Career Services for Life: Resources for Advancers, Career Changers, Entrepreneurs and Explorers

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Career Services finds that, over the course of a working life, most students and alumni fall into one of four broad career categories:

  1. Advancers: People who want to advance in similar functional areas but new job levels (e.g., a student who wants to continue working in the marketing function, but advance from an associate brand manager role to a brand manager role).
  2. Career Changers: People who want to change their careers; those looking to change their industries, functions, levels, or geographies—or some combination of all four (e.g., an electrical engineer looking to become a product manager at a tech firm—a new industry and a new function).
  3. Entrepreneurs: People who are looking to create, buy, or join startups.
  4. Explorers: People who know something needs to be different but have not clarified just what.

Career Services at Chicago Booth distinguishes itself by helping students at every career phase. That support begins with the student experience and continues at each career stage for alumni—for life, for free, no matter where in the world you seek to work.

Here are a few examples of how we work with each respective student category:

 

Advancers

Are your sights set on a promotion within your same company and function?  Given that most Evening MBA students and Weekend MBA students have full-time jobs, the program has been designed to meet the needs of working professionals.  Here are some of the ways students work with us:

  • 1:1 Career Coaching – Our students often find it useful to brainstorm with an objective listener who has significant experience giving career guidance. Common coaching discussion topics include:
    • Documenting your track record of performance
    • Identifying when a promotion makes sense
    • Developing advocates to support you
    • Navigating promotion conversations
    • Negotiating offers
  • The Executive-in-Residence program provides an opportunity to receive professional guidance in a small-group setting from senior executives at different sized firms, in a variety of functions and industries.
  • Career Essentials Training and Group Coaching – Training opportunities occur both in person and via webinar.These sessions with our Career Coaches cover topics that include, but are not limited to:
    • Positioning yourself for a promotion
    • Building strong relationships
    • Evaluating a compensation package
    • The art of small talk

 

Career Changers

Are you looking to change industry, function, level, or geography--or some combination of all four? We do see some students decide that they want to make a change during or after their Booth tenure. Here are some examples of how we support Changers:

  • 1:1 Career Coaching – Common topics include:
    • Conducting introspection to determine the strengths, values, and interests a student is looking to tap during their next career stage
    • Evaluating overall job search strategy
    • Reviewing student-prepared marketing materials (resume, LinkedIn, cover letter, etc.)
    • Conducting a mock interview
    • Evaluating compensation offers
  • Employer Relations – We have one of the largest employer facing teams of any business school, conducting 700+ company meetings per year.Our teams on the ground in Chicago, London, and Hong Kong procure 5,000+ job postings every year, across all levels, industries, functions, and geographies.
  • Access to Campus Recruiting for Full-Time Positions – Students have access to on-campus recruiting opportunities for full-time entry-level MBA roles, as well as required trainings to help students prepare for networking events and interviews.
  • Career Advisors (CA) are graduating students and recent alumni who conduct one-on-one advising appointments with job-searching Evening and Weekend students who are targeting entry-level MBA roles.Here are some ways CAs can assist you:
    • Review your resume or cover letter to determine if it effectively conveys your skills and experience to your target industry/function
    • Conduct a function- or industry-specific mock interview
    • Discuss effective networking strategies for your job search
    • Provide information about the particular function or industry in which the CA works
  • Take Charge: How to Find Your Next Job – Sometimes knowing where to start is half the battle. This workshop is designed to help students jump-start their job searches.Topics include:
    • How to use career research resources— we have databases galore which can help create a target list and identify contacts
    • Approaching those contacts
    • Practicing telling your story
  • Career Essentials Training and Group Coaching (mentioned above) – additional topics include, but are not limited to:
    • Articulating your value
    • Building compelling cover letters
    • Enhancing your LinkedIn profile
    • Networking for a job search  

 

Entrepreneurs

Are you looking to start or join a new venture?  Here are some examples of how we work with entrepreneurs:

  • 1:1 Career Coaching
    • Starting your own business or joining someone else’s fledgling business takes a leap of faith that some folks are hungry for—and about which others are more cautious. A conversation with a Career Coach can help you better understand your entrepreneurial aspirations.
    • Coaches also connect students with research resources available to support them, including those at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation—a top-ranked business accelerator, co-working space, and innovation fund.
  • Startup Networking Night – This program is an opportunity to bring a strong community of entrepreneurs together with Chicago Booth students for a productive night of networking. Students can hear from entrepreneurs about their entrepreneurial journeys, as well as connect with startups seeking talent.

 

 Explorers

Are you content in your current career path, but find yourself wondering what else is out there?   Learning about career paths taken by Chicago Booth alumni can help you identify the path that best aligns with your own key drivers and passions.  Here are some ways we can help:

  • 1:1 Career Coaching
    • We help teach students “how to fish” as they explore different career paths.Many conversations revolve around how to effectively conduct exploratory informational interviews with alumni, as students gather information about potential career paths.
    • Research appointments – we have research experts on staff to help students navigate the databases and resources available to support students in their search.
  • Get to Know Calls (GTK) – These are 20–30 minute interactive conference calls in which participating students get a feel for a day in the life of speakers coming from a variety of industries and functions.

 

Chicago Booth Career Services recognizes that everyone has a unique path. At each step and stage, we identify resources; provide access to customized individual coaching, programs, and events; and help refine an individual’s approach to career management.  Ultimately, students are responsible for managing their respective careers.  Career Services is excited to support students and alumni along their life-long journey.

 

Director of Career Management at Booth, Joe Guarascio

 

 

Joe Guarascio is Director of Career Management at Booth.