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Get Career Ready: Life is Long; Be Kind

By Angela Guido

May 22, 2016

You just never know which relationships will turn out to be the most important. You can’t tell which strangers will become close friends, associates, or career helpers. When in doubt, be kind. If you treat everyone with respect and generosity, you will have more resources to support you in everything you plan to do in your career. Try these three daily actions:

  1. Ask people how they are and genuinely listen to their answer. Be there.
  2. Say yes to someone who asks for help or a favor, even if your schedule is already jam packed.
  3. Take every chance to help your classmates with classes where you excel. Finished that problem set early? See if a friend or two want to meet you to review it. Aced that midterm? Help a friend who is lagging behind by explaining the concepts to her in terms she can understand.

Action number three will not only create good will, it will also start to hone your mentorship skills, which will come in very handy soon!!

Our career tips are brought to you by Angela Guido. For more timeless wisdom and bright ideas for your career, check out her website, Career Protocol.

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Driving Forces: Crusader for Justice

May 22, 2016

Former Justice Department attorney Nadine Payne had a different reaction than most people when she saw the destruction of the 2008 financial crisis. She started preparing for business school, so she could help reform the banking industry from the inside out.

“I realized that I could learn how to deploy financial resources to make a difference,” says Payne, a 2015 MBA graduate from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

Now, instead of doing pre-complaint analysis and discovery as a Justice Department contractor, she helps manage governance, regulatory and external affairs for Citi in New York. She says other opportunities will come as she develops her business skills.

“Long-term, I want to actively work to deploy capital to empower women and girls in the developing world,” she says, “either through my own company or working with larger multinational financial institutions.”

Smith School Senior Associate Dean of Learning Joyce Russell says Payne already made an impact on campus through her leadership roles in organizations such as Black MBA, Net Impact and the Finance Association. She also focused on girls’ education and community development in Sri Lanka as a student consultant for a U.S.-based nonprofit organization, the Malini Foundation. “Nadine is quite simply a rock star,” Russell says.

Payne says the transition from law to business was harder than she anticipated, but she learned to rely on her professors and classmates for support. “I most enjoyed learning the importance of teamwork as the cornerstone of effective leadership,” she says. “Coming from a background in law, individual excellence was the light that guided my way and that of many lawyers.”

One lesson in teamwork came at the Great Wall during a business case competition in China. “Upon descending from the wall, I found myself ensconced in a toboggan, listening to safety instructions from the guide and surrounded by my classmates,” Payne says. “I savored those minutes sledding down the wall with my classmates.”

Content courtesy of University of Maryland - The Robert H. Smith School of Business..

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Wise Words: Oprah Winfrey

“There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.” - Oprah Winfrey

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Get Career Ready: Interview 20 People

By Angela Guido

May 15, 2016

You’re willing to work hard, you want to add value, but you also want to enjoy your work and be inspired. Right now, you probably have no idea how to do that. If you followed Tip 1, you’ve started considering your preferences. The next step is to figure out which jobs might match those preferences while also advancing your career in the direction you want to go.

Check out Forté’s Virtual Campus to see the paths others have followed. But internet research is not enough. Talk to people (at least 20!) and find out what their jobs are actually like. Target people in fields that interest you, and ask what they do on a daily basis, what impact they see from their efforts, and how they are evaluated at the company. For more guidance on Informational Interviews, check out my complete guide to doing a great one.

And keep in touch with the people you meet. They just might help you get a job one day!

Our career tips are brought to you by Angela Guido. For more timeless wisdom and bright ideas for your career, check out her website, Career Protocol.

Subscribe to Forté Driving Forces and get weekly career prep activities, Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) tips, and cool MBAs-on-the-job profiles.

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Driving Forces: From Musician to Consultant

May 15, 2016

Musician to consultant. It’s a path not often traveled by MBA students, but it was a life-changing journey for Ellen Gartner-Phillips. Ellen chose the top-ranked Kelley Full-Time MBA Program to help her translate skills as an artist and performer into a successful business career. Watch the video for more of Ellen’s story.

Ellen was changed in ways she didn’t expect. How could an MBA program change you?

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Before You Start Your Summer Internship…

By Siyu Wu

May 9, 2016

Summer is almost here, which means those internships you worked so hard to get are also about to start. But before you walk in the door on the first day of your internship, here are some things to keep in mind.

Know your role

It may have been a while since you applied and interviewed for your internship position, so make sure you know what’s in the job description before you start the internship. Take a look back at the position you applied for and get an idea of what to expect. Talk to your boss or mentor about resources you can use to prepare for what you’ll be doing on the job and ask about what skills – like Excel – you should brush up on. This way, you can hit the ground running from the very start of your internship, and you can make the most of every day!

