September 18, 2015

How to land your dream job: Q&A with recent graduate Nitin Bhosale

Nitin Bhosale is a Weatherhead School of Management Class of 2015 MBA graduate and current BI Manager at Cord Blood Registry in Silicon Valley.

What was your strategy to land your dream job after your time at Weatherhead?
As a student, I wanted to utilize all the resources provided to me by Weatherhead in order to get an internship of my choice and eventually get a full-time job offer. I attended all the networking sessions, prepared for behavioral questions and kept working on my interview stories. The mock interview sessions conducted by the Career Management Office helped me strengthen my ability to map my experiences and learnings from school to the job process.

My year-long internship at BuyerQuest really helped me develop soft skills and get firsthand experience in e-commerce strategy. Eventually, I managed to get three full-time job offers; however, the BI Manager role at Cord Blood Registry is perfect in terms of my future goal to work in e-commerce strategy. My current role is in Silicon Valley, the heart of technology, which is where I always wanted to be.

What is the importance of networking in the life of an MBA? 
From day one, I was told that MBAs need to network, and throughout our program, we were taught different ways of doing it. Now that I have finished my degree, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of building and growing a strong network. Networking for me was simple: connect to a person of interest and create a lasting impression. I think that each individual should have a well-crafted pitch to make the other person intrigued. The difficult part for me was staying connected with them over time to build a long-lasting relationship. Thanks to my networking efforts, I had 38 job referrals and gave interviews with 12 different companies during my last semester at Weatherhead.
My internship at BuyerQuest was through networking efforts so I would definitely say that networking is an important part of MBA.

Any takeaways you can share from all of those interviews?
Interview preparation is really straight forward: one should analyze each and every statement in the job requirements, roles and responsibilities and try to align yourself and your experiences to those requirements.

Interviews are typically a three-step process:
1) The first interview is generally an HR screening round, in order to see if you are a fit for the role. Here it’s important you understand the company, its culture and the job requirements to prove that you are a fit by aligning your skillset accordingly.
2) The second interview is typically with the hiring manager where you are asked behavioral questions and case-based questions, depending on the nature of the organization.
3) Next is a set of three to four interviews in a row with your future team members during which the focus is on your communication skills and problem solving skills

How important a role did Weatherhead play in shaping your career? 
Weatherhead was the perfect platform to help me transition from a Technical Expert to a Business Manager. First, the Career Management Office has a wonderful team of career experts who always helped me in mock interviews and motivated me throughout the two years. Blackstone LaunchPad helped me develop my new product idea, “DormSquare,” which eventually helped me get into E-commerce strategy. Weatherhead has excellent professors who helped me academically as well as professionally, to expand my network with alumni of the school. The Business Marketing course with Mohan Reddy, Strategy with Simon Peck and Technology Entrepreneurship with Scott Shane were key to building expertise in pricing, product roadmap and product feature launch. Overall, it was a wonderful experience.

What advice would you give the students who are in the MBA program right now?
As an international student, it is challenging to adapt to a different business culture, so it’s important to start early and groom yourself for these changes. Networking is key: it’s important to attend all the events hosted by the Career Management Office, build contacts and maintain these relationships throughout your life. Find a book you like for interview preparation and make that book your bible. I used the book Cracking the PM Interview: How to Land a Product Manager Job in Technology and it was really helpful. Weatherhead has a great network of alumni who serve as mentors to guide you through each and every step of the MBA journey.

Lastly, don’t miss the Jolly Scholar's happy hour! I think it’s important to relax and also have a good time. Your MBA is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so enjoy it.