In the News & Around the Web – February 1, 2017

Each week we rifle through the world wide web to bring you news, blog posts and any other information we find relevant. Below you will find a few useful, interesting, or otherwise relevant links from around the world of career exploration, talent acquisition, and more.

 

Got something you want to share with the team at Relish? Email team@relishmba.com with your tips or other feedback.

Here are the findings for the week prior to January 30th, 2017:
 
 
1. What makes someone a Qualified MBA Student?
 

“#5 Realistic post-MBA Ambitions When it comes to your career ambitions, you have to walk a fine line between being realistic and thinking big. Convey how your past and current roles have provided invaluable experience into managing and overseeing all aspects of a business. Convince the committee that your drive is not contingent upon your acceptance into their program, even though it would certainly aid you.”

2. This is What Recruiters Look for on Your Linkedin Profile
 

“Incomplete Profiles are a turn-off – Incomplete profiles make it more difficult to determine whether you’re the best match for the job, because she can’t get the whole picture. It’s a bad first impressionProof of that is their retention rate where 265 students continued with the course out of the 270 who enrolled during the first year. “

 
3. 11 Best MBA Schools for Aspiring Entrepreneurs 

“Since 2013, graduate business education resource Poets & Quants has ranked the start-ups to come out of business schools by the amount of venture capital-backed funding. The annual list of top MBA start-ups includes 100 companies founded between Jan. 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2016, that have at least one founder who graduated with an MBA in that same time frame. #11 University of Virginia – Darden”

See the full list of all 11 Schools here on CNBC

In the News & Around the Web – February 1, 2017

In the News & Around the Web – January 18, 2017

Each week we rifle through the world wide web to bring you news, blog posts and any other information we find relevant. Below you will find a few useful, interesting, or otherwise relevant links from around the world of career exploration, talent acquisition, and more.

Got something you want to share with the team at Relish? Email team@relishmba.com with your tips or other feedback.

1.  MBA Applicants: Be Honest, Be Genuine 
“Asking for support is a smart idea, however, feedback from friends and family that are not familiar with the application process can also hurt if they try to ‘change your voice,'” Mejia said in an email. “The way you write is the way you write. How you tell your story must be narrated in a way that the reader can hear you speak from the heart.”

 

2. 10 New Year Resolutions for Female MBA Applicants 
“Joyce Russell, dean of the Villanova School of Business, is one of many b-school deans eager to recruit women. She says business schools like hers are changing their MBA programs to make them more attractive to women by — for instance — emphasizing collaboration over competition.”

 

3. If you’ve already been accepted, Now What?

” Step 3: Define your personal brand. Use the following ideas to brainstorm how to talk about yourself in a compelling way to your target audience.”

In the News & Around the Web – January 18, 2017

In the News & Around the Web – January 4, 2017

Each week we rifle through the world wide web to bring you news, blog posts and any other information we find relevant. Below you will find a few useful, interesting, or otherwise relevant links from around the world of career exploration, talent acquisition, and more.

Got something you want to share with the team at Relish? Email team@relishmba.com with your tips or other feedback.

1. UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Director of Alumni gives you Reasons why you should be applying for jobs during the Holidays: Read the story on ClearAdmit
 “There’s less competition.” Perhaps most importantly, your potential competition is taking time off, allowing you to take advantage. Job applications usually drop by about 75 percent during this time of the year.
 2. Employees make Job Related New Year Resolutions for 2017: Read the story on CareerBuilder

The number one Resolution: “Save More of My Pay!” (49% of Respondents). That is up from 37% a year ago.

3. Entrepreneur.com has Tips for Employers to Retain Top Talent: Read the story on Entrepreneur.com

#4 of 10: ” Ensure your onboarding processes are as streamlined as possible. 70% of workers say they are more likely to stay at their new company for 3 years or more if they experienced a favorable application process.”

In the News & Around the Web – January 4, 2017

Relish Candidate Preference Report 2016

2016 has been a big year for the Relish Careers network. After launching in summer 2015 as the career exploration resource of choice for top-tier national and international MBA students and alumni, we’ve expanded to other graduate business degrees like Accounting, Finance, and Business Analytics; we’ve updated our interface and functionality to ensure our software remains the most user-friendly in the business; and we’ve seen our user base more than triple in size.

This user base of high quality graduate business school job candidates is our most valuable asset. But who are they? And what sort of careers are they looking for? We took a deep dive into our user profile data to find out, and you can find some of the key findings and insights below. These results are drawn from roughly 6,000 candidate profiles created on RelishMBA.com over the last 18 months. Before diving into some of the career preferences data, here are some notes on the demographics of the user base:

  • Three-quarters (74%) of Relish users are current graduate business school students (Class of 2017 or later); another 23% are recent graduates (Class of 2015 or 2016); and the remaining 3% of users are alumni whose graduation years range as far back as 1980.
  • Just over half of users (51%) have between 3 and 5 years of work experience; another 45% have more than five years of work experience.
  • Just over two-thirds (67%) of users hail from the top 25 graduate business schools in the United States (as ranked by US News & World Report).
  • Roughly one-third (32%) of Relish users are female.

