What I read: Interesting articles I read this week (Week Ending 1/31/2015)

I try to stay as updated as I can on all things related to the MBA Experience as well as various other career development topics. I want to share three articles I thought were relevant and insightful for MBA students.

Article 1: MBA Students: Choose your first job wisely (Via Forbes)

This is a Forbes’ article written by Professor Kim Whitler, an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia (Darden.) The article talks about how in light of how stressful and demanding the career search is for many MBA students how students can think about job opportunities. While this framework she shares is geared for marketing students, I think it’s safe to say it’s applicable for other various functions as well. Professor Whitler talks about how your “work brand,” i.e., where you work is just as (if not as) important as your educational brand (where you go to school.) She goes on to suggest that starting off your post-MBA career with a company that has an enduring pedigree is a “brand stamp” that will follow you for the remainder of your career. Furthermore, she goes on to remark that MBA programs are great for learning things like leadership, communication and strategic thinking, but technical skills (i.e. what it takes to be a brand marketer) are actually taught and learned much better working for places that train brand marketers (ex. Proctor & Gamble) Finally, Whitler underscores the importance of the network. She asks, “What will your network look like when you’re 50?” For her, having the P&G Network was a gold mine for finding seasoned marketing executives when she wanted to start a CMO Interview series. Moral of the story: Consider the network of not just your educational brand, but also, your work brand.

Article 2: Switching Industries No longer means starting over (Via LinkedIn)

This is a blog post from LinkedIn written by Andrew Kritzer. Andrew is an Analytics Manager at LinkedIn, and an MBA graduate from the University of Virginia (Darden.) Andrew and the LinkedIn team wanted to find out which industries were most receptive to employees transitioning into a new industry. LinkedIn is a data-driven company and has extensive data at its disposal, so it took a look at job changers over the past year who didn’t have experience in the industry they switched to. The result? Internet, e-learning, Venture Capital, and online media seem to be the most receptive to taking outsiders. If you’re considering switching industries give these ones a look.

top 10 industries hiring outside their industry

Article 3: What it’s really like to be at business school (Via Poets&Quants)

Poets&Quants highlighted a handful of MBA students who recently shared their experiences on their time at various MBA Programs. To nobody’s surprise, all of them were incredibly positive. A student from Northwestern (Kellogg) highlighted the strength of his section and how it’s become an extended family. Sparash Agarwal, of Harvard Business School, spoke about the importance of time management, and while he thought he had a hand on various business concepts before business school, getting thrown into the case method for all his core classes expanded his knowledge on many aspects of business. Lastly, a second year MBA student at Cornell, talked about the trials and tribulations of living in Ithaca, New York (grew up in Upstate NY so I feel his pain)  Furthermore, he also partially dispelled the myth that “grades don’t matter,” suggesting they do at least for Investment Banking and Consulting at Cornell.