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Career Momentum

In today’s job market, every applicant is always seeking the one thing that makes them special, and makes their résumé stick out from the crowd. It is the only reflection of a person’s personality and level of qualification that a potential employer can access in the first place. Thus, it is important to structure it well, to capture recruiters attention, and ensure you’re invited back for a job interview.

But what is it that makes you stick out of the crowd? What makes you be better qualified for the job than other applicants? What gives you the right level of momentum to initiate your career?

An ideal, and stereotypical job applicant would be a university graduate in their early twenties with outstanding grades, extracurricular commitment, international experience and lots of work experience. Since this an extremely diverse range of criteria to fulfill, business schools are increasingly aiming to align their curriculum to meet as many of those specifications as possible. Turning the focus away from pure coursework-concepts, they additionally teach their students the practical skills that are necessary to succeed in a dynamic and international working environment.

The Management school eMusketeers graduated from, was The University of Sydney’s Business School. With their Master of Management program, they created a program that copes with the challenges young professionals will be faced with. By recruiting an exceptionally broad range of students from different cultural and professional backgrounds, it puts them into situations of cross-cultural and international work environments throughout group work. The final component of the degree is a ‘real-world’ project, usually with a blue chip company or well-recognised organisation, as well as not-for-profit clients. Through this component, the degree course provides the graduates with experiences that could not be any closer to the challenges they will be faced with in their working life.

Thus, you are taking away valuable experiences that will be helpful in the early stages of your career. Working in culturally and professionally diverse group is a situation that graduates are likely to be faced and expected to cope with very early in their careers, if not already in an assessment center. More than that the flexibility to adapt to various tasks will also be implicitly required in many jobs. In my opinion the best way to prepare for such demands is to face such situations while searching  for feedback on how you handled them, before they determine your career. Therefore, programs that are putting you into ‘real-world’ situations do not just qualify you for a job, but they also provide you with the necessary skills to handle what is expected from you.

Furthermore, those degree programs not only give you the One Giant Leap into your career, they will also ensure you have an extremely informative experience surrounded by amazing people.

  1. Dolly
    February 3, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Though I agree with you completely, I must also point out that sometimes people are not always generally privileged to have “international” and “multi cultural” graduate school experiences, or even no graduate school experience at all (I say this as I’ve grown up in two developing nations). Having said this there are success stories regardless.

    As you spoke about business/ management schools I will restrict my thoughts to just that area of higher education. Mostly business knowledge is universal, almost every place know and teach the same concepts.To do well in this area I think having relevant work experience is of the utmost importance, all those graphs and ratios or equations you learn in business/ engineering classes barely help in real life scenarios and whether you are dealing with a local person or an international one. If you don’t truly understand what you are dealing with or if you can’t come up with proper solutions, having a fancy education or your people skills won’t save you. All this globalization has already created sound, well mannered, English speaking, cooperative individuals who do not lack communication skills. I really doubt if anyone really has to make a huge effort in understanding a different culture in today’s global market.
    Yes, you may find a good job after doing a real life senior project with P and G, but it doesn’t guarantee you will climb the ladder quickly; and essentially that’s what you want isn’t it? How far do you want to be propelled? I think intuition, attitude and opportunity have a huge play in the level of success that you achieve as a business person (business sense basically).

    If you talk about slightly more defined areas of study such as scientific research or the arts etc I do agree though, that through well reputed schools you receive more resources and more exposure where getting real world experiences would make a tremendous difference to how quickly you accelerate to finding work. These areas essentially require core technical knowledge/ experience which cant be acquired unless students get hands on experience. Good graduate schools have better grants with better connections which would allow them to carry on unique research and this would set students apart.

    If only we lived in a world of equal opportunity.

    I’m going to stop here as there are so many parameters to this discussion. I hope I’ve brought in a different point of view perhaps, to how it really depends on an area of study and how succeeding in a career may not just be all education.
    Keep up these interesting blogs!
    Best wishes,
    Dolly.

  2. February 4, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Thank you for the very interesting comment!

    I while I do agree that in scientific community has the distinction that you pointed out, business schools do as well, some school provide real word experience and some do purely academic approach. However the difference is that you can learn business skills (such as communication and inquisitiveness) in other environments (like personal life or even through friends), while if you want to be an engineer you have to go to school. Maybe that is why business school education seems universal and schools less relevant, because most of us have the basics already.

  3. February 6, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Thank you for your comment Dolly.

    I agree with what you said. I think that soft skills and the ability to flexibly adapt to changing situations in a working environment are probably the most important skills you need in any area of work. And this does not mean that graduates from high caliber schools do automatically possess those traits nor that other graduates don’t.
    However, the only situation in which you can prove that you are the demanded high-potential is the real working environment, meaning a job or an internship. But not everybody can get entitled to this opportunity, so you need to go through selection-processes that are not capable of testing the required soft-skills.

    Hence, a degree from a renown institution could be seen as the ticket to the practical test of your capabilities.
    However, this still isn’t taking the advantages of professional networks of high reputation schools into account.

    Like you mentioned, there are so many parameters to be considered :).

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