Know your firm and division

This may seem a bit obvious, but take just a few moments to look up the firm where you’ll be spending your summer in the news. Perhaps there was a recent change in executive roles, or an exciting new project was just announced. This type of information can be great for first day conversation with new coworkers, or just so you have a better sense of what the firm will be doing over the summer.

Confirm first day logistics

Make sure you have a clear idea of where you’ll be reporting the first day – and how to get there – and what your work hours are like! What do you need to bring (notebooks, pens, laptop, etc.)? Coming prepared and early on the first day will give you the chance to feel more comfortable in the new work environment.

Clarify the dress code

Some businesses will expect you to wear business formal every day, other firms only expect business casual. Make sure to connect with someone at your internship – HR, your boss, or a mentor – to confirm what type of dress they expect you to wear. If all else fails, it’s safer to err on the side of dressing more professional on day one, and dress down if you notice others doing so. Regardless, remember that first impressions are key!

Ask questions

If you have any questions or concerns heading into your internship, reach out to someone you know at the firm. The firm most likely has made a lot of preparations for the summer intern class and will be more than happy to answer any questions so you feel prepared for the first day.

These are just a few tips to keep in mind as you prepare for your summer internship. Regardless of where you’ll be this summer, remember to keep an open mind, be ready to be challenged, learn as much as you can, and have fun!

Siyu Wu is from Colorado and is currently a sophomore at Princeton University, pursuing a degree in Economics and certificates in Finance and East Asian Studies. She hopes to synthesize her interest in China and East Asia with her passion for finance to eventually work in a career related to international finance and Asian capital markets.

 

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Get Career Ready: Be a Short Term Pragmatist

By Angela Guido

May 8, 2016

Got a big vision for your future? Awesome!!! Now you’ve got to be patient. Anything you can dream up, you can achieve, but great accomplishments take time.

So in addition to being a Long Term Visionary, you’ve got to be a Short Term Pragmatist. Recognize your vision for your career will take a few steps to achieve. Your first job, probably won’t be “it.” But even Rome began with a single stone. Take steps in the short term that get you closer to your long term vision.

For example, if your vision includes starting your own company and you are very interested in technology today, what are some steps you could take to get closer to being entrepreneur-ready and savvier about technology? You could…

  • Take a coding class
  • Do an internship with a startup
  • Start following the blogs of successful entrepreneurs
  • Consider a fulltime job in a bigger company that gives you a firm foundation of business skills (think consulting, product management, venture capital)

Weigh your short term options against your long term goals, and make choices that move you in the right direction.

Our career tips are brought to you by Angela Guido. For more timeless wisdom and bright ideas for your career, check out her website, Career Protocol.

Subscribe to Forté Driving Forces and get weekly career prep activities, Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) tips, and cool MBAs-on-the-job profiles.

 

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Driving Forces: Field of Dreams

By Sally Anne Flecker

May 8, 2016

It takes 25 to 50 years for saddle leather to break down in a landfill. That’s what Lindsay Field (MBA ‘07) discovered after she cold-called a saddle manufacturer in Denver to find out what they did with scrap leather once they cut out their saddle, chaps and bridle forms. “We toss it,” they told her.

“Really? Can I come and see if you have any usable pieces?” she asked.

Which led her to their warehouse, where she found herself knee-deep in perfectly good leather — dumpsters full of the stuff. So she struck a deal. She’d buy 20 pounds on the spot and see what she could do with it.

While the idea of working with scrap leather was new, (the largest leather off-cuts were in the neighborhood of 11 inches x 7 inches) Field had always been interested in fashion. As a Notre Dame MBA with a focus on entrepreneurship, she and two MBA classmates developed an equestrian apparel business plan and entered the McCloskey Business Plan Competition.

Field had always ridden horses. Her mother owned a boarding and training facility in Iowa when Field was young. “I was just thinking in terms of what my sisters and I would wear,” she says of her inspiration. “I was looking for a stable-to-street look — something you could wear in the barn and then walk around town in.”

Today, that’s the guiding philosophy of field & field, the company she founded in 2012 based on her visit to the saddle manufacturer. The beautifully crafted handbags, wristlets, laptop sleeves and dog leashes are constructed with simple, clean lines from gorgeous leathers and are available online, in tack shops around the country and at local Denver markets. Demand has been such that she’s about to debut large tote bags, the size of which will necessitate using new hides.

One of the keys to her success, she says, lies in reaching out to her MBA classmates: “I’m not an expert in finance or operations or accounting. I’m constantly reaching out to them and leveraging those friendships and networks. And they’re happy to help.”

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