Friday, August 31, 2007

Interviews. Getting an MBA just made these harder!

Today, we've been doing mock interviews. I jut got out of one with a guy who has a ton of experience with some big named companies. His background is corporate strategy.

I just wanted to document some of the advice he gave me. It should be very helpful in the future.

There are going to be lots of questions (I can probably look a lot of them up) that I need to have general answers to:
  • Why BYU's MBA? Why an MBA?
  • Why now?
  • What would you like me to remember most about you? (this was his favorite question he said. He was glad I didn't just choke and give nothing, but I definitely needed a good answer to this question)
  • Why Marketing?
  • Where do you see yourself in 2.5 years?
He went on to say as a marketing major, I definitely needed to market myself confidently.

Man! I wish I could remember more of the interview. He said he really liked my answer about why I went to my undergraduate program and just said I needed to have my reasons memorized for the other pat-answer questions.

The fact is initially BYU was not my first choice, but then I fell in love with it. I don't need to tell them the first half of that story though, just tell them how I fell in love with it in the strategy class of Dr. Dyer's that I attended.

He also said that he thinks of the MBA as a 2 year business search and that the saddest thing to him is if someone either:
Does not know what they want to do at the end of that 2 years
Does know what they want to do, but did not gain the skills to get there.

I guess I know what I want, I'd better make it happen!

Also I observed an interview too and one question the interviewer asked that I liked was, "What are you doing to make sure you get your dream-job after you've completed the BYU MBA?"

My answer there? ------- Networking!!!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

60-second 'Me' Elevator Pitch

Today at orientation, we practiced a lot of our "job finding" skills: resumes, elevator statements, and interviews.

There was some fantastic advice handed out. I'm pretty sure I'll be talking about resumes in the future, so I just wanted to quickly jot down a good summary of Elevator Speeches when you're trying to get a recruiter to show interest in you for an internship / job.

You tell them:
What is Special about you?
What is Special about them?
How do the 2 connect?

Be confident but not arrogant. Its a great idea to show them you know about their company and like the idea of working with them (not just working with someone)

Monday, August 27, 2007

first day of orientation

Well, I've made it through the first day of orientation. There are many things that I could talk about, but I think I'll go with one thing that Dr. Stice said. I've heard him touch on it before, but I think I caught his vision today in his opening speech.

He told the story of a recruiting trip to Mexico City and lady who traveled 9 hours by bus to see if she would be accepted to the MBA Program at BYU. He said that she had horrible English, and because of that she would probably never be in the seat of a class in the Marriott School.

He then went on to tell us that she probably wouldn't get that chance, but that she still paid tithing that gave us that chance. I think what Dr. Stice wanted us to take away from his speech is that tithing dollars are paying for our education and because of that we need to serve the saints upon our graduation and not get caught up in our own riches... which BYU will probably bring us. Also we need to learn everything we can so we can become the successful leader that the Marriott School's MBA Program is preparing us to be.

This chance is really going to open up some big doors for me. I must make sure I make the most of it and make the world a better place. Then the sacrifice of others will be worth it.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Moab Rafting trip - put on by BYU's MBAMA

Well the MBA Student Rafting trip Moab is finished and all I can say is, "Wow!"

We had a great time and the association MBAMA put on a great trip (we got back yesterday). We did a lot of fun things and I definitely feel comfortable with Orientation Beginning tomorrow. I now suggest to anyone that sometime in their life they need to take a hummer tour in Moab, UT.

The real benefit (besides the Stress Relieving Fun) was (as I always seem to say) the Networking. A few Alumni attended and we got the chance to meet them and hear about the companies they work for. Also, they gave us their contact information and if anyone wants to apply to their companies, we already know where to send the resume.

I can't think of a better introduction to BYU's MBA Program than attending this trip. I hope everyone signs up for it next year. I think my attendance will pay great dividends with the Alumni, Recruiters, Classmates, and Faculty that I was able to meet on this trip.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Just quit my job

I didn't think I'd be inputting any advice about jobs until I began talking about internship searches.

I just quite my full-time position very recently though and it wasn't the easy process I thought it would be, so I thought I'd give some advice. Basically, I had some questions about insurance and reimbursement for my unused vacation-leave.

