One of my favorite aspects of the MMS program has been the career coaching, which every student has access to. My coach is Helen, and she’s the best! At the beginning of the year, there were mandatory sessions for students to meet with coaches to talk about what they want to do, and to plan the job search. After that, it’s up to students to schedule appointments to talk about the job search and to ask questions about how to proceed with networking, etc.
To be more specific, here are just some of the ways my career coach helped me with my job search (of course, this process will be different for everyone, depending on your situation and job goals):
Provides connections: When I apply to a job, I meet with Helen for advice. Sometimes she knows of alumni or has another contact at the company, and she helps me with the outreach and introductions. I learn more about the industry or company from these contacts, and I’ve received a lot of help from them.
Networking advice: Networking is difficult, especially if you aren’t used to it. I had a lot of questions about what to say, how to reach out, how appropriate/inappropriate it is to ask for certain things, when it’s appropriate to re-connect, etc. Helen has provided great advice for every question.
Resume and cover letter tips: Helen has reviewed my resume and cover letter. She’s helped me to understand why it’s important to keep revising both, and I’ve continually improved the phrasing and organization of the information to best represent myself.
Encouragement: She always tells me to keep it up, every time I update her with what I’m doing, and who I’m talking to. I tend to get a little anxious, but she’s seen a lot of other students get jobs and what they have gone through, so she always tells me not to be too impatient, even if I don’t have immediate results. It’s great to have someone like this, who knows what others went through and encourages you.
Interview prep: I used Interview Stream (which is a paid service that’s provided to us for free). It’s a website you can use to record your interview answers so you can watch how you do at an interview. I recorded the answers at home, sent them to Helen, and we went through it together and pinpointed my strengths and weaknesses. It really helped me to make some adjustments in my interview skill tactics.
Another great thing about the career coach program is that you still get access to career coaching even after you graduate from MMS! It’s one of many services for alumni.