Earning an MBA can be a full-time job.
If you concentrated on earning your graduate degree full-time or supplemented it with minimal, non-relevant work, you may worry that you’ll have difficulty putting together a resume and getting a job in your desired field.
However, your MBA makes you a valuable commodity regardless of your work experience, so take advantage of it in order to secure a job.
If you earned an entrepreneurship MBA, chances are you or your class participated in a community project.
Everything from working for a shelter to planning a short-term business experiment in which profits earned were donated to a charity qualifies. Add these types of volunteer or pro-bono activities and projects to your resume, and highlight these experiences during job interviews.
Characteristics that employers desire in job seekers that you may have shown during volunteer experiences include:
- Ability to follow instructions
- Giving of yourself for a greater goal
Focus on Student Activities
Even if the activities didn’t result in the charity’s benefit, any sort of student activity could prove a useful addition to your resume or go-to experience for a job interview.
Whether you joined a social group or a group of fellow students with the same major and career focus, think of activities you might have done together that could prove useful in your line of work.
Many of the same characteristics you demonstrated for volunteer activities apply in student group activities, so at the very least, you can discuss your teamwork and drive.
If your group was comprised of others interested in the same career field, you probably participated in even more relevant activities, such as attending conferences together.
Emphasize Traits in Other Jobs
If you worked a part-time or a full-time job in another field, add that to your resume, regardless of immediate relevancy.
Every job provides some sort of lesson you can use in another career field, such as:
- Getting to work reliably and giving it your all
- Working with colleagues to achieve a common goal
- Demonstrating organizational skills
- Your willingness and ability to juggle multiple tasks at work and in school
- Positive references from supervisors and colleagues
Ask Professors for References
Whether or not you were able to work while you studied, your professors should be able to provide professional references on your job applications, particularly if you were an outstanding student who was not afraid to ask questions and always demonstrated a willingness to learn.
Speak with two or three of your professors and be sure to get their permission before you add their contact information to your resume.
Besides providing references to potential employers, your professors may actually have connections they can share with you.
Half of the battle of finding a job is building an effective job network.
Your professors may know of places that are currently hiring and can vouch for you when you apply.
Stage a Mock Interview
Once you realize that you have experiences that can be used to demonstrate how well you’d do at a company or organization, you should have all the answers you need to impress a job interviewer.
However, you need to come up with go-to answers, so it doesn’t look like you’re stretching and reaching for something on the fly.
Before you apply, have someone stage a mock job interview with you, so you have practiced answers for the most common job interview questions. Practice daily so your answers will become second nature to you, and you’ll impress an interviewer with your confidence.
Getting a job with an MBA and no or minimal job experience is easier than you might think.
Just learn to highlight volunteer or student activity experiences, emphasize traits learned in any job regardless of relevancy to the field, and ask professors if they can provide references.
Practice your interview answers and speak confidently and employers will be lining up to hire you.
About the Author: Nita Krieg is a contributing blogger and human resources coordinator at a Fortune 500 company. She recently received her MBA from Benedictine online.