In short, the Relish user base is a large, representative sample of the current MBA hiring market, particularly with regards to the on-campus arena. The results presented here can serve as a snapshot of the MBA candidate pool overall at the end of 2016.

Where They Want To Work
Relish asks users to choose from a list of states and major cities where they’d like to live, but asks first about their geographic flexibility. 71% of respondents indicated flexibility about their eventual work location, and only 23% of respondents listed three or fewer cities among their desired locations. On the other hand, 37% of users indicated 10 or more cities where they would like to live.

The top ten preferred cities are:

  1. New York City (74% of users)
  2.  San Francisco Bay Area (72%)
  3.  Washington, DC (64%)
  4.  Boston (62%)
  5.  Chicago (62%)
  6.  Seattle (59%)
  7.  Los Angeles (58%)
  8.  San Diego (54%)
  9.  Philadelphia (49%)
  10.  Dallas (49%)

The top ten preferred states are:

  1. California (11% of total responses vs. 2% average)
  2. New York (8%)
  3. Texas (7%)
  4. Washington (7%)
  5. North Carolina (6%)
  6. Massachusetts (5%)
  7. Virginia (5%)
  8. Illinois (4%)
  9. Oregon (4%)
  10. Colorado (4%)

While the multitudes of employers in these cities and states will have no problem finding interested candidates on Relish, it’s also important to keep in mind that every city and state (and continent) listed on our geographic preferences received specific candidate interest. And the predominance of candidates with geographic flexibility indicates a candidate pool that is interested in hearing about a range of options, even if some of them might be unorthodox.

What They Want To Do
Relish allows users to choose from a list of common MBA functional roles in order to indicate their interest in specific types of job functions. Without further ado, here are the top 10 responses for the Function Preference field:

  1. Management (86% of all respondents)
  2. Strategy (70%)
  3. Consulting (57%)
  4. Business Development (46%)
  5. Finance (35%)
  6. Marketing (34%)
  7. Operations (29%)
  8. Technology (27%)
  9. Entrepreneurship (26%)
  10. Data Analysis (25%)

There are a couple of notable winners that speak volumes about the type of career trajectories that MBAs seek out: Management was included by nearly 9 in 10 respondents, and Strategy was included by 70% of respondents. To be sure, these are broad – and broadly appealing – terms to describe a specific job function, but this sort of info can prove critical in constructing an employer brand aimed at MBAs. Leverage this awareness of MBA preferences by emphasizing management aspects of specific roles, describing a clear path to senior leadership positions, and by employing MBA alumni in leadership roles to provide testimonials and other texture to your digital and traditional content.

Aside from these two most popular responses, the rest of the Function Preference list above indicates that there is still plenty of interest in standard MBA roles like Consulting, Finance, and Marketing. This, along with the volume of users who selected multiple functions, should indicate both the challenge and the opportunity presented by the MBA hiring market: candidates are interested in and qualified for a wide variety of roles, but this diversity of interest also means that competition is fiercer for the top talent.

Who They Want To Work For
For this section, we’ll be taking a closer look at two Relish profile fields: Industry Preference and Company Size Preference. For the last several years, the narrative about MBA students has been a shift away from traditional large corporate destinations and more interest in tech companies and startups. And while our data show a healthy percentage of students interested in those opportunities, the focus remains on those traditional recruiting targets: bigger businesses in well-established industries.

Highlights from the company size preference results:

  • Roughly half of respondents included all available options for company size
  • Mid-Size Business (500 to 10,000 employees) was the most popular response, chosen by 90% of respondents; Large Business (more than 10,000 employees) was 2nd most popular, with 84%;  Small Business (less than 500 employees) was added by 71% of respondents; and Start-up (less than 100 employees) was chosen by 59% of respondents.

And the top ten responses for industry preference:

  1. Consulting (59%)
  2. Technology (56%)
  3. Financial Services (38%)
  4. Consumer Products (35%)
  5. Private Equity/Venture Capital (32%)
  6. Media/Entertainment (23%)
  7. Energy (23%)
  8. Retail (22%)
  9. Manufacturing (19%)
  10. Biotech (15%)

These results, like all of those presented in this report, indicate a candidate pool that is inclined towards traditional career targets, but is also interested in a large and diverse range of options. Employers in nearly any industry recruiting for nearly any position should be able to find qualified recruiting leads in the MBA candidate hiring market. The team at Relish is excited to help facilitate employer connections for our current user base, and to do more to streamline the hiring process in 2017.

Relish Candidate Preference Report 2016

Robots, MBAs & The Future Of Work

Self-driving cars are coming to get you – if you live in Pittsburgh, at least. Uber and Volvo are rolling out the first fleet of self-driving cars in the Steel City at this very moment, far earlier than most observers expected to see robots cruising the streets of the United States. And while this first group of robotic cabbies will have two human attendants watching its every move, it marks an important and exciting milestone in the march towards an increasingly automated future. For consumers, robot drivers offer all sorts of advantages over the status quo: lower costs, fewer accidents, less awkward conversation.

