school career by edukaat1

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									A Closer Look

at Business Education
FEBRUARY 2006

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: CAREER SERVICES
INTRODUCTION:

Business school career services are a critical function at business schools. A rigorous study from the AACSB, the largest MBA accreditation body, indicated clearly that the quality of career services was highly correlated with overall satisfaction in an MBA program—and more important to overall satisfaction than excellence of elective courses, quality of other advising, or even the quality of fellow students.1 Externally, of course, the career services office is the face of the business school to much of the private sector. Yet a discussion of career services rarely penetrates the broader discussion on the quality and purpose of MBA education. Graduating MBA students are placing increased emphasis on finding business careers that dovetail with their interest in improving society, even at the cost of lower salaries.2 In coming years we expect to see increased pressure on career services offices to support students in this effort. In preparing this briefing paper, we examined the following questions: What do schools perceive to be the responsibilities of Career Services in helping students find work that matches their values? In what ways are social and environmental impact management issues integrated into Career Services? How does this correspond to an individual school’s mission / classroom activities? What sort of resources and opportunities do Career Services offices provide? What are the most effective practices? With these questions in mind, this edition of A Closer Look aims to shed some light, and start some conversation, around the power and potential of Career Services to help students find professional opportunities in all sectors that enable them to pursue their interest in making the world better.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

There is little evidence that career services offices are specifically helping students find opportunities in mainstream business careers that will create social, environmental, and financial value, the socalled “triple bottom line.” Many career services offices have had great success supporting those students who are looking for jobs in the nonprofit and public sectors or within traditional CSR disciplines such as public affairs and corporate foundations. When schools run academic or extracurricular programs that focus on finding “meaning” at work, they are often in the context of faith-based institutions or in the context of “Women in Business.” Business schools often “outsource” services related to careers in social or environmental areas to student clubs or external contractors.

“Effective Practices – MBA Career Services,” AACSB Knowledge Series, April 2001 Montgomery, David B. and Ramus, Catherine A., "Corporate Social Responsibility Reputation Effects on MBA Job Choice" (May 2003). Stanford GSB Working Paper No. 1805
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A Closer Look
NOTABLE PRACTICES IN CAREER SERVICES * :

at Business Education

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Business schools offer a diverse array of career development opportunities. For almost all of these, it is possible to integrate information about careers that make a difference. Some typical activities that schools reported adapting in this way include career trips, workshops, panel discussions, speaker series, career fairs, and resume books. Although rarely related to creating social, environmental and financial value in mainstream business careers, within the narrow frame of careers in nonprofit, public, or explicitly CSR fields, there are several truly innovative and notable practices. Some examples are listed below. Share work with external or internal partners 14 schools explicitly mentioned the activities of the Net Impact student club as central to their career services for individuals interested in the social and environmental impacts of business. On various campuses, Net Impact generates resume books, hosts workshops and career fairs, and brings in a more diverse array of recruiters. Several Canadian schools work with a nonprofit called the Community Experience Initiative to host career fairs and expose students to nonprofit internships. Several US schools contract out to a service called the MBA-Nonprofit Connection to identify relevant job postings. Have dedicated staff and coaching opportunities The AACSB report on Career Services identified maintaining “functional specialists” on staff as one of the best practices. 13 schools noted specifically that they maintained a dedicated career advisor for students who were considering nonprofit, public, or CSR related careers. These careers certainly span several functional areas, yet a dedicated staff person can offer both the knowledge and mindset that is vital for students. Six schools reported specialized coaching or mentoring programs for students interested in these fields. Build relationships with key external constituencies Seven schools reported making a special effort to build relationships between students and alumni in nonprofit or public sector jobs. They note that alumni have remarkable experience and a strong willingness to partner with current students. Additionally, five schools made a concerted effort to identify appropriate recruiting organizations – from both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Provide stipends, scholarships, and loan forgiveness Five schools (Columbia, Duke, MIT, Rice, Stanford) reported the availability of funds that make it easier for students to pursue relevant employment opportunities, whether during summer internships or after graduation. Most loan-forgiveness programs require that students work at public or nonprofit firms and meet certain income tests.
SPECIFIC CAREER DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES * :

ITESM, “Transcendent and Successful Women: Visions and Realities” (Annual Forum) “leading women working in private and social organizations. . .share their experience and knowledge about the challenges related to achieve a balanced life. Some topics related to social impact management are: social organizations as a career option for women.” Northwestern University, “Fall Speakers Series (NPMT 410)” “a five-class series featuring organizational leaders who are using business skills to do cutting edge work towards social change and who define social impact in novel ways.” The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “Careers in Sustainability Forum”, “The goal of the forum is to educate students about careers in sustainability and the ways in which sustainability is integrated into organizations and job functions. The forum is organized by the UNC Kenan-Flagler Net Impact club.” University of Notre Dame, “Vocation and Ambition” (Speaker Series) “What does it mean to be a success? Must one choose between the material and the moral? How will my career expectations, and those of others, shape my life decisions?”
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A Closer Look
ONGOING QUESTIONS:

at Business Education

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Going forward, several questions remain unanswered – both for researchers and for career service professionals: In what ways do, could, or should career services prepare students to understand the social and environmental impacts of a potential corporate employer, the relevance of their prospective job to those impacts, and whether a job is, in fact, appropriate to their values? What are the best ways to make sure that the mission and metrics that guide career services dovetail with the overall mission of the school? How might one manage potential conflicts between goals of student satisfaction, national reputation, and a school’s commitment to make a positive difference in the world? How can career services best incorporate feedback from alumni regarding “hindsight” perspectives on finding meaning in work? Do certain schools, for example faith-based institutions, possess special competence in helping students find meaning in work? In what ways might career services work with corporate recruiters to help them clarify to students the social and environmental position of a firm?
RESOURCES:

BeyondGreyPinstripes.org – World’s biggest MBA database, including detailed records on 1,672 courses, 1,730 extracurriculars, and 216 research articles at 128 schools on six continents. CasePlace.org – Free, online library of business school case studies. Focus on social and environmental impacts of business.

*Notable practices, specific activities, and selected courses are drawn from Beyond Grey Pinstripes, a research survey conducted biennially by the Aspen Institute and the World Resources Institute. 61 schools provided narrative descriptions of career services activities that prepared students for the social and environmental impacts of business.
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A Closer Look is an occasional series of briefing papers on topical issues in MBA education, based on the research and programs of the Aspen Institute. The Aspen Institute Business and Society Program works with senior corporate executives and MBA educators to prepare business leaders who will effectively manage the financial, social, and environmental impacts of the private sector.

Contact Rich.Leimsider@aspeninstitute.org to order reprints or to offer feedback. -3-


								
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