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MBA Careers Q&A: Alliance Manchester Business School

MBA careers interview with Alliance MBS

Some of the larger companies that recruit MBA students from Alliance Manchester Business School (Alliance MBS), “elect to introduce themselves initially via webinars, and first-round interviews are sometimes conducted using pre-recorded questions,” according to the school’s head of postgraduate careers and employability, Chris Garnett. "However, the majority of companies we engage with," he adds, "still privilege personal contact via on-campus recruitment or site visits and face- to-face interviews."


As Garnett explains, one overriding aim of the postgraduate careers service team at Alliance MBS is to, “take the pain out of recruitment for our recruiters.” However, the team also strives to ensure students understand the, “the importance of building mutually beneficial business relationships.” Read on to find out the other ways in which the careers service team at Alliance MBS works with its MBA students.

Chris Garnett; Alliance MBSDoes the careers service team at Alliance MBS work with the MBA admissions team during applicant assessment? If so, how?

The careers service team works very closely with the admissions team. We interview prospective MBA candidates (on campus for those based in the UK, with the remaining conducted via Skype) and evaluate candidates’ applications as part of the admissions committee.

When do on-campus corporate recruitment events and interviews typically take place at Alliance MBS?

Our philosophy is to ‘take the pain out of recruitment’ for our recruiters, so they arrange their campus visit and recruitment activities to suit their business requirements. This means that recruitment activities can take place anywhere from October to May.

Are there particular skills that the careers service team helps students to accentuate during job fairs and recruiting?

At Alliance MBS, we emphasize the importance of building mutually beneficial business relationships. A core part of this is the ability to ‘tell your career story’ and understand the value you can offer your business contact – whether you are networking or applying for an internship/job.

How does the careers service team help MBA students prepare for recruitment events? In what ways do you help match students with companies that will be a good cultural fit for them?

During the company preparation sessions we run as part of our 'Career Wednesday' afternoons, we talk about what our core recruiters are looking for, their application process and work culture.

Through the one-to-one meetings our MBAs have with sector-specialized career consultants, we help students to understand the business expertise they can offer and their preferred working environment. This information is incorporated in their job-search strategy which leads them to the companies in which they are most likely to thrive.

Have you seen a change in the type of industries your MBA students are interested in?

Over the past 10 years, and particularly since the global financial crisis of 2007-09, we have seen interest in the finance sector decrease among MBAs. Conversely, interest in more agile careers loosely grouped within the technology sector (e.g. Amazon, Google) has increased. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance has become a determining factor when evaluating job opportunities; this refers to sport, contributing to the wider society, and participating in family life. 

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

Some of the larger companies elect to introduce themselves initially via webinars, and first-round interviews are sometimes conducted using pre-recorded questions. However, the majority of companies we engage with still privilege personal contact via on-campus recruitment or site visits and face- to-face interviews.


What kind of contact does the careers service team at Alliance MBS have with MBAs after they graduate?

The relationship we build with our MBAs continues to grow after they have completed their MBA and started their new jobs. They take part in ‘career insight panels’, mentoring, and networking events where they can share their insights (with current students) into questions of time management, academic choices on the MBA, and internship/job hunting tips for those starting out on the same journey. Our alumni are also keen to work with other MBAs from Alliance MBS, so they also come back to campus as recruiters.

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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