An MBA degree typically takes less than 3 years to complete, so students should be examining employment options as soon as they begin the program. This is especially true of students in 1-year MBA programs, who have less time to hunt for jobs. Many resources exist to help MBA students find gainful employment, whether in traditional schools or accredited online MBA programs, including career fairs, student services and internships. MBA students seeking to refine important job skills can also pursue employment through current work experience.
Student services and career fairs
Student services offices at universities offer students help with several aspects of the job search. Most will have resume assistance available for students seeking jobs, including advice on how to market existing work experience and make your resume machine-readable. Some career services offices also hold etiquette dinners and mock interview sessions to help students get the most out of networking and interview opportunities. This can help you stand out when seeking a job, so you should make use of these career resources if your university provides them.
Career fairs, unlike student services offices, seek to pair students directly with job providers. They can help you network with others in your MBA specialization, find leads on jobs to pursue once you graduate and locate internship providers for your MBA degree program. Some career fairs are put on by a single school while others receive support from many universities. Some are targeted specifically at MBA degree candidates, so you should take advantage of any such opportunities.
Finding a job through your current work experience
If you are already employed during your MBA degree program, you should consider pursuing higher positions with your employer. If you have performed well in your job, your employer may recognize your loyalty and open career advancement paths once you receive your MBA degree. This is a good way to gain job experience that will also be viewed positively by your next employer, as working for the same company for some time shows that you have a strong work ethic and consistent performance.
Continuing to work for your current employer allows you to avoid searching for a new job during your MBA program. You can devote more time to your existing work and school obligations without diverting time to the job search, and you may also be able to receive employer sponsorship for your studies.
Maintaining work obligations while studying for your MBA may be difficult. Working can make scheduling MBA courses more difficult unless you study in part-time or online MBA degree programs, and it can also contribute to burnout. Consider whether working and studying simultaneously is right for you before studying for your MBA.
Finding a job through your internship
Many firms hire MBA students directly from their MBA internship programs. These internships provide the employer with clear evidence of students’ work ethic and knowledge and allow them to test drive employees before hiring them for management positions. Students who prove themselves during their MBA internships will be able to move directly into the working world through such programs.
Students in MBA degree programs usually complete internships during the summer term of a 2-year program, if they choose to pursue these opportunities. Internships allow students to go from an unpaid or stipend position at a firm to salaried employment once they complete their MBA program, and they provide valuable experience that differs from an undergraduate internship. Your department or career services department may have more information on popular or common internships in your MBA concentration.