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Career Services Director Q&A

Clear Admit’s exclusive interviews with career services directors at the leading MBA programs around the globe.


Career Services Director Q&A: VK Menon of the Indian School of Business

vk-menonVK Menon has served as director of Career Advancement Services at the Indian School of Business (ISB) since 2004, a role in which he helps to build and strengthen relationships between the school and the corporate world. He leads a team of 30 executives who help ISB’s class of 770 students secure top jobs in India and elsewhere.

Prior to joining ISB, Menon was a professor of marketing and sales management at SDM-IMD, a business school in Mysore. He spent more than a decade before that devising marketing strategies for some of India’s most recognized corporations, including BPL, Philips and Nelco.

In the interview that follows, he outlines the recruitment process at ISB and talks about the valuable role alumni play as part of a program called Knowledge Transfer Sessions by Alums. Clearly, he and his team must be doing something right. The school had its best-ever placement record this year, with 425 companies making 820 offers to ISB students.

Clear Admit: How do you view your role as director of Career Advancement Services? Is it to administer workshops? Counsel students? Counsel companies? Manage the entire office and oversee its various functions? All of the above?

VK Menon: The primary objective of the head of Career Advancement Services is to manage three interests: 1) That of the recruiters, who would like to hire the talent that best fits their requirements; 2) That of individual students, who would like to get a role that they would love to work in, in a company of their choice, and 3) That of the business school, which would like to ensure that the entire class gets placed within three months of graduation. Continue reading…

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Career Services Director Q&A: Derek Walker of Oxford University’s Saïd Business School

derek walkerDerek Walker has been leading the Oxford MBA Careers Services for the last four and a half years. He came on board a few weeks after the financial crisis, which he says can be viewed as either a terrible or a fantastic time to start. (He views it as the latter.)

Before coming to Oxford, Walker worked in financial services campus recruiting. “It was really a buy-side to a sell-side move,” he explains. His favorite part of his job is working directly with students, particularly when they follow his advice, he shares. Read on to learn how he feels about open versus closed interview schedules, to hear the stories of recent Oxford MBA graduates who landed great jobs (and how they did it) and more. Continue reading…

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Career Services Director Q&A: UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Amy Wittmayer

amy wittmayerOur Career Services Director Q&A Series this week takes us to the southern United States, where we connected with Amy Wittmayer, director of the MBA Career Management Center (CMC) at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Wittmayer joined UNC Kenan-Flagler in 2010. Before that, she had her own career coaching firm, worked at the University of Texas MBA Career Services office and worked for eight years in corporate finance and strategy.

Read on to learn more about how Wittmayer and her team at the Career Management Center start their work with Kenan-Flagler students even before the arrive on campus. Prospective applicants – you won’t want to miss her advice for how you can hit the ground running when you arrive. Continue reading…

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Clear Admit Career Services Director Q&A: Stacey Rudnick of the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin

Stacey-RudnickThis week as part of our continuing Career Services Director Q&A Series, we touched down in Texas. Stacey Rudnick, director of MBA Career Services at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, took time to participate, and we’re so glad she did.

Rudnick has been the MBA Career Services Director at McCombs for nine years, and before that she worked as a senior associate in career services at her alma mater, Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

“I got into this because when I went to business school I had a really fabulous career advisor,” she tells us. Though her jobs immediately out of business school – with Eastman Kodak and later in consulting with Viant – were not related to career advising, she kept in touch with that advisor from school, receiving more than one offer to come back and join Goizueta’s career services team. At the time of the second call, the job represented a perfect career opportunity at the right time in her life, and she jumped at the offer. Continue reading…

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Career Services Director Q&A: Gary Fraser of USC’s Marshall School of Business

gary_fraserGary Fraser joined the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business as assistant dean and executive director of the Keenan MBA Career Services Center in the summer of 2012, culminating a comprehensive national search to fill the role. Fraser came to Marshall from New York University’s Stern School of Business, where he spent 12 years as dean of students and associate dean of MBA student affairs. During his tenure at NYU Stern, he oversaw the Office of Student Activities and the Office of Career Development and launched and directed the Career Center for Working Professionals. Before joining NYU Stern, he held several positions in brand management, including at Sara Lee, Cadbury Beverages and Kraft/Nabisco.

As Fraser shares in the interview that follows, students at Marshall benefit from a full month of self-assessment and individual career development before employers arrive on campus since the MBA program begins in late July. Read on to learn more about some of the other things that make career services at Marshall unique, including the school’s small student body and its strong alumni base, the “Trojan Network.” Continue reading…

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Career Services Director Q&A: Karen Siegfried of the Cambridge Judge Business School

karen_siegfriedOur continuing series of interviews with career services directors took us most recently to Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, where we caught up with Karen Siegfried. Siegfried is currently serving as interim head of career services, resuming a role she first held in 2010. Her permanent role, though, is as MBA executive director for Judge, with oversight for a team responsible for not only careers but also marketing, admissions, program and projects.

