Tag Archives: Job Search

How a GEMBA student went from digital marketing to big picture strategy

Jean George hadn’t thought she would earn an MBA. She became more exposed to the idea when her brother was working on his own MBA applications. She was happy for him but at that point she was not entirely sure why he thought it was necessary – he was already an engineer with a busy consulting schedule. “Watching my brother embrace change forced me to analyze my own professional life.  I had become very routine and I was a bit too comfortable. Looking back, I was definitely bored,” she said.

Jean George is currently earning her Global Executive MBA at Rotman

Jean George is currently earning her Global Executive MBA at Rotman

Three months later she learned about the global MBA from her now fellow classmate John Thomas, changed her mind about pursuing an MBA and entered Rotman’s Global Executive MBA program. “I had no idea that an MBA could be served in this format,” she said.  The ability to work and take classes in different countries around the world were key factors that convinced her to go back to school.  Jean, who had worked as a digital marketing consultant, had picked up a client in Dubai. “I wanted to do more of that type of work,” she explained. “I actually asked my client how I could get more engagements like that one either within Dubai or other markets and they flat-out said an MBA would be helpful because it translates across all countries. Everyone understands what an MBA is.”

Going back to school years after her undergrad was daunting, but Jean quickly discovered that this was the best possible time for a change. “I definitely appreciate it more. The last time I was in school I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. Now I know where I’m going to use stats, I understand how valuable economics is. I can respect finance and accounting because I’ve actually used them.” Between working full time for Rotman’s Creative Destruction Lab and attending classes across five continents, her schedule is packed full. “Life doesn’t give you a break, that’s not how it works. I prefer working and being in school because I’ve actually taken things directly from class and then applied them right away. It really reinforces the learning. It forces you to change your perspective.”

Getting too comfortable is something Jean wants to avoid. “I got to a point with digital marketing where I felt I couldn’t learn anything else. I wasn’t challenged and I stopped growing. Now I’ve been very humbled by the fact that there’s a lot I don’t know.”

In fact, that’s part of why Jean decided to apply for the Global Executive MBA rather than any of the other programs offered at the School. “I had travelled a lot personally, but that doesn’t mean you know an area from a business standpoint. I’ve been to some of the module destinations previously on vacation, but going there for school was a totally different experience. I got to see things and learn things I probably wouldn’t have looked for otherwise.”

One of the most valuable aspects of the Global Executive MBA are the people you meet in your class.  “I have been able learn just as much, if not more from my peers as some of the classes.  Doing an MBA you are able to connect with individuals you may have never come across on your own.  One of the courses, capstone, emphasized this action of connecting with individuals outside your direct network.” The capstone project involves applying what you’ve learned in your MBA to a real work problem. Jean’s class was asked to interview individuals based on the topic they were assigned.

“The topic my group had was AI, and I had interviewed 3 individuals. From those conversations I realized the importance of AI and definitely wanted to work in the space,” Jean said. “I didn’t know a lot about artificial intelligence, but I realized it was going to impact our society and the job market. And I thought how am I going to ride this change in terms of the skillset that I can provide? I’m not an engineer or a coder.”

Daniel Mulet, the Associate Director from the Creative Destruction Lab, worked in the field and was one of the individuals she interviewed.  After their conversation he suggested she meet their team, and not long after she became their Marketing Manager. “I’m happy to see that I do have a place in the tech sector. Being an entrepreneur, I like the start up space. It’s a little bit messy, the borders are not very well-defined, but I enjoy it.  I’m happy to know that there’s a space for someone like me who isn’t an engineer. I’ve been able make a change in my line of work before graduating. That’s a good feeling.” This all came about by having a thirty minute conversation with someone outside of my network.

Jean with her GEMBA class during their India module - an MBA is more than just accounting and finance

Jean with her GEMBA class during their India module – an MBA is more than just accounting and finance

We asked Jean if she had any advice for people considering applying to the Global Executive MBA. “You will really get to know yourself.  Throughout the program you are continually put in ambiguous situations. Imagine you’re balancing work, school, travel and group assignments. You’re going to learn a lot about yourself and what you’re good at. I really know what my strengths are now and I know my confidence has gone up because of this program. I have been able to meet people I wouldn’t have otherwise met,  traveled places I’ve never been before, and I got to learn about topics I don’t know if I would have ever naturally come across. If you’re looking for a change, it’s a great way to go about it.”

A member of the Rotman team is always available to personally review your resume and provide one-on-one advice about making your application as strong as possible. Make 2018 the year you earn your MBA.

