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MBA Careers Q&A: Alberta School of Business

MBA careers interview with Alberta School of Business

For many, the MBA is a time of self-discovery, so those interested in studying in the Canadian city of Edmonton might find it reassuring to note that the careers center at the University of Alberta School of Business helps “students go through activities that help them get clear on who they are, what they want, and what they have that employers want.” Those are the words of the school’s director of career education and coaching, Maxine Clarke, who wants students to develop a deep understanding of themselves and their skills in order to make them stand out. Read on to find out how self-knowledge can help propel your MBA career goals.

Maxine Clarke; Alberta School of BusinessDoes the career center at the Alberta School of Business work with the MBA admissions team during applicant assessment?

Yes. We meet regularly to share information and problem-solve in order to attract and select the best possible students for our program.  

When do on-campus corporate recruitment events and interviews typically take place at the Alberta School of Business?

September, October and November are very busy with employers on campus. Interviews take place throughout the year – some (companies) recruit up to a year ahead of time, while others recruit right before they need someone, and everything in between.

Are there particular skills that career services helps students to accentuate during job fairs and recruiting?

We work with students on understanding their own unique blend of skills, interests, and strengths so that they can present them to employers in a professional and compelling way. We help students build skills in the areas of relationship management and verbal communication for this purpose.

How do career services help MBA students prepare for recruitment events? In what ways does the career center help match students with companies that will be a good cultural fit for them?

Our students go through activities that help them get clear on who they are, what they want, and what they have that employers want – and to practice talking about these things. We also provide them with a series of actions and deliverables that they complete over the course of their degree, along with ongoing career coaching, so that they are continually refining and tailoring their goals and message. We help students get clear on their ideal criteria for positions and employers, and using those criteria, we help them get connected to alumni and recruiters in organizations that might be a good fit.

Are there any new companies recruiting on campus? Have you seen a change in industries?

Each year, we have new companies recruit on campus but the industries do not tend to change a lot year-to-year. Energy, government, consulting, and banking tend to be very consistent, and because our local economy is driven by small and medium-sized businesses, we see a lot of those also.

Are there any changes to the way in which companies are recruiting?

New developments within the recruitment process over the past few years have included group case interviews and by-invitation networking events or dinners.

What kind of contact does the Alberta School of Business careers center have with MBAs after they graduate?

We keep in very close touch with our graduates for three months after graduation as they work to secure employment. After that, we reach out to our alumni often to ask if they would be willing to volunteer as mentors, speakers, mock interviewers, etc. as a way of staying connected to the program and contributing to the growth of new students. We also hold alumni networking events in many different cities and make a point of having one-on-one social visits with our alumni too.

Written by Mike Grill

Mike's remit covers content, SEO and blogger outreach. Outside of his work for TopMBA.com, he is an assistant coach for MLU outfit, the Portland Stags.

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