Careers Manager, Sarah Jackson explains the range of support services on offer to WBS part-time MBA students.
Careers support for part time MBA students at WBS falls into two key areas. 50% of what we do is what you would typically expect from a Careers Service: CV reviews, general Career Planning, mock interviews, self-assessments and supporting students to build their online presence.
The other 50% is around 'soft skills' development. On completion of your MBA, you will have an in depth knowledge of finance, marketing, operations management and a range of other functional and academic subjects but without influencing and leadership skills, it will be harder to land some of those senior roles so that you can practise some of the MBA learning and hence get the best return on your investment.
We run interventions which are either embedded into the curriculum or on additional Saturdays, weekday evenings or via webinar on subjects such as courageous conversations, stakeholder management, dealing with politics in the workplace and the first ninety days and how to be assertive in conflict.
Typically half of the students studying for an MBA are doing so out of a desire to move into senior management/C-Suite roles and the MBA will help them to understand the language in the boardroom. A further 10% want to enhance their entrepreneurial skills and set up their own business and 40% want to change any combination of function, sector and location or all 3 (we call this the “triple jump”).
Here are two examples of how our CareersPlus team have supported Distance learning MBA and Executive MBA students:
James* contacted CareersPlus during his 2nd year of his Executive MBA studies. At the time he was working as Interim General Manager for an Australian company and was being paid a high salary. However, he wanted to progress to board level and knew that this involved a certain amount of networking. James has an introversion personality preference and found this prospect very daunting. He also had communication issues with his current CEO who never seemed to let James finish a presentation or proposal discussion.
We introduced James to the Insights Discovery self-assessment tool and this helped him to understand the differences between him and his CEO, allowing him to adapt his communication going forwards resulting in a far more satisfying relationship. James also joined our award winning mentoring programme and through discussions with his mentor and completion of our online Career Management course, began to realise that a board level role was not for him for a variety of reasons.
A career in consulting was a much better match to his skill set so he chose to do his MBA project and dissertation on the topic of “the importance of the client relationship in consulting”, which gave him the opportunity to network with a wide range of experts in this field. This resulted in the successful transition to a senior consultancy role in which James' strengths and passions were very much aligned to the role and to his new organisation.
Millie* chose to study the Distance learning MBA because she wanted to make a career transition but she had no idea what she wanted to do next. Millie had a strong engineering background and saw the MBA as a way of increasing her career options. To help her in her exploration phase, she completed the CareerLeader self-assessment tool, which identifies potential career options based on your skills, values and interests. The results from this, combined with the feedback from the WBS 360 self-assessment tool, encouraged Millie to explore Business Development roles across a range of sectors, using our Alumni database and Professional Networks to set up a number of “information gathering” interviews.
We helped Millie identify and highlight transferable skills on her CV to increase the chances of her getting through to the next round of the recruitment process. Millie ended up with three job offers for Business Development roles and used our online Negotiation Skills workshop to help secure a 20% increase in salary.
Everyone's path through the MBA is different and hence the careers support you receive will be totally tailored to your needs to enable you to fully unleash your potential.
* Names have been changed to protect personal information