The Role of the Career Development Center

What does IESE do to help MiM students achieve their career goals? We asked Carlos, our Associate Director for Employment Engagement & Student Advisor, and this is what he had to say.

In my opinion this is one of the most relevant questions an applicant can ask. Why, specifically? Because of the underlying reason that nobody speaks of when deciding to do a Master in Management (MiM): kick-starting their career.

A MiM program can help students in many ways, some of them by picking up new skills, expanding their networks, exposing students to high-impact events with recruiters, and most importantly, in guiding them in their career search. At IESE Business School we do this thanks to our department dedicated to careers: the Career Development Center (CDC). This department is responsible for three main things:

  1. Develop and maintain partnerships with companies so that they come recruit at IESE
  2. Train, guide, and mentor students in everything that has to do with evaluating their career choice, coming up with an action plan/strategy for getting there, executing such plan/strategy, and once students are there, in helping them transition to the job by preparing them for it
  3. Mentor and provide resources to the Professional Student Clubs (e.g. Consulting Club, Finance Club, Industry Club, Tech Club…)

Professional Student Clubs

Before I dive into the specific responsibilities of the CDC, it is necessary to explain the relevance and importance of number 3, Professional Student Clubs. These clubs are student-run, usually by a member-chosen executive team, and have two key purposes:

  1. Develop networking opportunities for club members with companies in the sector in which the club operates
  2. Help club members in the recruitment processes of the sector.

For example, the Consulting Club invites company representatives to come to campus to give a session on how to enter into their respective companies, what their working culture is like, etc. so that interested students get an insider´s view on how to succeed in that company’s recruitment process. This is also a great chance to network with the company representatives and acquire valuable information about specific offices, key contacts, etc… When it comes to succeeding in the recruitment process with consultancies, students need to master the case-based interview, for which extensive and systematic preparation is necessary. This preparation is made easier by the resources that the CDC possesses and makes available to the Consulting Club. Some of these resources are online platforms, cases, books, and mock interviews. The club keeps a schedule of preparation activities in conjunction with the CDC in order to keep track of its members’ progress.

The CDC

Coming back to what the CDC does, let’s talk about the team and how it is organized. The CDC is divided into two teams: the Employer Engagement Team, and the Career Management Team.

The Employment Engagement Team is responsible for leading the company-facing activities like launching career forums, company presentations, networking events, guiding the Professional Student Clubs, and generating opportunities in IESE’s internal job platform for students. These professionals are divided into different business sectors (e.g. Consulting, Finance, Retail & Luxury, Healthcare, Automotive, Consumer Goods, etc…) with the purpose of developing expertise and relationships with companies in such sectors. Moreover, these professionals proactively advise students on sector-specific topics, such as evaluating a student’s motivations for entering the sector and making sure that they understand what it takes to fit into it.

The Career Management Team organizes, coordinates, and launches the career sessions throughout the academic year with the purpose of empowering students with information, skills, knowledge, and resources to tackle the job market. Some of these sessions include presentations of the different sectors, panels with company representatives, and workshops on topics like CV revision, how to write a cover letter, how to answer the most common interview questions, how to design a job-search strategy, how to network successfully, and so on.

Application Gym & Professional Transition Series
There are two novelties in IESE’s MiM. One is the Application Gym, where students come with a job posting to and apply under the guidance of a CDC member. The other is the Professional Transition Series, in which CDC teaches students how to transition into their first jobs, how to get a promotion, how to manage themselves in a new environment. The purpose of this series is to give students the tools to start strong in their new jobs and become professionals from day one.


CDC’s Carlos Amela poses with students at the MiM Career Forum

Whatever Students Need

The Career Management team is composed of experts in the field that can effectively coach a student with general career inquiries. They also supply students with resources to help them tackle the most pertinent of uncertainties like what a student should do if they have no idea what to do post-MiM. In this case, the CDC carries out a series of career coaching sessions to help students arrive at a careers-related conclusion that they are convinced is worth pursuing.

Then of course, the CDC remains at the student’s disposal in case they need anything. They can reach the CDC team via IESE’s online advising platform and book a meeting to discuss:

  • General career inquiries
  • Sector-specific advise
  • CV and cover letter review
  • Interview preparation
  • Mock interviews
  • Networking-related requests (e.g. the CDC can connect the student with an alumnus in a specific company)
  • And much more…

Both teams in the CDC work together to develop a 360º tailored profile of every MiM student so that they can contact students with specific and targeted job opportunities.

In the end the role of the CDC is to be a partner to both companies and students. It is proactive in maintaining a comprehensive schedule of events to help companies in their search for top talent and in furthering their employer branding efforts, and in keeping a calendar of activities to support students in their search for a career post-MiM.

Carlos Amela View more

Career Development Center Associate Director (MBA '16)
www.linkedin.com/in/carlosamela/

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