Five top tips to accelerate your career

In a competitive job market, it takes serious focus, drive and leadership skills to take your career to the next level. Our dedicated Career Services help our Working Professional students structure their career plan, and position candidates to reach their goals. Rotman School of Management students are equipped with a toolkit to use and to take ownership of and manage their career management plan beyond their time at Rotman.

Annette Filler, Careers

Annette Filler,
Lead, Career Services,
Morning & Evening MBA and Master of Finance Programs

We asked Annette Filler, Lead, Career Services for Working Professionals for her Five top tips to accelerate your career.

Tip #1: Set goals
Set specific career goals and gain focus. What industry or function do you aspire to progress within? What would success look like?

Tip #2: Do your homework
Do your homework on the roles that interest you, and that you aspire to. Research the market, companies of interest, and job requirements.

Tip #3: Start building from Day 1
Be prepared to start building your Career Management Plan on Day 1 at Rotman – not when you pick up your graduation gown!

Tip #4: Invest time
Be ready to invest time. It takes time and energy to switch or progress careers. You’ll have put in the hours to learn about your new function, or sector. Network and target your pitch, resume and LinkedIn profile to appeal to recruiters and hiring managers.

Tip #5: Be accountable
Be accountable for your progress and eventual success. Use resources available to you, including Career Services at Rotman. Be sure to meet with your Career Coach.

Careers Services at the Rotman School of Management

The Career Services team is committed to working closely with students to refine career goals, help position and market candidates effectively and develop networks with people w who are in a position to help candidates achieve their goals. Career Services provides students with career support through a range of offerings:

Individual career counseling appointments in person or via telephone

  • Self-assessment
  • Independent job search strategy
  • Resume and cover letter review
  • Networking techniques
  • Interview preparation
  • Job offer and negotiation advice
  • Career advancement strategies (leverage your Master of Finance or Morning & Evening MBA within your organization)

Career Management workshops, webinars & speaker events

  • Defining your career objectives
  • Branding & positioning
  • Crafting your networking pitch
  • Developing a job search strategy
  • Interview preparation
  • Negotiating an offer

Online career resources

  • Tools & templates
  • Videos, webinars, podcasts
  • Career development guides

Annual Rotman Open House Draws Huge Interest: A Recap

With over 300 prospective students at the Rotman Open House on Sunday November 6, the event was nothing short of a great success. The event was an exciting opportunity for attendees to learn more about the 6 programs that Rotman has to offer through engaging sample classes and information sessions.

me-mba-networking

Morning and Evening MBA students are more than happy to answer questions from prospective applicants!

The programs that were represented at the fair were the Morning and Evening MBA, Full Time MBA, Executive MBA, Global Executive MBA, Master of Finance, and the Master of Financial Risk Management.

Making Connections at the Programs Fair

As guests began to arrive, they eagerly headed to the buzzing programs fair. Representatives for each of our Master’s programs provided information regarding admissions details and program structures. Current students were also more than happy to share their own Rotman experience. There was something new for everybody to discover about the school. One of our attendees commented that “I know I registered for one program of interest, but with such a wide range of programs that Rotman offers, it was hard to pick just one!”

open-house-programs-fair

The programs fair is in  full swing

A New Way to Think

Rotman’s Annual Open House formally kicked off with a keynote speech by Don Tapscott, CEO of The Tapscott Group, and one of the world’s leading authorities on the impact of technology on business and society. He also happens to be an Adjunct Professor here at the Rotman School of Management, and was ranked the 4th most influential management thinker in the world by Thinkers50.

tapscott-speaking

Don Tapscott kicking off the event with a keynote speech

He provided us with his thrilling insight into how blockchain is becoming an industry disruptor. Don concluded by challenging our audience, the future leaders in management, on how we can develop solutions to new technological, social and economic problems.

Mix and Match to Customize Your Day

Attendees mixed and matched the sessions that were of most interest to them. With a wide selection of 17 different sessions to attend, it was definitely not an easy choice to make.

Each session brought a unique perspective and experience for our prospective applicants. On top of the information sessions led by our recruiters about what applicants needed to get in and to succeed at Rotman, there were also unique interactive sessions. In our BMO Financial Group Finance Research and Trading Lab, prospective students had the opportunity to get involved in an exciting trading simulation where they made decisions under different scenarios. There were also a number of sample classes showcasing the world renowned faculty that teach at Rotman and their research strengths. Professor Brian Golden’s sample class on Strategic Management was energizing, overflowing and was even followed enthusiastically by an international audience via our live stream!

briam-golden-sample-class

Brian Golden presenting a sample class on Strategic Management

The Perfect Fit at Rotman

The Rotman Open House is not only a great event for prospective applicants to learn more information about the admissions process and to get their questions answered, it is also a chance to meet with our recruitment team to network and build a one-on-one relationship.

