Whether you’re only months away from graduating with a business degree or you’ve just started considering going back to you, you’re probably thinking about the job search. It’s nice to think I’ll accept my diploma, walk off the stage, and immediately be surrounded by hiring managers in a bidding war for my exceptional talent. But let’s be real.
I’m not here to offer advice. I’m no career counselor, so I can’t say I’m qualified to do that, but I would like to talk about my experience in The Portland MBA.
Is this the last time I’ll update my resume for a while?
Before I actually got into my job search while in grad school, I spent hours reviewing, rewriting and redesigning my resume. I was tempted to recycled the content from my pre-graduate school resume, but I felt inspired to start fresh, reframing my previous work experience for the positions I was interested in, and highlighting the added value of my graduate degree. I made sure I made my MBA shine. I don’t just have the design/marketing skills — I have management and leadership training and experience!
What should my title be and how much am I worth?
With the amount of time and energy invested at PSU’s School of Business, I’m not looking for an entry-level position. But I’m also no chief marketing officer, despite what my dream journal might say. That still leaves a pretty big range of positions, and it was difficult to know where I fit. I had to remind myself that it’s less about what I’m called and more about what my role looks like day-to-day. With an MBA under my belt, I feel comfortable with supervisory responsibilities and decision making. As for compensation, that’s too frequently a question mark. When an application asks for a requested salary, I first ask for the company’s salary range for the position. From there, I can consider industry averages for my region, and assess my unique fit for the specific job. Salary inequity is one of the biggest ethical challenges for the modern workforce, and one of the best ways I found to combat that is to know your worth.
The job is ultimately for me, but the process of getting there is collaborative, just like my educational journey. It’s a lot less scary to apply and interview when you have a support team. My wordsmith fiancé is my dependable proofreader, and I reach out to my brother who has business management experience for his advice on the interview process. It goes without saying that my incredible MBA cohort and I lean on each other by sharing leads.
My next steps are to connect with resources like career advising and informational interviews with the faculty in my field. Job hunting is not quick, but as the search continues, my confidence and chances will improve with the help of my network. In these ways, yes, unequivocally, pursuing an MBA can improve your job prospects.
Kyle Huck has a background in graphic design and web-based marketing. He graduated from The Portland MBA in 2018.