All students, regardless of nationality, receive the same candidate-driven approach and training for their internship and job searches. International students attend an additional International Students Orientation, which precedes Pre-Core in August and is highly recommended.
A US MBA-level search
It’s widely recognized that 80% of the open job positions in the United States are offered to candidates without ever being posted on a job board. Candidates obtain these positions through a process of informational interviews and networking. This is increasingly true as job responsibilities and associated compensation increase. The FCC’s search strategy may be very different from the approach you used to find your current position. Think of this process as a research project rather than an end goal.
Components of a successful MBA-level search:
- Candidate-driven: You must be proactive in developing your strategy, and take advantage of all the advice and resources that your career consultant provides. This process focuses on aligning your expertise, your academic experience, and your future goals with the skills your target companies seek.
- Three functions and three industries: If you’re interested in changing careers, you should identify three functions (finance, marketing, strategy, etc.) and three industries (healthcare, IT, public/non-profit, etc.) that you’re interested in. This provides the framework for informational interviews, and helps you build your list of target companies.
- Informational interviews: You should request informational interviews from professionals in the industry and role that aligns with your interests. These are typically 20-30 minute interviews during which you’ll ask questions about the roles and responsibilities of the function, key skills required for the function, and typical career paths. Informational interviews also offer the opportunity to receive advice. Work with your career consultant to identify the right people to speak with and to frame the best questions.
- Networking: Many students feel as though they don’t have a network in the US and must start over to build a local network. In fact, you’ll bring your network with you – people in your current network “know people who know people.” More importantly, the FCC utilizes the BU network of faculty, students, and alumni. Getting to know people in the industry and function that you are interested in is key to expanding your network locally. Building an ongoing relationship with your network around common interests is the single most important thing you can do. Build your network before you need it and use those resources as your internship or job search progresses. Be the candidate that is already well known when those opportunities that never reach the open market become available.
- List of target companies: Your research will result in a list of target companies that you’re interested in and want to approach for informational interviews. These are companies you’re passionate about, because of their product or service, the industry they’re in, and the professional career opportunities they offer. Your career consultant, faculty, and alumni will all help you develop your list.
- Other resources: As an SMG student, you’ll have many FCC resources at your disposal. Your career consultant will coach you through every step, ensuring you understand the process, have multiple opportunities to ask questions, and practice what you’re learning. Additionally, you’ll have access to on-campus recruiting events and job postings from more than 800 companies in a variety of industries around the world. Events such as career fairs, Learn@Lunch meetings, and information sessions with representatives from employer partners and alumni will help you refine your list of target companies and focus your informational interviews.
What can I do now to get ready?
Your FCC career consultant will guide you through an MBA-level internship or job search once you arrive. In the meantime, below are several resources that will help you understand the important issues around careers in the US and the workplace environment:
- Read POWER TIES The International Student’s Guide to Finding a Job in the United States by Dan Beaudry, 2009, (ISBN 978-0-557-09672-3). In this revealing book, Dan Beaudry, former head of Campus Recruiting for Monster.com, shares the potent job search system he has used to help many international students find U.S. employment. You may also order an e-version at www.powerties.net.
- Visit Business English Pod to listen to short audio clips targeted at non-native English speaking business people.
- On 10 good minutes, listen to 10 minute career advice audio clips and interviews with hiring managers of major US companies. You can also subscribe to their weekly podcasts, which arrive in your e-mail every Monday morning.