On behalf of the entire recruitment and admissions team, thank you to each and every individual who took the time to come out and learn about all the graduate programs that Rotman has to offer. We hope you had as much fun as we did!

To learn more about the Rotman School of Management, visit our website at www.rotman.utoronto.ca

The one skill that will boost your career in 2016

Whether your 2016 professional goal is to land a promotion in your company or get a new job, there is one skill that can help you: Networking.

The One Skill that will boost your career in 2016

Networking might seem overwhelming, but it’s nothing more than connecting with people with whom you have something in common, in this case, an industry or a career. It is also a critical skill in today’s job market. Research suggests that 80%[1] of jobs are obtained through networking. This makes sense when considering that, on average, companies receive 250 applications per job posting.[2] Hiring someone you know is simply a more efficient way of recruiting, making networking the key to a job seeker’s success.

From attending industry events to meeting someone for a coffee chat, there are various ways to network. But how do you get better at it?

Here are three steps to tone your networking muscle:

Engage. Attending an industry event or connecting with a former colleague? Be engaging to be memorable. Use LinkedIn; prepare questions and answers—remember that this should be a two-way conversation. It is certainly important to have an elevator pitch ready, but you can’t forget to listen. Listening can help you find out how you can be useful to others and create a stronger connection.

Reciprocate. Sometimes helping others is the best way to create connections that will turn into job success in the future. You may connect a friend or former colleague with someone you know; in turn, they may also be introduced to new people through this connection that you previously didn’t know, potentially extending the reach of the overall network for your colleague and yourself.

Appreciate. Whatever you do, don’t forget to say thank you. This is especially true after attending informational interviews or coffee chats. People have taken time to meet with you, so you should demonstrate that you value their time and what they’ve shared with you. It is always a good idea to send a thank you email or, even better, a thank you card.

As a working professional studying at the Rotman School of Management you can count on tailored Career Services and resources that can help you improve your networking skills. Be sure to connect with us or attend one of our events to learn more.

For these and other tips check our blog regularly this year.

Best of luck in 2016!

[1] Click here to read the article.

[2] Click here to read the article.

T’is the Season! Dining Do’s & Don’ts

Rotman Happy Holidays Christmas CardOffice holiday parties offer the chance to gather with colleagues outside of work, and networking with food & drink can be tricky. The career coaches from our Career Services for Working Professionals team (they work with both our Rotman Morning & Evening MBA and Master of Finance programs) put together a quick Holiday Party Guide with tips, do’s and don’ts to showcase your professional polish.

Holiday Party Guide

Table Setting

Formal Place Setting

Formal Place Setting

Informal Place Setting

Informal Place Setting

Dining Etiquette

Dining Etiquette

Dining Etiquette

Source: tonyatko.com

Networking with Food & Drink

DOs

DON’Ts

Follow your host’s lead (allow them to sit and order first) Do not start eating before your host
Place your napkin in your lap upon sitting down Do not season before tasting your meal
Select easy to eat, familiar, mid-price range options Do not put your cell phone, bag, keys, or elbows on the table
Wait until everyone is served to begin your meal Do not dip your bread into soup or other sauces on your plate
Remember that conversation comes first, eating is secondary Do not push your plate or bowl away when you are finished
Use your inside voice, turn off your phone and keep it out of view Do not reach across the table
Mind your posture Do not dominate conversation; give everyone a chance to speak
Chew with your mouth closed Do not speak with your mouth full
Thank your host! Do not rub your chopsticks together

3 Job Search Tips from a Rotman MBA Grad

Students in our part-time MBA programs have access to a range of strong and efficient career services and tools during their time here at the Rotman School of Management. Dejan Knezevic is a recent graduate of our Rotman Evening MBA program for working professionals who also successfully navigated a job search while taking full advantage of our career services offerings. In this blog post, he gives us his top three pieces of job search advice.

Dejan Knezevic, MBA, Consultant, Cpco

Dejan Knezevic, MBA, Consultant, Capco

Name: Dejan Knezevic, MBA
Current title and company: Consultant at Capco
Former title and company: Vice-President, National Sales at Spartan Fund Management

1. Leverage your Rotman Morning & Evening MBA Career Services’ career coaches, tools and resources

Students in the Rotman Morning & Evening MBA programs have access to a wide range of career services. I found career coaching for behavioural interviews crucial if you are looking to move your career in a different direction. Additionally, I strongly encourage everyone to leverage the many online tools and videos that are available to you through Rotman’s career services. As an example, this is an online seminar that will teach you a very effective framework to help you become much more efficient during your job search.

