February 27, 2015

Building community through GBSA

Jaclyn Agui (photo: seated, right) is a first-year student in the full-time MBA program

Weatherhead provides many resources and events for students of all programs to participate and be involved, which in effect builds a sense of community. It is because of this community that as I progress in my first year of the MBA, I grow passionate about what this school has to offer and want to find a means to contribute to the development and change of this organization for the future. Participating in the campaigns for the Graduate Business Student Association (GBSA) was one way that I and a number of my classmates felt would make a valuable impact on this university.

I myself ran for the position of VP Marketing within a team slate. Other positions to run for included: President, Executive Vice President, VP Academic Affairs, VP Finance, VP Operations and VP Social Activities. Voting week displayed all the effort and time that all candidates put into their campaigns. Quality campaigns were promoted in the form of videos, personal in-class presentations, posters and flyers and even paper fortune tellers.

During this week, one day is specifically scheduled for presentations and debates from the running candidates. I enjoyed the chance to listen to my fellow competitors explain their ideas and vision for a better program. A common trend was noted in each of our speeches: We all are reaping many benefits from Weatherhead, that to be able to make a positive change, while building a more diverse community, is a rewarding opportunity. I felt that these elections provided a chance for students of different programs to get to know each other better and encouraged more communication about what students want to see changed from their school and program.

I was fortunate to have been elected as vice president of marketing alongside all my team slate members. We had a great time working together and an even better time meeting and connecting with other students. Moving forward we want to continue emphasizing the importance of supporting our school and overall work to improve the student experience.

Like GBSA on facebook.

February 20, 2015

Prepare For Job Interview Success with Weatherhead's CMO

Kate Banahan, associate director of career and employer development for Weatherhead's Career Management Office (CMO), sat down with Mark Sawaya, first-year MBA student who secured an internship offer with McKinsey & Co. for summer 2015. Mark discussed with Kate what helped him prepare for a successful interview process.

Mark Sawaya, first-year MBA student

What did you do to ensure you were ready for your first round of interviews?

After meeting with advisors in the Career Management Office (CMO) I was able to assess that I needed more practice with case-style interview questions. The CMO team taught me how to structure my response and organize my questions. They also encouraged me to create a schedule of when I was going to practice cases, as I had a month to prepare before my first interview. By the time of the interview I had practiced roughly 50 cases.

Was there something the CMO office provided that you did not expect?

As prepared as you can be with case and behavioral questions, if your body language does not exude focus and positivism your message won't be communicated effectively. The CMO team was able to help me with my overall presentation, which, in turn, gave me confidence going into the interview process.

What other resources did you use to prepare?
  • CaseInterviews.com: Victor Cheng's videos are extremely helpful, and you can sign up for daily emails with tips on how to approach different case formats.
  • Company website: I looked beyond the homepage and read every recent news article. I made sure I knew how the firm was structured, along with the company history.
  • Glassdoor.com: Glassdoor gave me insight into some of the questions that the firm asked in previous interviews.
  • Weatherhead alumni: last, but definitely not least, the alumni I connected with were instrumental in providing information on the consulting field and how to effectively prepare for my interviews.

What advice do you have for your classmates?
  • Will is everything. If you really want something you will find as many resources as possible.
  • Be ready for surprises. I prepared for every case question with a piece of scratch paper, and in my final interview they asked me to talk through my solution while the interviewer took notes. It's essential to stay composed and adapt.
  • Follow up after the interview. It's important to reach a point where your contacts really know you, and it takes initiative to have that type of relationship.​

February 13, 2015

Hit the Jackpot at Weatherhead’s Casino Night Benefit!

Al DiFranco is director of student experience at Weatherhead. The Student Experience Office is available to assist all Weatherhead students with finding opportunities for involvement in clubs, tickets for local events, and connecting to the best resources on campus for your needs. Follow Al on twitter @adifranco77

Don’t we all love a great party? Weatherhead’s spring semester is highlighted by an exciting night of gaming, dancing, networking and raising money for Weatherhead student scholarships at our annual Casino Night Benefit. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, February 21.

Students, faculty, staff, alumni and prospective students gather in formal attire to enjoy an evening out on the town. This year’s event takes place in the beautiful lobby of the Marriott at Key Center in Downtown Cleveland.

While we cannot play casino games for real money, we do offer a creative way to win some cool prizes! Guests use “play money” provided for them at the door as part of the night’s festivities. That money is redeemed for chips to play blackjack, roulette, poker and craps. At the end of the night, those chips are redeemed for raffle tickets that are then entered for prize packages featuring gift certificates to local restaurants, tickets to sporting events, the Dean’s parking spot for a week, box seats to commencement and more.

One of the highlights of our recent Casino Nights has been our Faculty Auction. Some of our faculty and staff donate “interactive experiences” to share with whomever bids the highest dollar amount. Last year, some of the packages went for hundreds of dollars, including dinner at the home of Professor JB Silvers and a night out at the races with Associate Dean Simon Peck.

Last year’s event attracted nearly 300 people and raised more than $5,000 for Weatherhead student scholarships. Scholarship aid is critical for the Weatherhead School of Management to attract the best and brightest for our outstanding management education programs.

Register now for this year's Casino Night Benefit.

February 9, 2015

The Road goes ever on and on...

