In the last few years a trend in education has started taking place, wherein younger people want to complete their post graduate degrees immediately after obtaining their Bachelor degrees.
Specifically, a larger number of people are getting an MBA degree with no prior work experience and with only a Bachelor’s diploma to show for.
Why are People With No Work Experience Getting MBA Degrees?
This has come due to the fact that finding entry level MBA jobs is becoming more and more difficult and employers are always seeking for qualified and skilled labor. This makes younger people postpone entering the labor market and continue education.
In addition, universities are struggling to attract students, therefore they are loosening their two to five year work experience rule, accepting students straight out of their undergraduate schools.
The result of this trend is that these young people get their MBA diplomas and then go into the labor market hoping they will find employment immediately. However, they run into difficulties since they have no work experience.
Without this work experience, employers are reluctant to risk hiring them, and this turns into a vicious cycle. An MBA is a prestigious degree, but employers state that they would rather hire someone with experience than someone who has only gone to university.
But not all hope is lost! If you know how to go about navigating the job market, you will find employment even with no experience.
So if you are one of those people who has gotten their MBA degree and has no work experience, here are 12 tips on how to find entry level MBA jobs:
12 Tips on How to Find Entry Level MBA Jobs
Know what you want to do
Since you have no work experience and only your education to show for, you can impress recruiters and potential employers by having clear goals in mind. If you do not aim for a specific industry or even a narrower job position, you will have an even more difficult time getting hired.
Recruiters value goal-oriented people and they will be a lot more impressed if you can clearly show the career path that you want to take and where you expect to be in five to ten years.
Lower your expectations
Many MBA graduates come out of school with the expectation that employers will be calling them with tailor made jobs ready for them. They all aspire to get senior positions and high salaries.
But if you do not have any work experience, you cannot expect anyone to hand you a position without showing any real effort. That is why you will have to start at the bottom and work your way to the top of the corporate chain. This means accepting entry level MBA jobs because those are the only jobs for MBA graduates with no experience.
If you think that you are above such things, then you will not be able to find a job. Lower your expectations and do not expect to become a CEO overnight.
If you are still completing your MBA and know that you have no work experience at all, the best course of action is to try and find an internship.
You can work on your internship applications during the semester and complete it during summer break or even throughout your studies. It can be difficult to find one, but it is much easier than finding a full time job after graduating.
Internships can do the following to help your chances of getting hired:
- They look good on your resume
- Internships show that you did something else besides studying
- Internships show that you are a committed individual who is always working towards their goals
So if you have no experience, sacrifice your summer and get an internship. It will pay off in the long run!
Get involved in university work and projects
MBA students are always valued by the professors and staff of the university. They are always willing to help them out and get them involved in different projects. Many professors conduct research and do other consulting work besides teaching and they are always looking for students to assist them.
So if you have no work experience, it would be a good idea to get involved in such things. Becoming a research or a teaching assistant will look great on your resume and if you manage to participate in a real world consulting project where you will work with different companies, it is even better.
Another great opportunity to build your resume so as to increase the chances of getting jobs for MBA graduates with no experience is engaging in volunteering activities.
Tip: Universities usually have a list of non-profit organizations which they support or are located in the area. You can get contact information for any cause you are interested in or any organization which is related to your field of study and write them an email or call them.
Non-profits are always looking for people to volunteer so not only will you be doing something good for the community, you will also ensure that you do not go out into the job market without having worked on any real world projects.
Work on your resume and cover letter
Resumes and cover letters are the first things that recruiters and potential employers will see. It is their first impression of who you are and whether you have potential. So to have a higher probability of being invited for an interview, you have to make sure that your first impression to them is the best version of you. This can be done by tailoring your resume and cover letter to match their requirements.
Carefully read the job description and what you will be expected to do in the job. Then look for any activities that you have done during your MBA which show that you can complete those tasks successfully. If they are looking for someone who takes initiative, write about that one time you led a group project and got great feedback from your instructors.
Be concise and specific. Recruiters do not value general statements that have no results to show. If you worked on a company improvement project and managed to increase their cash flow by 20%, then definitely mention that.
If you have difficulties with tailoring your resume and cover letter then visit your university’s career center or writing tutors. Helping out with student job applications is something they are trained to do and they will be happy to assist you.
Attend recruiting events
Most universities organize a few job fairs during the academic year to get companies on campus which are willing to accept resumes and hire their students. If your university does not organize such fairs, the community or area you live in will probably have a few.
Research any such job fairs, check when they are held and look at the participating companies.
In case there are companies which match your goals and you would like to work for them, then definitely visit and bring your portfolio of resume, cover letter, and any certificates you might have.
Dress to impress and do not be reluctant to approach recruiters. These events have high participation rates but if you follow all the tips, you will surely stand out and be noticed.
After the recruiting events, make sure you write an email to the companies where you handed in your resume. This will show that you are committed to finding entry level MBA jobs and will impress recruiters.
Apply to prestigious companies
A team of researchers from Stanford University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) conducted a study to test whether the size of the company influences whether they hire MBA students with no work experience.
The study conducted by Stanford University and University of North Carolina researchers found that larger, more prestigious companies were more likely to offer jobs to recent MBA graduates with no work experience rather than smaller companies.
The reason for this is that bigger companies can afford to take more risks and if a candidate is not performing well, they have a stack of hundreds or even thousands of other job applications to choose from.
Smaller companies on the other hand are not willing to take big risks since they are lower on funds and a candidate with no job experience is much more likely to require additional training and guidance than someone with years of experience.
So if you are selecting companies to apply to, choose larger and more prestigious ones. You will enter into a pool of a huge number of candidates, but the chances of being hired are larger than if you apply to a small business.
Leverage your contacts
MBA programs stress the importance of networking from day one. You are bombarded with materials and workshops on how to network efficiently and make lasting contacts. You should use these tips and tricks and attend every networking event that your school organizes.
The cards you collect and the people you meet might be prove to be extremely helpful in the long run. When you are looking for a job, email these contacts, arrange a meeting over coffee or beer and talk to them about your aspirations. They might have open job positions or will be able to recommend you to someone.
Most people find jobs through their contacts and if you are wondering “What can I do with an MBA and no experience?”, having a larger network is definitely one of the keys to answering that question.
Continue learning or get a certification
If you feel like your MBA is not communicating the precise skills that you have and you would like to enrich your resume, try enrolling into an online course or get a certification.
There are many opportunities nowadays for distance learning and by completing such courses and getting the certificates you will show recruiters and potential employers that you are always willing to learn more to improve your skills and knowledge.
Stay informed on the industry of your choice
If you know what you want to do and what career path you want to follow, you need to be as informed as possible on its developments. You will sound a lot more impressive and will be memorable when you talk to recruiters and mention any news from the specific industry they are in.
You will be more likely to get called back for an interview and offered a job if you are informed about your career path and industry.
Finding a job takes time, and recent graduates need at least 120 days to get any decent opportunity.
Finally, do not expect to find a job within a month. Getting employed with work experience takes a lot of time, let alone if you are a recent MBA graduate with no work experience. Prepare to be disappointed and not hear back from most job applications that you send in.
A lot of them will not even bother to send you a rejection letter due to the large amount of applications that they get, so do not expect it.
Try to follow up on the applications after a few weeks, but do not send too many emails to one employer.
Do not let this discourage you so keep trying and send applications for those entry level MBA jobs.