2. Network

I cannot stress how important this is; take the opportunity meet both alumni and non-alumni. The more you network, the better you will become at it. You will definitely get better at asking the right questions over time. As I went through this process, I learned quickly that meeting multiple people from one organization will give you a good feel for the culture of that organization, which is hugely important.

3. Preparation is key

The job search is a consuming process. Take advantage of Rotman’s career services to guide you through it. Make sure that you have a focused, tailored approach that will allow you to be effective in pursuing organizations and industries that you are truly interested in.

Showing Communication Skills: The Proof is in the Details

Marnie Consky

Marnie Consky, Lead, Career Services for Working Professionals

Originally posted in Vault.

Marnie Consky is Lead, Career Services for Working Professionals, Morning & Evening MBA and Master of Finance Programs.

All MBA-level jobs require you to have strong communication skills. Aside from singing your praises in your resume and cover letter, it’s even more important to demonstrate those communication skills in instances where recruiters and hiring managers are paying attention. Outside of the obvious networking sessions and interviews, here are some situations where small details count:

  • Voice mail: ensure that your voice mail message sounds professional. Imagine the recruiter is calling to tell you that you’ve been selected for an interview – your voice mail shouldn’t do anything to potentially have them question their decision. Record your outgoing message without background noise or distractions, and script it first. If you are in the process of setting up informational meetings and applying for jobs, remember to be at your “professional best” whenever answering the phone. Answer the phone “Hi, (your first name) speaking” or “Hi, this is (first name)”
  • Out of office email message: set up an out of office message if you’re going to be away on vacation or unreachable for a period of time. Thank the sender for their message and indicate when they can expect to hear back from you. No need to state your first day away, just when you’ll be back.
  • Email signature: Your email signature should include your first and last name, the year your degree will be conferred (e.g. MBA Candidate 2014), name of your school, phone number and email address. Also consider including your LinkedIn URL and ensure that your profile is consistent with your resume and cover letter.
  • Thank you note: whether you’re sending a handwritten note to thank someone for an informational meeting, emailing company representatives that you met at an information session or emailing your interviewer(s), be mindful of what you say and how you say it. Keep it short; reiterate your appreciation of their time and your interest in the company/role as appropriate.

It goes without saying that how you communicate on social media platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook) is also of equal importance. Be aware that what you post online is public and searchable, even in cases where you’ve gone some lengths to protect your privacy. Be mindful of what you’re posting and of who might be reading it.

Bottom line: your motto for communication should be “show them – don’t just tell them.”

Tuesday Tips: Ace your behavioural interview

Annette Filler

Annette Filler, Lead, Career Services for Working Professionals

Interviews can be nerve wrecking, and acing that particular interview could be the stepping stone to the career path of your dreams. Annette Filler is a Lead and Career Coach with Career Services for Working Professionals here at Rotman. Yesterday, the career services monthly workshop offered some valuable advice for our Morning & Evening MBA and Master of Finance students on acing your behavioural interview.

Interview Preparation:

  • Do your background research on industry, company, role
  • Understand the requirements of the position
  • Know who will be conducting the interview
  • Prepare 2 – 3 points in advance that clearly communicates why you are an excellent fit for the position
  • Remember to dress and groom for success!

Behavioural Interview Questions: What are they?

  • They are common questions based on the premise that past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior
  • Provides proof of your potential demonstrated through description of past situations
  • Instead of being situational e.g. “If you are faced with multiple deadlines, what will you do?” a behavioural question is more like, “Give an example of a situation here you were faced with multiple deadlines and what did you do?”
  • This type of question is open ended and allows the interviewer to probe and zero in on specific behaviours and skills to find out more about the candidate

Interviewers use behavioural interview questions to assess leadership, problem-solving, analytical thinking, time management, communication and interpersonal skills. Candidates need to prepare examples and stories that demonstrates the themes mentioned above. In addition, as a candidate, you should prepare examples and stories for additional key competencies that are outlined on the job description.

Practice, practice, practice!

Your confidence in your presentation, and belief that you’re the best candidate for the role is paramount. It’s important to practice responses out loud. Practice with classmates. Practice with family. Practice with friends and Career Services. Practice so you’ll have a flow and can articulate your examples clearly and concisely. The flip side is of course, don’t memorize examples verbatim as you might sound too rehearsed an unnatural.

And, once you’re in the Rotman Morning & Evening MBA or Master of Finance programs, you’ll have access to Interview Stream. It’s an online video interview practice tool that allows you to simulate a job interview by responding to pre-recorded interview questions.