Monday, April 20, 2009

the fragile, unplanned ego

I have spoken to about 4 MBA students recently about jobs.  As the title of the post suggests, they all possess the most odd egos.  

First, they just assume that I will be bowled over by their resume.  Something to the effect of "Here's my resume.  I trust you'll know what to do.  Call me."  Now I will admit at some point I might have thought this was the way the world worked.  But you know what?  It doesn't.  You may be the most amazing person in the world - but you still need to explain why you fit this job, at this company, with this group.  It's called target marketing.  Perhaps you've heard of it?

Second, their egos are incredibly fragile.  They take marked offense to the most simple statements.  If you say there's an internship program they go into a 10 minute navelgaze about how companies don't know what to do with MBAs.  If you mention that you can't sponsor a Visa for an internship and possibly they should go through a contracting firm, they go into a tizzy over not wanting to work at a bodyshop that brings day laborers from India.  If you mention that perhaps - because they have a background in product development that would be the place for them to work, they freak out about how they need to be in strategy.

Third, they are utterly UNPLANNED.  I get it - they don't understand how companies work, yadda yadda.  But honestly.  Spend 5 minutes asking the person you're calling about them, what they do.  Don't assume that every person with Sloan on their resume will automatically drop everything to help you through the logistical challenges of your job search.  And by god don't ask ridiculous questions - the most ridiculous was the guy who called and wanted to discuss the culture of the company and whether it was accepting.  I made time on a Friday evening, interrupting my dinner, to talk to this guy while he wasted my time and his own.  

If you're an MBA admissions or career counselor out there, all I can say is please read this.  And do something.

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