We caught up with the Careers Coaches working on our Full-time MBA to dig deeper into the support they offer, how they provide a stand-out service, and to discover what their personal highs of coaching our Full-time MBAs are.
What’s unique about WBS CareersPlus?
Nuo Xu, Careers Manager: We take pride in our unique role as the connective tissue between the incredible world-class researchers and lecturers at our institution and the top employers that shape industries. What truly makes us stand out is our deep commitment to personally connecting students with the dynamic world of work.
Imagine us as the architects of experiences that seamlessly blend academic insights with the demands of the job market. Our passion lies in ensuring that every student gets hands-on experience with real-world business challenges. It's not about merely learning theories; it's about diving into practical opportunities that shape a student into a leader capable of navigating the complexities of the professional landscape.
Donna Walker, Careers Coach: For me, it’s the extent and range of support we offer our students. Alongside the key careers workshops you would expect, we enable students to hone their technical skills through Python and Tableau workshops, their selling techniques in Client Persuasion workshops and deepen their knowledge on specific areas through sector specialist coaching. In addition, students can attend tailored events on sectors that interest them, for example, Case Study Saturday and Consulting Experience weekend, which are complemented by networking events at both The Shard and our Warwick campus.
Jeff Slater, Careers Coach: We don’t just teach students how to get a job; we support them to craft the life they desire. The key is in the second part of our name: ‘Plus’. Students may book an appointment to talk about their CV, but we approach our sessions as coaching conversations, not as advice-giving. Often the students have a deeper challenge or consideration they would like to talk about: we provide a non-judgmental space where they can air their ideas and work through the solution to their challenges in a collaborative way.
Of all of the careers-specific interventions on the course, which do you think holds the most value to Full-time MBA students, and why?
Jeff: Personally, I think the inter-cultural communication workshops we delivered this year were super valuable – employers are ranking cross cultural competence ahead of communication elements such as negotiation skills in terms of future importance in recent analysis. The future-proofing of our students’ careers includes being able to collaborate effectively with others, in a global world that has to consider potential areas of difference and synergy.
Donna: Identifying only one is a challenge! After coaching, I think Development Centres are a close second. Every student is invited to participate in a Development Centre to practise their interview, presenting and group work skills. Students are given a case study 48 hours in advance and, on the morning of the Development Centre, are asked to prepare a presentation on a question connected to the case study. They also undertake a group task which involves working as part of a team to solve a problem which is also connected to the case study. Students are observed by a panel of assessors during the day and provided with tailored feedback shortly afterwards. Development Centres are excellent preparation for the Assessment Centres students will encounter as part of recruitment processes.
Nuo: For me, the most valuable element is the personally tailored approach. The beauty of this lies in its recognition of the individuality of each student's journey. We all have different needs—some of them might be seeking hands-on support like interview practice or CV guidance, while others may be in need of a supportive ear during setbacks.
What sets our careers team apart is our commitment to understanding and addressing these unique needs. This personalised touch not only adds immense value but also creates a sense of connection and understanding that is crucial in navigating the challenges and triumphs of an MBA journey.
What’s your favourite thing about working with FTMBA students?
Donna: My favourite thing is when students secure their dream job! Having supported students through the highs (and lows!) of searching for a new role, we are genuinely over the moon when they secure an offer. My close second favourite thing is that every year is different - MBA students come from a wide range of backgrounds (including ones that you wouldn’t expect) and bring fresh perspectives as a result of this. Love is also known to blossom on the MBA resulting in the occasional invite to an MBA wedding!
Jeff: For me, it’s the energy, the individuality and the passion of the students. They are just fab. I’m very proud and humbled to be able to play a small part in supporting these Change-Makers of the future.
Nuo: What I cherish most is the profound connections I get to build with these incredibly motivated and intelligent individuals. There's something truly special about the moments when they place their trust in me, allowing me a glimpse into their unique stories, experiences, and journeys.
Getting to know each student on such a personal level is an experience that touches me on a deeper, more human level. When they open up, it's like uncovering a treasure of aspirations and challenges. This personal connection empowers me to tailor my approach uniquely to each individual, helping them navigate a path that resonates with their potential.
The satisfaction I derive from witnessing their development and success isn't just professional; it's a profoundly personal joy. It's these moments of shared vulnerability and growth that make working with Full-time MBA students not just a role but a deeply enriching journey of mutual understanding and accomplishment.