Category: Career Related

LinkedIn: The New Resume with John Hill

November 4th, 2013 in Career Related, Lifelong Learning

As part of Alumni Weekend 2013, Boston University School of Management brought LinkedIn’s higher education evangelist John Hill to the stage on October 25, 2013, for an interactive talk on how to take full advantage of your LinkedIn account. Hill reinforced his mantra, “Relationships matter,” and shared the best practices and strategies for utilizing LinkedIn to create an online brand and network with fellow BU alumni, peers, and professionals.

Dean Freeman in Wall Street Journal: Why Companies Aren’t Getting Grads With the Skills They Need

October 9th, 2013 in Career Related, Dean Freeman, News, Students

Dean answers question of preparation in “The Experts”

The Wall Street Journal‘s online portal “The Experts,” which features video chats and short online posts from an exclusive group of industry and thought leaders, posted a response from Dean Freeman to the question: Companies often complain they aren’t getting graduates with the skills they need. Why is that—and what should be done about it?

Dean Freeman explains that higher education has its roots in the industrial revolution and prepares students for a world that no longer exists. He says:

Traditional universities were designed to produce many “copies” of certain types of people—teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc.—who, after “charging” their batteries with knowledge, would staff specific positions of industrial societies and would remain there throughout their careers.

Today’s world is very different. As technology develops ever more rapidly, any given body of “knowledge” has an increasingly shorter life span. Information technology automates more and more professions, destroying traditional jobs in entire industries.

Freeman continues, stating that individual flexibility, creativity, and certain personality traits like passion, curiosity, and common sense are keys to success in today’s world. The problem, he finds, is that these “soft skills” are not taught in most universities.

However, companies themselves can make an impact, Freeman says. He suggests that they establish partnerships with universities to help prepare graduates for the workplace:

The traditional heavily researched historical case studies that are at the heart of many business schools syllabi must evolve to include real time “live” dialogue on real business issues both inside the classroom with company executives, and outside the classroom through consulting assignments, research projects, case competitions and internships.

Read Dean Freeman’s full post here.

Kathy Kram’s Mentoring Research Featured in Forbes

February 6th, 2013 in Career Related, Faculty, News, Organizational Behavior

On January 29, featured the research of Boston University’s Kathy Kram, in the article “3 Ways to Develop Your People Without Overwhelming Yourself.” Kram is the Richard C. Shipley Professor in Management and an expert in the field of mentoring.

The article, by Michael Campbell of the Center for Creative Leadership, explores a different approach senior leaders lacking adequate time can take to mentoring and developing others. John Ryan, president of the Center for Creative Leadership, is speaking at the School on February 28.

3 Ways to Develop Your People Without Overwhelming Yourself

Senior leaders consistently report that they don’t have enough time for mentoring and developing others.

Up-and-coming leaders consistently report wanting more guidance, mentoring and face time to learn from senior leaders.

One way to address this dilemma? Developmental networks.

Instead of taking on the formal role of sole coach or mentor to those you are responsible for developing (or to meet that performance metric of “develops others”), you can help your talent build a network of relationships that will – as a whole – provide the support they need for the next role or level.

Research conducted by Kathy Kram (Boston University) and Monica Higgins (Harvard University) indicates that people who develop faster have a strong network of developmental relationships. This parallels findings from Rob Cross of the University of Virginia that shows a clear correlation between high performance and robust networks.

As someone responsible for developing others, you can help your talent learn and grow in a more strategic way. Here’s how it works.

Start by looking at current developmental relationships. Help your direct report or mentee assess what their developmental network looks like today. Explain that a developmental network is made up of individuals who have a genuine interest in your development and who are qualified to assist you in your learning. Keep in mind, developmental relationships are deliberately and clearly about learning and growth.

You can quickly get a picture of the network by asking, during the past 12 months who are the people who have taken an interest and concerted action to help you advance your career? See if they can list 5-10 and then note the type of relationship (boss, peer, direct report, family, etc.)

See the full article and additional tips on Forbes.

Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends interested in the topic are invited to attend a Dean’s Speaker Series event with John Ryan, president of the Center for Creative Leadership, at the School on February 28.

Career advice from New York Times editor Adam Bryant

October 12th, 2012 in Career Related, News, School

Speaking to an audience packed with students aspiring to business leadership, Adam Bryant shared a few things that a smart CEO does not do. The smart CEO does not, for example, ask an interviewee the question that leads to the canned answer, “My greatest weakness is that I work too hard and care too much.”

Instead, the CEO of online shoe company Zappos, for instance, asks job candidates to tell him how weird they are on a scale of one to 10, with examples to back up their score. Everyone falls prey to a little bit of weirdness, and the question gets across to the candidate the importance Zappos places on workplace culture.

“For the CEO, that question is really about seeing how the candidate reacts to the question and it forces them to get out of their element,” said Bryant, the New York Times senior editor for features, who is probably best known for his popular column “The Corner Office” in the Sunday business section, and his 2011 book of the same name. “Good CEOs want to know what the real person is like and don’t want that canned stuff.”