Originally I asked our Human Resources department's secretary, hoping she'd direct me to one of the HR-professionals at my organization. My request was that I be able to be considered an employee until my Vacation-Time ran out- and thus continue to receive a pay-check every couple of weeks and also be insured until that time. Instead of directing me to an employee in her department, she told me to just ask my boss. So I did and my boss said this would be just fine.

The last day of my employment, it did not turn out this way. The HR Professional told me my insurance would end at 11:59 P.M. on my final day of employment, and I would have to take a big lump sum of my vacation leave-- this having to pay higher taxes. (I know I'll get that back, but why should the Government get my money (and interest) for the next 5 months?)

My big concern though was the insurance, I had made arrangements to be insured beginning Sep 1; what was going to protect me for the next 2 weeks?

Anger quickly engulfed me, but I did manage to keep control thanks to the principle that "people get defensive when you accuse, and don't help you" that I've recently reviewed in How to Win Friends and Influence People. Getting to Yes also discusses how instead of just attacking in a negotiation (I believed was was entering one) you need to seek to understand the other party.

This individual began to tell me some of my options and I asked a lot of questions and feel like I found a satisfactory solution. My anger quickly subsided and I'm glad that my Wife and I will be protected by insurance until our other insurance kicks in, but this wasn't what I was planning originally and it has the potential to cost me a lot more money, but it doesn't have to so we should be alright. At least we've got options if anything goes wrong-- but it is more expensive.

Story Over: The advice is down here!
So this is a long story, and the real moral of it is-- Secretaries and Managers, not matter how long they've been at the institution are not Authorities on how your HR System of your Institution works. So when you have questions about what happens when you terminate your employment, make sure you talk to someone who's job it is to know:
    This isn't your boss, its someone who works in the HR Department.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Establish Network before Beginning your MBA

I can't stress enough how many times I read that 1 of the main benefits to getting an MBA is establishing a network with current and future leaders (& professionals) (business, public or otherwise). As things begin to wind down at my current position, I've been concentrating on using the tool Linked In .

I want to suggest to everyone as you quit your old job that you use this tool. Linked in is great because its specific for professional networking, not teenage flirting (See Here). I'm looking forward to having this because it can serve as a directory for me as my colleagues and I change contact information over the years. I also plan on calling upon many of the people in my network for help and hopefully I'll be able to help them as well.

Your network is great and powerful. It can help you find people to sell to. It can help you find professionals you need services of. It can help you find potential employers or employees. It can help you gather information.

Use this tool. There are so many books that talk about the power of networks and I'm not going to list them all, but " Love is the Killer App" is one that I have really enjoyed.

Friday, August 3, 2007

orientation is beginning

Well they just gave us our orientation schedule. This is what it is for the first day. Other days have different activities, but different hours. Its kind of difficult to transfer from a Word-Doc to here so, I'll just post the 1 day.

Looks fun and interesting though. Though I wonder if a full week the week before school starts is a good idea. I hope I don't get burned out too easily!

Dress: Business Professional: Suits and ties for men. Suits, pantsuits, or dresses for women.
8:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast
Tanner Building (TNRB) 2nd floor atrium

8:30 a.m. Welcome / Introductions – Jim Stice, Jim Engebretsen, Dean Ned Hill
251 TNRB

9:30 a.m. What I Wish I Had Known / What to expect in the Fall – Kristin Adair
Why Group Studies – Bill Sawaya
Group Dynamics – Kate Kirkham

11:30 a.m. Team Rotations:
Section 1 – Lunch in 710 TNRB
Section 2 – Pictures 374 TNRB
Section 3 – Logistics (Blackboard & Backpacks)
220 TNRB

12:30 p.m. Section 1 – Logistics (Blackboard & Backpacks)
220 TNRB
Section 2 – Lunch in 710 TNRB
Section 3 – Pictures 374 TNRB

1:30 p.m. Section 1 – Pictures 374 TNRB
Section 2 – Logistics (Blackboard & Backpacks)
220 TNRB
Section 3 – Lunch in 710 TNRB

2:30 p.m. Day’s Wrap-Up - Jim Stice
151 TNRB

3:30 p.m. Group Picture – In Front of Maeser Blg.
4:00 p.m. Get ID cards if needed -- 2310 WSC

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

What are our textbooks?

BYU seems really good about letting us know which books to buy for our classes. This should take you to the list of text books, I believe they use the same page each year so you should be able to see the updates. I'll compare the links when the show us what to get for next semester.