Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Embrace Gratefulness, Banish Entitlement

It's the time of year to express gratitude for all that we have in our lives. For MBA students, that includes the education you're receiving right now, which has given you new insight, information, and experience that's destined to improve your potential for contributing to causes and organizations of your choosing. Your advanced education puts you in a distinct minority of individuals in the U.S. -- and an even smaller group worldwide -- who've elected to continue their studies beyond the undergraduate level.

The MBA equips you with a skill set suitable for a range of jobs, some of which even require the degree as a prerequisite for being considered. That said, the MBA does not entitle you to a job. I've yet to hear of any employer responding to a job seeker's plea "well, I have an MBA" by offering a job. The degree communicates that you have certain knowledge and skills -- that's it. It's not a free pass to getting a specific job, no more than a doctoral degree offers automatic admission to academia. Degree holders still need to demonstrate that their skills, interests, and personalities are a good fit for an employer's needs. That challenge seemingly never ends, regardless of your credentials.

So, in short, embrace gratefulness towards your education, and banish entitlement as you begin to look for work. This joint perspective will serve you well in a challenging environment for finding full-time work.

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