However, the future doesn’t look quite so bright for those who make their living behind the wheel. That’s not only the case for would-be Uber drivers; there are more than a million and a half truck drivers in the United States who will be replaced by robots over the next decade. Those workers represent around 1% of the entire American workforce – and they’re just the beginning. Along with the millions of jobs that will be automated out of existence, tens or even hundreds of millions more will be heavily augmented by robot assistants (with a commensurate reduction in salary). These changes will fundamentally alter the landscape of employment, and anyone interested in earning a salary in 20 years’ time is well-advised to consider how these circumstances will affect their career.

Of course, it’s not only jobs like driving and manufacturing that will be affected by the rise of robots; the automation of tasks in every occupation will make even highly valued technical skills like computer programming and engineering less valuable. Research conducted by David Deming at Harvard (among others) and reported by FiveThirtyEight indicates that social skills are becoming a prerequisite for the best and highest-paying jobs in the United States, and that trend is likely to intensify over the coming decades. In other words, being a people person will never go out of style.

How, then, can a forward-looking student prepare for a future where working with people is so crucially important? Here’s one idea: get an MBA. Talk with any graduate business school alum about their career, and you’re likely to hear one common thread: MBA jobs are all about working with people. And while MBA programs come in many flavors, the general management curriculum and the increasingly collaborative focus of graduate business school make it a near-perfect primer for a career in leveraging interpersonal skills. Given that, the MBA might just be the most future-proof academic degree available.

What Makes the MBA Degree Different

Graduate degrees tend to focus on the further development of highly specialized skill-sets or to facilitate entry into highly specific practice areas. Medicine and law are the most obvious examples of this phenomenon, but it extends to plenty of other areas, including engineering, humanities, and social sciences. Even within graduate business school, focus areas like accounting and finance prepare students for a relatively rigid career path.

By comparison, the MBA is a uniquely wide-ranging and versatile degree. In addition to the hard business skills taught in finance and marketing classes, there are elements of social sciences taught in organizational behavior classes, and humanities are covered in business ethics and communications classes. And in all of these classes, the students themselves will bring to bear perspectives from academic and professional backgrounds that is far more diverse than most if not all other graduate degree programs.

The advantages extend beyond the classroom, as well. The broad applicability of the management skillset means that MBAs can find jobs in just about any industry they want. That includes industries – like transportation and manufacturing – that will be largely or entirely automated over the next half-century. Even robots need a manager.

Optimizing your MBA Experience for a Future Ruled by Robots

Soft skills get a bad rap. Often overshadowed by the harder quantitative skills taught in classes like finance or decision analysis, lessons from organizational behavior, business ethics, and communications classes are, in fact, more often cited by returning alumni as valuable or memorable in the years or decades after graduation.  As mentioned above, the common theme of MBA careers for decades has been working with people. That remains the case today, and it will continue to be the case for decades to come.

Given that soft skills will be the defining competitive advantage in the hiring market for the foreseeable future, students entering MBA programs should place a particular emphasis on those classes with a distinctly human element. Humans may still be better at putting together discounted cash flow spreadsheets for the time being, but that skill set will no longer be offered the same advantages in 10, 15, or 25 years. Robots, however, are not likely to become good at complex interpersonal tasks like conflict resolution or persuasion, and those are the areas where MBAs have an opportunity to contribute in unique and meaningful ways for as long as businesses and other organizations exist. Soft skill classes can often seem trivial or unimportant in comparison to the academic rigor of quantitative disciplines, but absorbing and implementing lessons from those courses will be the primary way in which the MBAs of tomorrow demonstrate true value to their employers and ensure the continued viability of their careers.

Managing for an Uncertain World

While the impending wave of labor automation is not likely to directly affect the job prospects of MBAs for the foreseeable future, it will dramatically affect the work and lives of those employees under their management. Organizational leaders from every industry will soon be grappling with difficult decisions about the trade-offs between increasing automation and providing gainful employment to those workers whose skills are no longer as valuable. While MBA orthodoxy dictates that managers should always err on the side of operational efficiency, there will come in a time in the not-so-distant future when replacing workers with robots en masse will have profound effects on both a micro business level as well as a macro societal level. When the average consumer’s job is co-opted by a machine, how will those consumers earn a wage that will allow them to purchase the products those machines create?

It’s easy to view this sort of scenario as mere science-fiction in a world where Siri can hardly understand simple questions and humans are still far better than machines at even simple tasks. But the exponential improvement of technology (see Moore’s Law for a good example) will mean that these thorny problems rear their heads sooner rather than later. The holistic approach to business that is taught in most MBA programs can offer valuable perspective on these issues, but business schools and MBAs both will need to be ready to adapt traditional rules of business to a brave new world of rapid technological change. How well they handle this transition might just determine whether the rise of robots will represent a boon or a burden for society in the 21st century and beyond.

Robots, MBAs & The Future Of Work