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3 Steps To Finding Your Dream MBA Job

An MBA can be a path into your dream job. Here’s a three-step formula to help you into top positions


By  Joy Hunter

Fri Oct 2 2020


When comparing MBA programs, find out more about the careers service center at your target schools. It will be there to guide you on your resume, interview prep, and provide access to some of the world's top employers.

Despite uncertain times, 90% of the world's employers still plan to hire MBAs. Having a dedicated careers service behind you as you search for the perfect role only strengthens your employability. 

At the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business, 95% the full-time MBA cohort receive job offers within three months of graduation.

Terry College’s MBA career center has a three-step formula in place to help students find their dream job: assess, prepare, and connect.

1. Assess

Patti Zettek (pictured right) has served as director of the Terry College MBA career management center since 2017, helping to shape the formula used to land MBAs their dream jobs. d3ba3f0aa6f63230792e5f9f666f25b56c375e47.jpeg

She explains that the initial assessment phase is crucial. “It’s a customized process for each individual,” she says. “We begin by helping our MBAs understand themselves, their strengths and abilities.”

Terry employs online career tests, and provides one-on-one sessions with the careers directors, adding interactive workshops to help students discover their true interests and skills, and understand how they best fit into the jobs market.

This ensures that all the contacts MBAs are later connected with are specifically suited to the student’s needs and career goals, Patti says. 

She adds that it's more valuable to be connected to a few genuinely useful contacts and cultivate a handful of genuine business relationships, rather than having a glut of contacts that may be of limited use.

The key to getting this right is the dedicated team at Terry College’s careers center. “We have six full-time staff in our careers service, and a maximum MBA cohort of around 100,” Patti says. 

“We really have the luxury of getting to know everyone individually, and working towards every MBA’s different career goals and needs.”

2. Prepare

By offering MBAs experiential learning opportunities while coaching students through their job applications, preparation is the next step in the Terry College formula. dd1b7bcb1c3a4a34de5b343667a84c64722fd953.jpeg

Bernard Saunders (pictured right) earned his Terry MBA following 7 years of professional experience as a financial analyst for JP Morgan, Trimont Real Estate Advisors, and PulteGroup.

“Every manager I met at that time had an MBA,” he says. “So I knew that if I wanted to crack into a director or vice president role, I needed to go to business school.”

Bernard's mindset going into his MBA was to accelerate his career as an analyst, but he was open to other roles. At Terry College, he interned with Principal Global Investors, where he was an underwriter of large acquisitions and assisted dispositions across all asset classes.

“I had about 20 interviews for different internships,” says Bernard. “From mock interviews to CV prep, the careers service was with me every step of the way. You really get that extra help at Terry College that you probably wouldn’t get from a larger institution.”

Now, he works as a senior consultant in mergers and acquisitions with PwC.

With internships a required part of the program, every Terry student gains work experience during their studies, preparing them for the professional jump afforded by an MBA. 

“We work hard to ensure our MBA students all get a relevant internship in the sector they’re aspiring to work in,” says Patti. “It’s the best possible opportunity for our MBAs to prepare for the position that they want in the future, and see first-hand how well it suits them.”

3. Connect

Finally, the Terry College MBA careers management center connects students with alumni and companies in top industries. 

Fintech is just one example of this, with  a quarter of Terry MBAs going on to work in finance for several of the industry's leading companies. 

We have long standing relationships with alumni that work in PayPal and NCR, who always work to champion Terry College MBAs and help them get an in," Patti says. 

Adding to their philosophy of customized, individual level support, Terry's alumni-mentor program allows students to connect with relevant professionals at the top of their game.

Patti adds that this three step process will repeat again and again across any individual's career, and the Terry College MBA service offers support to alumni long after graduation.

Bernard chose Terry College because it’s a smaller program, where he would be more than just a number.

This genuine sense of connection, both personally and professionally, defined his MBA. “I knew every classmate on my MBA as well as everyone in the year above and below, I knew everyone’s careers before and what they were targeting after.”

Bernard graduated last year but maintains regular contact with the school, and remaining with professors and classmates. 

“I hoped I could build long lasting relationships at Terry College,” concludes Bernard. “I’m happy to say that’s been my experience.”

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