How To Make An MBA Career Switch Successful

Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business

Byrne: Ashley, how many interviews did you have before you got the one that you wanted for an internship?

Emerole: Sure. I probably had about 10 or 15 interviews with different investment banks before I landed the Credit Suisse opportunity.

Kaushal: I had just two interviews and I got two offers.

Morris: I would say it’s between five to 10 interviews for five to 10 different companies and then several interviews per company before I finally landed the job with Accenture.

Byrne: So Ashley, what was the most important part of the first-year program to help you really get a fast start at Credit Suisse when you arrived for your internship?

Emerole: Networking is hands-down the most important aspect because if people like you, people will want to spend time with you because financial services is very much an apprenticeship model. It’s hard to walk into any bank and hit the ground running. With the technical knowledge, it’s firm-specific. So being able to connect with all the different bankers at different levels was something I really had to master. And that, tell me about yourself question seems so mundane and simple, but having that locked down is key. Throughout my summer when I would meet different bankers, I think that definitely contributed to getting a full-time offer. So you need to be able to understand people and connect with them in different ways beyond just the technical skills.

Byrne: James, how about for you?

Morris: Really knowing what makes you tick and what makes you an effective employee is important. I think once you understand that about yourself, you’re able to walk in day one and make a difference.

Byrne: And you got that out at Me Inc.?

Morris: Absolutely. hat introspection just allows you to really know what you’re passionate about, what you contribute, and how your frame of mind kind of differs from others. That just allowed me to really understand myself. Even if there were things in my internship that I just didn’t understand, I understood how I could tackle a problem and how I could approach certain situations. And then it was easy to figure out a solution.

Byrne: Did all three of you work with coaches at Kelley?

Emerole: Yes.

Byrne: Tell us about the coaching experience? Eric, maybe you can set it up and just explain how you hook up students with coaches and what that relationship looks like.

Johnson: So, again, all the coaches are aligned by the academy. So once the students go into their different academies, which usually happens at the end of the first week of classes, they’re assigned a GCS (Graduate Career Service) coach who will reach out and typically schedule the first meeting. That’s the beginning of what will be a minimum of five meetings during the fall, with usually an additional two to three in the spring. And there’s always more if necessary. We don’t cap the number of times that a student can email or go in and see their coach. Each one of our coaches is already a certified executive coach or is about to become one. So they really do come to the table with the mindset of, “I’m here to help the student become the best version of themselves,’ not just give them advice about what they need to do or what has worked in the past. So that’s how the relationship will start and then it unfolds from there.

Byrne: So Ashley, talk about your coaching experience.

Emerole: Besides the GCS coaches, we also have peer coaches who also play a significant role. So those are second-year students. You basically work with someone in the class that’s graduating and get feedback from them. In my case, the feedback was probably the most important part. My GCS career coach would offer me feedback on mock interviews.

Even though I technically had the internship offer before beginning my time at Kelley through The Consortium, it was still important to always stay on the ball with regards to how you respond to people offering you critical feedback. And my peer coach similarly. Hands-down that’s probably the most important aspect of my MBA experience: to give and receive feedback. Hearing it from a peer is sometimes a little bit more palatable. It challenged me a lot to grow and to kind of respond to different changes within the working environment over the course of the summer.

Byrne: So here’s what I find interesting. Most people think you come to business school to learn your accounting, finance marketing, operations, and strategy. And here you’re telling me the most important thing is how you deal with feedback and make sure that it’s a learning experience. Okay, Prachee, cqn you tell us how your coach helped you?

Kaushal: I remember halfway through the first year I developed an interest in the healthcare industry, and I walked up to my coach and she helped me understand a lot about that industry. Coaches also help you explore the possibilities, and then they also coach you in making yourself the best version of yourself when you apply for those jobs.

For me, I had a series of mock interviews with my coach and that really helped me. The feedback was really valuable for me to navigate through the expectations of what those companies are looking for and to prepare myself to talk about your experience in the right format to the recruiters. That’s where the coaching experience really matters.

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