On Thursday, October 4, Bryant spoke at the School of Management about the patterns, themes, and lessons shared with him by CEOs of companies like Foursquare, Hill Holiday, Panera Bread, and Pfizer. The event, part of the School of Management’s Dean’s Speaker Series and cosponsored by the Leadership & Organizational Transformation Concentration, the Graduate Student Council, and the Undergraduate Student Council, drew a crowd of 200. Kenneth Freeman, SMG’s Allen Questrom Professor and Dean, moderated the hour and a half discussion, and invited students to pose questions.

Bryant has been a business reporter, deputy business editor, and deputy national editor at the Times and worked as senior writer and business editor at Newsweek. He was the lead editor of a 2010 series on the dangers of distracted driving that won a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting. He started “The Corner Office” in 2009. (Article excerpt from BU Today)

Listen to audio excerpts from the event below.

Ericsson Hires BU MBAs

March 29th, 2012 in Alumni, Career Related, Case Competition, Graduate Students, News, Students

One of the great advantages of a case competition is displaying your talents to a corporate sponsor. Sometimes this happens in the competition itself, and often it happens behind the scenes.

Following the 2011 International Tech Strategy Business Case Competition, sponsored by Ericsson, seven Boston University MBA students accepted jobs with the Swedish-based telecommunications giant. Each of the students mentioned below traveled a slightly different path, but all attribute their success to the connections they made during the competition or the intensive days of preparation beforehand.

A Broadband Connection

During the weeks leading up to the 2010 case competition, Arvind Patravali’s (MS•MBA’11) responsibilities working on the event included helping dozens of visitors feel comfortable on their trip to Boston by setting them up in hotels and taking care of logistical issues. Among the guests were top executives from Ericsson, the competition’s main sponsor. The event allowed Patravali to turn his background in engineering into a wonderful job opportunity.

Over drinks one night, an Ericsson senior manager asked Patravali what he had planned for the summer. With no job on the horizon, the manager instructed Patravali to forward his resume to her after the competition. A couple of months later he began a three-month internship that, upon his graduation from BU a year later, became a full-time job. Patravali is currently working in the mobile broadband area of Ericsson out of their Plano, Texas office.

“When I spoke to people [at Ericsson] about connecting people and what they’re doing in the next five years it seemed very interesting,” he said. “It’s always good to be on the cutting edge, which they are.”

Network into the Network

In his two years working on the Ericsson Case Competition, Nathan Robbins (MS•MBA’11) learned a ton of useful information about the importance of networking.

During the event’s opening night each year, he was able to have dinner with the CEO of Ericsson and hear his vision for the company around the globe. “That was when Ericsson was put on the radar for me as a company I would want to work for,” he said. “Not only because of my interest in technology, but their activity in telecommunications, a basic human need, really appealed to me.”

Last year he was committee chairman, overseeing the event and making sure everything went smoothly. Several times throughout the competition, he worked in the same room with approximately 30 of the most senior people at Ericsson.

“It’s a great opportunity for students to get to know major industry players, and with me, a lot of the networking itself was done at the event. With everyone in one place, things happen a lot faster.”

Today, Robbins works as a business analyst, spending his time developing Ericsson’s global strategy and business operations within North America from the company’s office in Plano, Texas.

Analytical Approach

When she was a high school student in Delhi, India, Kirti Malik (MBA’11) knew she wanted to be a marketing analyst. Working on the Ericsson Case Competition helped her achieve this goal, but in a more subtle way than most of her colleagues.

She worked on the competition’s committee in both 2010 and 2011, helping with organizational tasks and establishing a tournament timeline, but unlike the other students who went on to find immediate work by taking advantage of the event’s various networking opportunities, Malik took a different tack. Instead of approaching Ericsson’s executives during the event’s weekend, she submitted her resume at a BU job fair, and then spoke about her role in the competition’s organization with her interviewer.

“I know a few of my friends made contacts at the competition, and it worked out for them,” Malik said. “But I chose not to talk job opportunities during the competition. Instead, I chose to build some common ground with my interviewer.”

Obviously the approach worked. Today Malik is working in Leawood, Kansas as a marketing analyst for Ericsson.

Familiarity Breeds Respect

Before serving as marketing coordinator for the 2010 International Tech Strategy Business Case Competition, Rahul Nagpal (MBA’11) was targeting Microsoft,, and Google as possible employers for a career in product marketing.

But after the event, during which he spent time creating brochures, updating social media, and blogging for the competition, Nagpal began to shift his interest toward working in telecommunications at Ericsson.

“First and foremost, I got to meet the top executives, which is really helpful,” he said. “The case competition opened doors for me with entering the telecommunications industry.” After meeting Ericsson’s CEO during that weekend, Nagpal decided to approach the company about pursuing a job. Right now he’s a sales account manager working at Ericsson’s Plano, Texas office, handling the company’s T-Mobile account.

“Getting to speak with [Ericsson’s executives] one-on-one was great,” he said. “It was a key opportunity, and a wonderful experience.”

