MBA Careers Q&A: UVA Darden School of Business | TopMBA.com

MBA Careers Q&A: UVA Darden School of Business

By Mike Grill

Updated August 31, 2016 Updated August 31, 2016

Activities designed to help students take their careers to new and exciting places via an MBA degree often start early.

“Companies are engaging with incoming students earlier and are offering pre-MBA programs and opportunities to network in the summer before classes start,” explains Chequeta Allen, assistant dean for career development at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.

In this interview, Allen outlines how Darden’s Career Development Center (CDC) supports the recruitment efforts of its MBA, for example in, “telling their story in order to emphasize the unique skillsets they bring to an organization.” Read on to hear more of the ways in which Darden seeks to help its students find their dream MBA jobs…

Chequeta Allen, assistant dean for career development at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.
Does the career services team at Darden work with the MBA admissions team during applicant assessment? 

The Career Development Center (CDC) team serves as a resource for information to incoming students through its participation in prospective students’ visits and events. We are not currently involved in the evaluation and admission decision processes.

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

Recruiting events begin for second-year students as soon as they return to classes in late August. Full-time interviews take place in October and November. First-year recruiting events begin in mid-September and continue into early December. Internship interviews take place from January through to early March.

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

Students are taught the importance of personal positioning and telling their story in order to emphasize the unique skillsets they bring to an organization.

How does the career services team help MBA students prepare for recruitment events?

The CDC offers one-to-one advising, a second-year coaching program, and a variety of career education workshops to support students in their job-search efforts. Career education workshops are strongly encouraged for all students in the job-search process to build skills in foundational areas of career search, such as personal branding, networking, résumés, cover letters, and behavioral interview prep.

In what ways does the careers center help match students with companies that will be a good cultural fit for them?

The CDC knows that the best person to determine a good cultural fit is the student themselves.  Therefore, we encourage students to participate in company information sessions to get a feel for company culture and to network with company representatives. Second-year students also serve as a resource through intern panels in which they share their summer experiences to help other students determine if they would be a good fit.

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

 Every year we welcome new companies to Darden. The interest in the technology industry continues to increase and we are partnering with more tech firms on the US West Coast. 

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

Companies are engaging with incoming students earlier and are offering pre-MBA programs and opportunities to network in the summer before classes start. Companies are also utilizing virtual tools more to connect with students, particularly for recruiting partners in global and West Coast locations. We have also seen more companies using video pre-assessment tools to interview candidates. 

What kind of contact does the careers center at Darden have with MBAs after they graduate?

Many Darden alumni lead or are active in their company’s recruiting teams. We partner with their recruiting efforts and welcome them back at recruiting events and interviews. Darden also offers a dedicated career services office which offers lifetime services to our graduates.

This article was originally published in August 2016 .

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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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