Hello everyone, this is Shathish from MBA class of 2018. In this post, I am going to explain about my exciting MBA journey so far. I will start by giving a bit of my background and then about my experience during the first year at McGill followed by strategies that I used for my internship hunt. Finally, I will end with few tips to plan your MBA journey.
I started my career in a startup that specialized in developing high-speed computer networking devices. The company got eventually acquired by Dell R&D division, where I continued working for about five years. As someone who is willing to take things in hand and roll up sleeves to get the work done, I wanted to have more challenges and have a greater impact in the organization. This is the time when I decided to hone my business and managerial skills by doing an MBA. McGill became an obvious choice considering its reputation, amazing faculty, access to career resources and the ability to learn from a diverse set of peers.
Now, let me highlight some key facts about my first-year experience in McGill. I started with the base camp that helped me brush up quantitative skills and it was followed by core semester where all students are taught a variety of subjects from accounting to strategy, from marketing to statistical analysis. This was a great experience as I got a taste of various fields and my level of understanding business tremendously improved. Apart from the academic aspects, second year MBA students at the time were kind enough to help figure out my housing needs, getting to know the city and giving an overview of facilities at McGill. Another key team that helped is the career services team that provides several services such as resume/cover letter review, business networking events, and career fairs. I also got mapped to a career services stream leader who helped me refine my post-MBA goals, streamline my internship search process and connected me with various mentors in the domain that I was interested in.
Let me now explain about how I landed as a Technical Program Manager Intern at Facebook.
My efforts can be summarized into three buckets – getting my profile career ready, networking and internship application process.
First, to make my profile attractive to employers, I did a lot of introspection and came up with key projects and activities that I did in the past that can effectively showcase my skill set. Later on, I drafted my resume with those key activities and did multiple reviews with peers and careers services team. Second, to know more about the hiring process and the skills companies expect, I attended several company presentations and networking events that happened on the campus. I also reached out to several friends, past colleagues, and alumni who in turn connected me with other professionals who are already in the roles that I was interested in. They also helped with mock interviews and provided insights into what I can expect in the role. Third, for the application process, we had a great session by Steve Dalton, author of “The 2-hour job search”, where he explained a structured way to approach the job search. In summary, it is about making a list of companies and roles that match your skills and interests, and approach the application process in a systematic way. My current role at Facebook is very exciting and I get to work with some of smartest minds in the industry. All interns are considered on par to full-time employees and I get a chance to make an impact every day.
As promised, I will end by providing few tips that I found to be useful for getting the most of the MBA experience. Have a clear goal in mind about what you expect to gain out of the MBA.
It is okay to change it during the course but an initial clear goal will help a lot to concentrate your efforts in the right direction.
Identify the companies and roles that interest you and talk to as many people as you can. You will be amazed at how helpful people are and how much you can learn by asking questions. Take enough time to prepare for interviews. Revisit your past experiences and have crisp points ready for common behavioral interview questions. Do mock interviews with your peers and career services team, and act upon the feedback that they give you. Start your preparation at the right time by looking at which time of year companies open up positions. Finally, don’t forget to have fun and take it easy when things do not work that way you expect. Learn quickly from your mistakes and use the learnings wisely next time. Remember, an MBA is a life time investment and do not let few hurdles ruin it. And lastly, do not hesitate to get it touch if you have any questions.
Originally from Chennai (India), Shathish graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Technology in IT from Anna University (SRM Easwari Engg College). He then worked at DELL for 5 years and joined the McGill Desautels MBA in 2016, where he is specializing in Business Analytics and currently acts as President for the MBA Entrepreneurship Club. He is also an active member of the Technology club and has just completed his summer internship at Facebook as a Project Manager. October EDIT: Shathish has just accepted a job offer at Facebook, resulting from his internship. Congratulations, Shathish!
Reach out to Shathish through our Ambassador Page for more details about his experience.