Below she describes the MBA Career Services team, including the addition this year of several sector-specific career consultants. She also explains how her team encourages students to remain flexible in the short term – with regard to their first post-MBA job, for example – as a means of reaching their long-term goals.

She also shares more about the several ways Judge alumni take an active role in the recruiting process, and she provides some valuable advice for prospective applicants in terms of what they can do now to be better prepared for a successful job search when they arrive at Judge. So read on… Continue reading…

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Clear Admit Career Services Director Q&A: Stephen Rakas of the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University

steve rakasStephen Rakas has been in career services with the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon for the past 10 years and in his current role as executive director of the Career Opportunities Center (COC) since 2011. His previous experience includes four years in career services with the University of Pittsburgh and an additional decade of experience in general management and sales in industries ranging from healthcare to high-end retail.

“I discovered earlier in my career that serving as a conduit between the academic and business environments was a strong match with my skills and interests,” he told us. “I’m passionate about higher education, and the opportunity to help students transition their academic achievements into the world of work is very rewarding.”

Check out the interview below, in which he describes the comprehensive Base Camp Orientation all Tepper students undergo before classes even begin, explains why all the members of the COC team devote time both to counseling students and to maintaining relationships with employers and more. Continue reading…

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Career Services Director Q&A: Javier Muñoz of IESE

munozOur interview series with career services directors at top business schools takes us this week to Barcelona’s IESE, where we spoke with Javier Muñoz, assistant dean and director of career management. Muñoz knows IESE from many angles. He began there in 2001 as an MBA student himself, completing his degree in 2003. Upon completion, rather than return to banking, which had been his career path before business school, he accepted a position in the IESE admissions department.

“The offer [to join the admissions team] was very surprising at the beginning, but IESE is famous for bringing in MBAs [to its administration] every year,” he told us. After eight years in admissions, including five as head of the department, IESE offered Muñoz an opportunity to lead a different department – career services. He accepted and took over as assistant dean and director in 2011.

Muñoz had no idea when he came to IESE for an MBA that he would find himself working there for the next decade plus. “The only thing that I knew was that I wanted to explore different options apart from finance,” he says. He got several other offers, but when IESE came calling he answered. “I fell in love with the school, the MBA was such a great experience for me, they offered me a great position and I went for it,” he says. Continue reading…

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Career Services Director Q&A: Fred Staudmyer of Cornell’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

Fred_Staudmyer_rnAssistant Dean of Career Management Fred Staudmyer has been leading the Career Management Center at Cornell’s Johnson School since September 2009, and he brought decades of executive recruitment and human resources experience with him to the role. Just prior to joining Johnson he led the Garrett Sayer Group, an executive search firm focused on the technology, financial services and consulting industries, and he held a range of other senior positions focused on human resources and recruitment before that.

In our interview, Staudmeyer shares his most important objectives as head of Johnson’s Career Management Center, his plans to expand his team of career advisors – including to support a new MBA program in New York City as part of the Cornell Tech Campus – and the book he recommends all Johnson students read to best structure their independent job searches. Continue reading…

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Career Services Director Q&A: Regina Regazzi of UCLA’s Anderson School of Management

regazziIn its new director of the Parker Career Management Center, UCLA’s Anderson School of Management has found someone with unique insight into the school’s alumni base, as well as extensive recruiting and career consulting experience. Regina Regazzi graduated from Anderson herself with an MBA in 1997. After a stint at Bank of America in leasing she decided to switch gears to executive recruiting, turning to the Parker CMC for help in her own job search. She landed a job at an executive search firm and ultimately went on to launch her own firm, Artume LLC, in 2008.

All the while, she remained actively involved with Anderson as an alumna, serving in several roles of the UCLA Anderson Alumni Network and winning the 2005 Outstanding Alumni Service Award. She was ultimately elected president of the Alumni Board of Directors in 2009, responsible for representing the school’s 37,000 alumni. Continue reading…

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Clear Admit Career Services Director Q&A: Pamela Mittman, NYU Stern School of Business

Pamela_MittmanNext up in our Career Services Director Q&A Series is Pamela Mittman, assistant dean of career services and leadership development at NYU Stern School of Business.

An alumna of NYU Stern’s full-time MBA program, Mittman brings both a student and alumni perspective to the role. Before joining Stern as an administrator more than 10 years ago, she worked in consulting and financial services. In her current role at NYU Stern, she oversees career services and leadership development for all MBA students.

In answering our questions, Mittman helps to describe the very personalized career development process students will encounter at NYU Stern, including a special program known as IGNITE, which begins as soon as students arrive on campus. She also urges students to give careful thought to their personal brand, even when it comes to casual postings on social media pages. Check out more of what she has to say… Continue reading…

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