Eeshan Srivastava is a first-year student from New Delhi, India, in the full-time MBA program.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
--sourced from "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien

The road began for me on August, 8 2014, when I set out on my journey to a land 8,000 miles away, a land that shall quench my thirst for knowledge and where I shall find my dream job.

As dramatic as it sounds, it really was something special for me as it was my first time away from home. I worked hard to build my application and was honored to be selected by the Weatherhead School of Management for the full-time MBA program, that too with merit-based scholarship. My objective was to learn about business, develop management skills and get work experience in the U.S.

I had been working as a Software Engineer specializing in Automation at S&P Capital IQ. I decided to pursue the MBA at Weatherhead because I wanted to position myself at the intersection of technology (my education, passion and work experience) and business (creation and exchange of value). While I had this high-level view of what kind of job I wanted, I was still trying to figure out what "exactly" would be my career fit. I rested my hopes on finding this out once I got more knowledge from the course and from interaction with alumni and the career management office.

Fast-forward to today. I've started with the 2nd semester, already buried deep under lots of case studies, readings and other homework, besides my part-time jobs. And this is normal. MBA was never supposed to be easy and it requires a lot of dedication and focus to extract the value you need. The subjects of finance, statistics, accounting, operations, marketing, strategy, etc. have all been new to me, but thanks to the professors and my classmates, I have been able to comprehend and actually develop a new mode of thinking.

My classmates are a diverse group of intellectuals with amazingly varied backgrounds and experiences who make every class discussion as rich as a gold mine. Furthermore, we do most of our homework in scientifically-formulated learning teams where each team member has a different learning style. And these team meetings have been tougher and richer in content than any I had done during my 3.5 years on the job.

On the other hand, Weatherhead's Career Management Office has provided us ample opportunities and resources to connect and meet with alumni, local as well as international, who have proven to be extremely generous in sharing knowledge and advice, and have really helped me get more clarity on my career vision.

Now far ahead the road has gone and I must pursue it with eager feet! The adventure is taking shape and I am grateful for the friends I have made and for the people I have met. The summer internship search is still underway and most of us are trying hard to secure that precious first work experience in the U.S. at the firms and roles of choice. All I can say is that the road will keep going on and on and just keep your feet and you’ll be there!

February 4, 2015

HeadsUp: This Week at Weatherhead

Have you registered yet for Casino Night?!

Join us for Weatherhead's biggest and best event of the year! Students, faculty, staff and alumni gather to play games for charity, bid on some great faculty auction items, or just dance the night away from the sounds of DJ Josh Booth.

D: Saturday, Feb. 21
T: 8 p.m.
L: Marriott at Key Center
    127 Public Square

IDEA Event: Food and Entrepreneurship Panel

Join us for this free event and hear from speakers Douglas Katz, Steve Schimoler and Jonathon Sawyer.

D: Thursday, Feb. 12
T: 2 p.m.

Guide to LinkedIn

Come join the Career Management Office as we provide an overview of LinkedIn as a critical part of your networking strategy. We will review the different features of LinkedIn, groups that may be applicable to your networking, and how to outreach to professionals. We will also provide answers to commonly asked questions and common mistakes related to LinkedIn.

D: Thursday, Feb. 12
T: 3 p.m.
L: PBL 118

PTMBA Social

Join us for a social and networking event for our PTMBA students, as well as faculty and staff. Light appetizers and first drink is on us!

D: Thursday, Feb. 12
T: 5:30 p.m.
L: Granite City Brewery
Learn more

February 2, 2015

How to win at career fairs

Oksana Pelts is a student in the part-time MBA program at Weatherhead.

Whether you are graduating and trying to make long-lasting connections with potential employers or are in the process of switching jobs, career fairs are certainly a valuable tool.

In my experience, employers are looking for candidates who are passionate and able to think creatively. Keeping this in mind, I am always thinking about how I can set myself apart from everyone else. Here are some of the tips I have collected that can be helpful as you prepare to attend career fairs:

Know which companies are represented and map out your route
Most career fairs have a list of companies that have booths at the fair. I like to plan out my route to maximize my time so that I can talk to as many people as I can. Knowing the background of the company and a specific position you are interested in will set you apart from the other candidates.

Prepare an elevator speech
It's really important to show your potential employer that you are well spoken. I don't know about you, but I get nervous being put on the spot at career fairs. I offset this by preparing and practicing my elevator speech, a short introduction that lets the company representative know who I am and what I'm passionate about. Don't just recite your resume. More than anything, this is a networking event; tell your interviewer what sets you apart from the other candidates they are meeting.

Focus on your wardrobe
It is important to look professional when attending career fairs. I'm a strong believer in the fact that business clothes do not have to be boring! I typically forgo the black suit and instead go for a subtly printed pencil skirt and a nice blouse. It's important to keep your outfit understated, while letting your personality shine through.

Resumes, resumes, resumes
Recruiters see resumes upon resumes on a daily basis. It is important to make your resume stand out. I have tailored mine specifically to a career in marketing and communications, even using #hashtags for my skills section. This attention to detail will just add an extra component to make the recruiter take notice of you.

Above all, have confidence; it will make your passion shine through!

In February, Weatherhead's Career Management Office (CMO) will hold Meet Our MBAs Networking Event, which has a format similar to a career fair. View CMO's website to learn more and access career fair preparation materials.