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4 Factors to Measure MBA Career Service Team's Effectiveness: Soft Skill Development should be the least of the concerns

MBA Career Service How to Find EffectivenessWhen you are doing your Business School research, it is important to understand the role that career service team plays in coaching, mentoring, and networking with the right companies, and alumni network. The competence of the career service team should be one factor that MBA aspirants should measure in order to calculate return on investment.

1) Diversity of Alumni

The diversity of alumni is a hedge against the shift in economic climate in Europe and US. If the school has a strong network in China, India, Brazil, South Africa and other growth economies, MBA students can access global job opportunities. Interestingly, most of the support for MBA students comes through the alumni. A large number of openings in multinational companies are not published in job portals or promoted through job fairs and other related events. Alumni share this information through newsletters, and other private database. The strength of the career service team depends on how well they are able to coordinate communication between alumni and currents students, and in setting up events for networking with alumni from different parts of the world.

2) Flexibility - Coaching and Mentoring

Effective career service team has a deeper understanding of the job market, and how the opportunities correlates with the economy, and change in trends in a particular industry. Most mentoring and coaching would be in the direction of providing the soft skills for interviews, and networking but career service teams that have successfully navigated through a tough economy keeps the communication open with the MBA students right from the start of the course. It is better to get an inside view from current students on the effectiveness of the career service team. Within 3-5 months, the initial communication with the team would have taken place, and students are well equipped to learn what the team is forecasting. If the view is doom and gloom even amidst a steady economy, the program might not give the right return.

3) Curriculum Changes

Career services team that are pro-active are vocal about the necessary changes that are required for the MBA program. If the Business School has changed the curriculum over the past one or two years or after 2008 financial crisis, it means that, the team understands the need to customize their curriculum according to changing demands in the job market. Go into the details of the program, and analyze the number of electives, and concentrations that you can take to manage the change in the economy. If the curriculum changes were geared towards transforming MBA students to be more competitive in terms of skills and experience, then the school would be a right fit for you.

4) Recruiter Relations

How career service team manages the relationship with recruiters influences the access to job openings across industries. Most top Business Schools have divided the career service team into groups that focus on industry, location, and job functions. For example, a career service team (Asia) would just focus on recruiters from Asia, and on students who would like to find job openings in that region. Career service teams that are effective are good at starting the communication with the recruiters’ right from the start of the course. Recruiters would have the forecast on the job openings, and the required skills for that position. The Career Service team then guides students in terms of course selection, and other experiential learning activities necessary to develop the skills for that opening.

How to measure the strength of the career service team?


There would be several factors beyond the control of the career service team like the health of the economy, lower open positions in a particular industry or higher competition for popular roles in consulting and finance. However, if the career service team was influential in placing students in competitive job functions, markets and locations, the team is truly effective.

Summary

1)
Get feedback from Current Students about the effectiveness of the career service team

2) Measure how the Career Service team has managed a financial crisis. The best strategy would be to get in touch with MBA students who have completed their program in 2008-09 - the worst time to enter a job market.

3) Find out whether career service team starts the communication with the recruiters right from the start of the course.

4) Find out the diversity of the Alumni based on location, industry, and job function.

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