect with the company decision makers and deliver remarkable value based on the MBA (or any degree!).
Potential Powerful Coaching Question: Knowing there are many other candidates out there who have both an MBA and more years of experience than you, how would you describe your value as a differentiator?
“My Alumni Network Will Do It”: One’s alumni network is also a huge asset. And yet, as with all relationships, trust takes time. Start early in building and nurturing relationships. Networking master and New York Times bestselling author Harvey Mackay said it well, “Dig your well before you’re thirsty.”
Potential Powerful Coaching Question: How long would it take you to trust a stranger with something important like your reputation or sharing your network?
“My Career Coach Will Do It”: The MBA Career Center teams I am aware of are among the most competent industry experts in the nation and are a source of insights, information, introductions, and inspiration. Nonetheless, they cannot secure a job for someone else. Just as no one can take finals for another or choose a mate for another, no one but the student/graduate can secure his/her own job!
Potential Powerful Coaching Question: As a business leader, you’ll make decisions about what to execute on yourself and what to delegate to others. Although you can team up with others, job search is one of those “execute yourself” tasks. What do you see as some of the benefits of “owning” your search?
“I’ll Wait Until I’m Done with Classes”: The early bird catches the worm! Meaning, success comes to those who prepare well and put in effort. To land early, start early and work smart. Create and nurture relationships over the course of time so others get to know you, see you, and trust you.
Potential Powerful Coaching Technique: The BLS stats are showing average job search periods of more than 36 weeks, and our school data is aligning with that as well. With those numbers in mind, let’s map out a ‘storyboard’ of how many quality meetings with contacts you’ll need to be making each week and how/when that will happen so that you can reach your goal.
“It’ll Be Easy”: Joe Girard is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Greatest Salesman. One of his most well-known quotes is this: “The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs… one step at a time.”
Potential Powerful Coaching Technique: There are many steps in the job search and the only short-cuts are getting a head-start on your competition by beginning early, working steady, creating trust, and delivering value. What would SMART goals look like in each of those areas?