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How do I start a good pre-MBA career?

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How do I start a good pre-MBA career? [#permalink] New post 18 May 2011, 20:55
Alright, here it goes. I am a fairly recent graduate with ten months of work experience as a lab tech. My contract ended in January and now I am unemployed. I've been to a few interviews and keep getting rejected. I can't find anything even remotely close to professional. Shouldn't I be able to find a good job with a degree in Biology from a great school? How can I ever get great work experience if I am not being hired? When I interview, I am confident and sharp, but at the end of the day, in some cases I see companies hiring uncharismatic individuals who don't even have degrees. I guess I am wondering why it is so difficult to get noticed by employers even with a degree from a good school. Also, how did you find your first professional job after college and how long did it take you?


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Re: How do I start a good pre-MBA career? [#permalink] New post 18 May 2011, 21:34
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Interesting question, though I am wondering why do you want to do an MBA. You have chosen a more "scientific" career with a degree in Biology (perhaps planning to go to Med School?). There are no issues with a Biology degree in Business School as long as you can fit it in, just curious why MBA?
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Re: How do I start a good pre-MBA career? [#permalink] New post 18 May 2011, 22:09
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same7, I know we've chatted on another thread. But I forgot it if I ever answered the questions you posted on this thread.

After I graduated with my bio degree, I struggled to find a job. Craigslist and other hot careers online tabs were what I focused on. I didn't find jack sh*t that suited what I wanted to do, nor does it fit what my degree offered me to do. I ended up working for a traveling exhibit, mainly doing jobs that high school grads can do. I worked there for 6 months before I landed an actual gig. While I don't know exactly how long you've searched, but I know those 6 months were more intense than anything else I've experienced (Well, maybe that's not true...application process was brutal, too). I was working for almost minimum-wage, no benefits, no insurance, I felt like a failure. I felt like a bum, renting out places, eating at McDonalds (for frugality), driving a beat-up toyota camry, and asking myself, what in the world am I going to do with myself. Six months gone and passed before I can think about anything else, I was lucky enough to find a job for a global pharmaceutical company. As glorious as it sounds, I was still doing things that high school grads can do (but I have benefits and insurance now). The point here is that no matter what you do, there's always something better out there that you're dreaming about. The grass is always greener on the other side. Start small and work your way up. So what if your job doesn't require your biology degree? Truth is (and backed by a recent article published on yahoo frontpage), most people don't necessarily utilize the undergrad degrees they get in their first job out of college. I know a lady who graduated from a not-so-well-known college in biology, but ended up selling insurance as her first job. I also know of a gentleman who graduated from University of British Columbia with a chemistry degree, but decided to teach skydiving (at least for now). Perhaps these people chose a different career path to build on, but in the eyes of adcoms, either could work great because either one of them would bring a unique perspective on things into the classroom (well, maybe the lady would beat out the guy in this case...). It's not about the corporate name, or the job title you get, it's about the influence you make and the actionable items you can talk about. You can work for Lowe's as a cashier and work your way up. You can work for Johnson&Johnson as a lab technician and make buffers. You can work for Enterprise and advertise/market your campaign. All of these would work for b-school. Again, it's about what you can bring to the schools that you're applying to. They've seen enough of accountants, consultants, bankers who are applying. They want to see a different magnitude of people out there. Thus, it all comes down to what you want to do. Try broaden out your scope a bit and look for differences. Maybe you'd like working in a downtown hotel for its fast and energetic pace (I did that for a month, and it was awesome!!! But I didn't know I liked it until I tried it).

I know I've spun way out of what you asked, and I apologized for that.

Please feel free, for anyone else, to continue carrying on same7's questions.
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Re: How do I start a good pre-MBA career? [#permalink] New post 19 May 2011, 06:48
bakfed,

Again, your explanation is great. Thank you. It's good to know altruism still exists.
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Re: How do I start a good pre-MBA career? [#permalink] New post 19 May 2011, 06:58
bb,

