Friday, 10 May 2013

MBA applicant survey: Graduate Scholarships & Careers

I've just read the summary report of the 2013 GMAC survey which claims to benefit from 15,000 individual registered data responses.   The research findings included a question that identified why people undertook an MBA:

(1) planning  to change job functions (41%),
(2) considering changing industries (33%) and
(3) hoping to work internationally (27%)

These are motivations I am used to hearing from MBA applicants.  However, a couple of things jumped out at me, to the point where I feel I need to do something about communicating them a little more loudly. 

"Key factors for full time MBA programmes are quality career services and scholarships." says the report.

It has recently come to my attention that (at direct variance to my previous thinking) the College offering for post graduate scholarships is actually quite generous, and more importantly, MBA students have been pretty successful in being awarded these scholarships.  The scholarships tab (click Post Graduate) boasts a partial or complete fee waiver, in total 13 packages worth £5,000 in fee waivers, with specialist scholarships targeted at US and Latin American students in addition to music and sports offerings. 

Although the 2013 application dates appear now to have passed, I note in the small print that applications received after the deadline will be considered if funds remain available.

Additionally, we have reviewed our professional development programme with the head of careers.  This module includes input from an MBA dedicated and experienced careers officer, and each year we have sought to make it ever more relevant, after listening carefully to student feedback.  Not surprisingly the content includes  CV development, writing killer cover notes, Myers-Briggs Type Analysis (which gives personality insights & can help team building) and role playing interviewing line managers at an assessment centre.  Next year, after a successful trial last term, more emphasis will be put on the experiential ensemble team building and presentation skills content that was delivered by Dr Emma Brodzinski and Alex Turner from drama. 

Probably not coincidentally, this week I have been liaising with the MBA group (who have been very busy in the middle of their exams) to respond to a request from a long standing corporate partner who were looking to match 2/3 Royal Holloway MBAs to a six month high profile project.  All terribly exciting.  We have added additional opportunities for group consultancy interactions, which will also be more formally embedded in the professional development programme going forwards.  I am involved in a number of these kinds of external relationships, they prove to be very fruitful in terms of bringing the working world into our learning environment, but often also bring out interesting employability opportunities. 

Thus I feel I have some good news developments on both careers and scholarships is already in place and we will continue to create more such opportunities.    

The report also highlighted that websites and friends/family had the greatest impact on applicants decision making.  This week we have been discussing exactly this - what actions can we take to make our web communications more effective.  Any suggestions - please feel free to email: or post your comments on this blog forum below.

Source [accessed 8 May 2013 ]