Job Fair to Amazing Job

Last January, Anup Patel (MBA’11) attended a local European job fair with hopes of finding work at a technology-based organization.

Patel, who worked on the International Tech Strategy Business Case Competition in both 2010 and 2011, saw a familiar company name: Ericsson. After submitting his resume, and chatting with the recruiter at the fair, he was contacted four months later and offered a job.

“The relationship I established with [Ericsson] at the case competition helped me,” he said. “How much? I’m not sure, but having talked to the company’s CEO did come up in my interview, and it may have been helpful.”

Today, Patel is working as a business analyst in Plano, Texas, and he couldn’t be happier. “Everyone who works here is willing to learn new things,” he said. “Sometimes people get complacent after being at a company for so long, but the people here want to change with how the industry is changing. It’s amazing.”

HSMP Alumni Group Mentoring Program

December 15th, 2011 in Alumni, Career Related, Graduate Students, Health Sector, HSMP

By Natalie Truesdell (MBA, MPH ‘07) and Naomi Muse (MBA ’07)

The Health Sector Management Alumni Mentorship program was developed in the fall of 2011 in response both to the alumni board’s interest in further connecting with students and to feedback from a broad alumni survey indicating that graduates were interested in structured mentorship opportunities. The program was developed as a group mentoring model pairing a single alumnus with several students to facilitate mutual learning and maximize the alumni-matching process.

The program spans six months, from October through April of each academic year. Students and mentors are matched based on career interests, dual-degree status, and students’ specific areas of desired learning. Students and mentors coordinate their own schedules with the expectation that the groups will meet once a month over the six-month period.

This month, we are collecting mid-point feedback from student and mentors that will be used to further develop and improve the program. Thus far, we have received very positive comments from students. Below are examples from two students. The first is a “career switcher” and thus highly eager to have the opportunity to develop a relationship with someone in the health sector field:

“It has been invaluable to be in contact with a professional who has been through the same program I am in now, especially as a PEMBA and career switcher. My mentor has been really great at connecting me with other alumni and has opened me up to a number of career options.”

Another student explains,

“I’ve been able to bring what I’ve learned to the classroom, and ask questions of my mentor about how the concepts I am learning apply in the ‘real world.’  I have found that my classmates in other disciplines—finance, for example—are jealous of the alumni mentorship opportunity I have had.”

Program Overview:

  • Number of students in the program: 29
  • Number of alumni mentors: 10
  • Alumni class years represented: 1995- 2011
  • Health sector fields represented and number of participating alumni in each field:
    • Biotechology: 1
    • Pharma: 1
    • Medical devices: 1
    • Consulting: 3
    • Health care delivery: 4
    • Job positions and companies of participating alumni:
      • Sales, New England Area Account Manager, BioSero, LLC
      • Manager, ECG Management Consultants
      • CEO, Propel Careers
      • TeleHealth and TeleMedicine Program Manager, Children’s Hospital Boston
      • Consultant, PricewaterhouseCoopers
      • Vice President of Operations, post acquisition integration, Beacon Health Strategies
      • Health Industries Associate, PricewaterhouseCoopers
      • Product Manager, Philips Healthcare, (looking at product marketing, strategy, roadmaps and business development)
      • Advisory Manager, PricewaterhouseCoopers
      • Director of Planning, Covenant Health Systems

Why BU? The Answer, from a Recruiter, Alumna, and Professor

October 20th, 2011 in Alumni, Career Related, MediaWatch, School, Video

Part 9: Prospecting

January 11th, 2011 in Career Related, News, Video

In this video series, Gary Bergmann, an assistant director at SMG’s Feld Career Center, gives advice about how to shape your personal brand, including tips on how to draft compelling and effective résumés and cover letters.

Part 9: Gary Bergmann on Prospecting.

When there are no positions publicly open and when the job postings are only internally advertised, try the Prospecting Cover Letter. Gary Bergmann explains how this general cover letter can help you beat the system.

Part 8: Q Cover Letters

January 11th, 2011 in Career Related, News, Uncategorized, Video

In this video series, Gary Bergmann, an assistant director at SMG’s Feld Career Center, gives advice about how to shape your personal brand, including tips on how to draft compelling and effective résumés and cover letters.

Part 8: Gary Bergmann on Q Cover Letters.

What is the purpose of the simple ‘Q’ or ‘T’ cover letter? Gary Bergmann explains how this unique, yet incredibly effective cover letter, will make you stand out.

Part 7: Traditional Cover Letters

January 11th, 2011 in Career Related, News, Video

In this video series, Gary Bergmann, an assistant director at SMG’s Feld Career Center, gives advice about how to shape your personal brand, including tips on how to draft compelling and effective résumés and cover letters.

Part 7: Gary Bergmann on Traditional Cover Letters.

Gary Bergmann discusses the nuts and bolts of a traditional cover letter. From matching the heading to telling a story, Bergmann walks through various simple tricks to make your cover letter stand out.