B-school Grads Better at Finding Professional Happiness
There are many compelling reasons to consider going to graduate business school: engaging and relevant coursework, peer-to-peer learning, personal growth, and of course increased earning potential, to name a few. But that’s not all in store for b-school grads.
An often overlooked, but very important benefit of the business school experience is time to reflect and the resources to identify the best next steps for your professional journey. You see, business school not only prepares you to become a business leader, it also prepares you to be happier at work by helping you to find your best fit path for your future career.
The key to being happy at work
Jenn Lim, co-founder, CEO, and chief happiness officer of Delivering Happiness, a management consulting firm, says that the main driver of employee happiness in the workplace is fit with the company culture, or how well your work style meshes into the company’s culture and norms.
Finding job opportunities where you are a good fit with the company culture is important for both you and the company hiring you. From your perspective, identifying companies that are a good cultural fit is important because the likelihood of having a happy and productive work life is much greater at an organization that shares your core values. For the company doing the hiring, it means an employee with a deeper commitment to organization’s work, who is engaged and more likely to go the extra mile.
The companies that hire on business school campuses are specifically seeking out candidates who are going to be a good fit for their company cultures. Findings from the Graduate Management Admission Council’s™ (GMAC™) 2019 Corporate Recruiters Survey show that fit with the company culture comes out on top in employers’ ranking of hiring decision factors for business school graduates, topping other factors like fit with the job opening, prior direct experience, and growth potential.
Happiness in your work life is important and being a good fit in you company’s culture supports it. A huge part of the value of graduate business programs is that they provide the tools and resources you need to find your best fit, including personalized counseling with the career services office, on-campus recruitment events and information sessions, and access to your business school’s alumni network.
Personalized counseling with the career services office
Business schools typically have career services offices that are designed to help you consider where you want to take your career after you graduate. Through one-on-one consultations, their experience and expertise can guide you to opportunities that make the most sense for you based on your goals.
Talking to one of these career counselors can help you leverage connections with major employers and build on insights into company cultures based on existing relationships and knowledge of past graduates who have had success. In addition, career services staff can help explain the ins and outs of the recruitment and hiring process to be sure you stand out and put your best foot forward.
On-campus recruitment events and information sessions
Business schools regularly host corporate recruiters on their campuses to interact with students, discuss employment opportunities, and share details about their companies. Making connections with recruiters at these events can give you an inside track in the hiring process. Take the time to introduce yourself to the company representatives to start cultivating a relationship. How a recruiter pitches their company at recruitment events or information sessions often provides insight into their company culture and can be useful in determining whether or not it’s a good fit for you.
Being a part of an extensive business school alumni network is an incredibly powerful asset when it comes to identifying best fit job opportunities and landing a position. According to a Graduate Management Admission Council™ (GMAC™) survey, 75 percent of alumni agree that they expanded their professional network through their business school experience, and an overwhelming 95 percent of business school alumni say they would recruit an alumnus from their program for an open position at their company. Students often work their alumni network and see if there are any alumni who currently or previously worked at companies of interest. Many of them are willing to provide their honest take on organizational culture and may be able to provide insight into how the company assesses fit with the company culture in the hiring process.
The bottom line
Knowing where to take your career to find professional happiness can be huge challenge to undertake on your own. The guidance and resources made available to you as a business school student can help you find your best fit career and happiness at work.
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