Recruiting MBA Alumni


I’m spending my day posting jobs to MBA Alumni organizations. I was blessed with a HUGE window  in my office (it’s actually 2 windows) and am disctracted by how unbelievably beautiful it is outside right now. For some reason, this winter seemed longer than usual, but it does seem odd to have such great weather so early…but I am not complaining.


So I am posting a bunch of jobs to the top MBA sites, so I can sit here by the windows and pretend I am in my backyard with a margarita in my hand. We do a lot of posting to MBA alumni sites—looking for folks a year or more out of b-school. Don’t worry if you don’t  have an MBA because even if it’s listed in the requirements of a position, we will absolutely consider folks without it. It’s really about who can do the job, right?


So I have a little rant of my own right now. I know that business school have to market themselves to make money (i.e., attract students willing to pay tuition). And one community they need to market to is the hiring community; basically presenting the value of a graduate of their university as an employee. I get lots of mail (e and snail) from programs explaining this (Kellogg, Stanford and USC seems to be the best at this…at least from what I have seen). For me, as a recruiter, I decide which schools produce the best employees for marketing roles at Microsoft based on the quality of the applicants from their alumni web sites (we have a team solely dedicated to recruiting current and new MBAs). So these schools let you post for free, but each site has a different UI. And frankly, this sucks up huge amounts of my time. Each requires different info and uses different industry classifications and job classifications and the responsibilities go here and the requirements go there, but on this site they go together and here’s where you add your job code. And don’t even get me started about the schools that don’t have a web interface.


These schools put out great potential employees. But some recruiters simply cannot find the time to post to all of these schools because they do not have a common interface to their alumni job posting sites. Word to the top b-schools: get together and come up with a common interface for job postings (and keep it free). You’ll get a lot more interest from corporate industry recruiters.

Comments (8)

  1. Or, word to an industrious developer: create a common program to do this.

    I created one of the first such things for search engine submission back in 1994. Collect the required data from the user (you, the recruiter), loop through and submit to sites, notify when complete.

    I’m getting too old to do that kind of thing now (or too lazy to code for free), but I’m sure it’d be a valuable tool, or a part of a larger recruiting services toolset.

  2. Heather says:

    Aaron,

    I think using RSS would work as long as all of the schools would accept postings in the same format. Their websites have a built in following, so I wouldn’t want to go about trying to get each school’s interested alumni to subscribe directly. But if each career development center would subscribe and accept postings in the same formet, that would work.

  3. Dan says:

    Darden Solutions, a division of the Darden School at the University of Virginia, produces Student Information Systems that are used by 13 of the top 20 business schools. One of the modules is a Career Services solution which is currently in the process of being upgraded. I’m a Darden second year and a beta tester for the new Career Services application and will suggest this idea re: alumni job postings to the product Director.

  4. Doris says:

    Hi!

    I had an interview with on of the top schools last week for a web project manager position. I was very surprised to hear that they have just created this position and had a part-time person there before – I can tell from the site. I really expected them to be one of the leading edge due to it’s location and positioning – I guess there is still a lot of potential in that field regarding standardization – positions like these however could be helping in collaborating with other schools and standardizing those interfaces…

    Doris

  5. an MBA alumnus says:

    Hi there!

    I found it interesting to read about your recruiting experiences.From a student’s point of view, let me just say that we recent graduates also have trouble finding you guys! I have graduated with my MBA 2 years ago from a solid, accredited b-school (although not the top 20), and have not been lucky in meeting MS recruiters. I have also moved to Seattle since graduating, so it is more difficult to be in touch with my alma mater, other than for standard alumni newsletter-type matters…

    My question is: what can we, recent graduates, do to make ourselves more visible to you? It seems to me that MBA positions at Microsoft usually require more years of experience, which we may not have. In addition, would you also consider grads from schools that are not necessarily on the top-20 list?

    Thanks for the interesting viewpoints!

  6. Heather says:

    Hi "MBA Alumnus"….really good questions.

    MBAs really come to us 2 ways. First through our MBA recruiting program. The recruiters managing this program engage directly via the universitities and there is a focus on many of the top b-schools here given that they cannot get to all the good schools in person for interviews. However, once a candidate graduates, they are no longer considered an MBA candidate to Microsoft.

    So that brings me to the second way that we find MBAs and that is through the process we call "industry" recruiting (which is our standard recruiting process for positions requiring experienced hires). So as a graduated MBA a few years out, you should be applying the same way other industry candidates would. I’ve made some recommendations about resume blogs and you should also apply via our career site.

    One thing I want to point out though is a kind of gray area and that is folks who have graduated a year or 2 ago but have not been working in the industry. So if someone graduated in 2003, for example, and was looking for a marketing position at Microsoft, but had not been working in marketing since 2003, it would be difficult for us to place them into a marketing role, because technically, they are no longer an MBA candidate, but they don’t haqve the work experience that we would want from an industry hire. So if this is the case with someone, my recommendation would be to find a smaller company willing to hire you into that marketing role so you could gaina few years experience before re-applying to Microsoft.

    Quick story..I interviewed with Microsoft back in 1995. At that time, I realized that the (limited) experience I had at that time really didn’t put me in a position to come into Microsoft where I wanted. After the interviews, I told the recruiter this and that I had decided not to move forward at that time. After some more experience (and 2 companies later), I applied to Microsoft again (this was 99) and found that the position they were willing to offer me matched well with where I wanted to be. It’s interesting how often the answer to getting your foot in the door at Microsoft is taking a role elsewhere, but it really worked for me. I try and think of it as more of a long term career startegy (I mentally mapped out the steps I felt I needed totake to get to where I wanted to be).

    But if you’ve been working a few years in industry and are looking for a position that matches, try the career site, resume blogs and also work your network to determine if you know someone here that can recommend you.

    Good luck!

  7. K.D. says:

    Hi Heather,

    I am the Founder and Executive Director of MBADiversity.com, a one-stop MBA portal that focuses on the diversity of the MBA world.

    Our members are current and alumni MBAs from top schools across the country. We have recently launched our Co-branded Career Portal (with Monster Trak- the educational subsidiary of Monster.com) on our site.

    Top employers are now able to recruit top MBA talent (especially diverse MBA talent) from our portal. Our members reign from Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, Chicago, Darden, Tuck, etc.

    You’ll be able to reach a segment of the MBA market that was previously tough to capture by efficient means.

    Feel free to contact me directly for more information about our initiative.

    Thank you,

    K.D. Entzminger

    kd@mbadiversity.com

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