I became a bio major with hopes of going to medical school, but I realized I like the financial markets much better. However, now I am having difficulties finding jobs with my degree and keep getting rejected by companies after interviews. All of them tell me I lack the experience, but what bothers me is that years and years of college education with great responsibility and broad knowledge in liberal arts doesn't help in the matter. I know for a fact a degree opens doors, but why does it have to take many years of doing unrelated jobs. I just believe a degree should assure an employer that the job can be done properly even without the so called work experience. I guess supply and demand also plays a great role. I'm told before the eighties an undergraduate degree could get you most positions. Also, the reason I want to do an MBA is that it is the only logical way for me to transition from science into business. Furthermore, I understand that with my degree in Biology, without getting the MBA, I will most likely never be given the chance to work for Goldman Sachs or another big shot company.
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Re: How do I start a good pre-MBA career? [#permalink] New post 20 May 2011, 17:31
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Hi. I dont know if my advice will be of any use to you since I am just an intern for a big company. I have worked with two multi billion dollar companies (one having over 40 k employees and the other with over 22k. My current job was very competitive to get into. However, once they called me for an interview, I made sure I nailed it. I think what all big employers are looking for is someone who is eager to learn and obviously have the academic capability to handle the tasks. Do what you have to do and tell them what you have to tell them to portray yourself as described above. I think thats something you may not have emphasized enough during the interview? Another thing they look for is someone who smiles a lot and exude positive energy. I am sure you know all of this + more with the help of google.

But how do you get companies to reach out for you? Well, you need to reach out to them. Show that you are interested in them and always aim high. You may have thought at some point during the 6 months of your work that your degree is useless but its not. If there are people out there with the same degree as yours and land decent jobs, why cant you? I think you should target specific companies that you want to work for and reach out to the managers in a friendly way somehow. At first, don't make it seem like you need a job, but just be friendly and spark a conversation. There are techniques in conversing that are very useful in conversation/interviews. Like for example, dont give the employer too much power or put them in a pedestal and make them seem like they are superior.

I know this post is a little bit blur but I hope it at least brings your hopes back up... like I said, Aim High and be confident.
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Re: How do I start a good pre-MBA career? [#permalink] New post 25 May 2011, 09:15
bakfed and others,

If you do end up reading this, I have a few more questions. I did some research and I realized I'd like to get into commercial real estate, but to do so, I need to pay my dues as a residential real estate broker first. Would a career as either a residential or a commercial real estate broker be too cheesy for the top business schools? I asked, because it is terribly easy to become a real estate broker and I don't know too many real estate brokers who've graduated from a big 10 school. Lastly, I am scared that friends and relatives will make fun of me for becoming a real estate broker, because greater things are expected from college grads.
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Re: How do I start a good pre-MBA career? [#permalink] New post 25 May 2011, 11:12
Nothing is too cheesy for top b schools. But what all these schools look for are leaders. You have to somehow portray yourself as a great leader, someone who can lead and who is academically capable and can adjust to their extensive workload. Also, note that you need to have some years of work experience (ideally around three to four years). Top B schools want to see that you have exercised your leadership skills both in your work environment and outside of work.
1. Find something that you really want to do, something you are passionate about.
2. Fix up your resume and aim for any company related to the career of your choice. Right now, you need to get as much experience as you can.
3. Once you do get a job, make sure you are always looking for ways to exceed the employer's expectations. This will help you a ton! No matter what, make your job your number one priority. This will not only give you a confidence boost but it will also help you with your B-School application.
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Re: How do I start a good pre-MBA career? [#permalink] New post 25 May 2011, 11:36
same7 wrote:
bakfed and others,

If you do end up reading this, I have a few more questions. I did some research and I realized I'd like to get into commercial real estate, but to do so, I need to pay my dues as a residential real estate broker first. Would a career as either a residential or a commercial real estate broker be too cheesy for the top business schools? I asked, because it is terribly easy to become a real estate broker and I don't know too many real estate brokers who've graduated from a big 10 school. Lastly, I am scared that friends and relatives will make fun of me for becoming a real estate broker, because greater things are expected from college grads.


Unfortunately, I don't really understand the real estate market and can't really shed much insight into this. However, I will second Mahtab's opinions. B-schools truly do look for tomorrow's leaders. You need to show initiative and leadership ability in your application and you need to be able to do that in your interview. Where you end up getting you leadership skill is probably less important, as long as it's legit. So you'll be fine. If real estate is where you'd like to be, go for it and consider it a good avenue for yourself in making it into a top b-school.
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Re: How do I start a good pre-MBA career?   [#permalink] 25 May 2011, 11:36
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