MBAs are supposed to help us get jobs, right?


Author: Kyle Huck
Posted: December 21, 2017

I’m six months away from graduating, so naturally my anxiety over the job search is rising. 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. Yeah right. Let’s get real. For now I need to focus on the best way to keep my worries in check — getting started. The winter break is not time to be wasted.

I’m not here to offer my advice. I can’t say I’m qualified to do that. (Actually, if you have advice for me you should hit me up.) What I will do is talk about my experience during this process. I hope to check in later with updates. At this early stage, there are a few key things on my mind.

Can this be the last time I update my resume for a while?

I think I have it pretty nailed down. Before I got too deep into the actual search, I spent many hours reviewing, rewriting, and redesigning my resume. I recycled some content, but felt better about a relatively fresh start. One question we all face is education or experience at the top? I went with education first. My experience is relevant for the positions I’m after, but I really want my MBA to shine. I don’t just have the design/marketing skills — I have management and leadership potential!

What should my title be and how much am I worth?

I’m not looking for entry level. I’ve set that expectation. 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’s difficult to say where I fit. I think having “manager” in the title is reasonable. It’s really less about what I’m called and more about what my role is. With an MBA under my belt, I’d like some supervising responsibilities and the ability to call some shots. As for compensation, that’s a completely different question mark. When an application asks for a requested salary, I’m basing it on industry data and tailoring it to fit the specific job — not using the same number across the board. I do have a floor price, but that’s different for everyone, and I won’t tell you what mine is!

Help, please!

The job is ultimately for me, but the process is shared. It’s also a lot less scary to have a support team. My awesome wordsmith fiancé is my dependable proofreader. I reached out to my brother with some solid business management experience for his advice on the job hunt. It goes without saying that my incredible cohort and I will all be leaning on each other and sharing leads. None of us is an island. There’s no need to go it alone. My next step is to connect with the available resources at The School of Business, like career advising and any faculty in my field. Job hunting is not a quick process, but as the search continues, my confidence and chances will improve with the help of my network.

I know there are probably thousands of you waiting to find out where I land. I’ll keep you all posted as the adventure unfolds!

Version 2Kyle Huck is a second year full-time MBA student at Portland State. He is a graduate assistant in the Marketing and Communications department of the School of Business Administration. His background is in graphic design and web-based marketing. He plans to use his MBA to advance his career in the creative/marketing world.