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Talha Sheikh

Career management at Wisconsin School of Business: An International Student Perspective

by Talha Sheikh Thursday, October 22, 2015

“I really am glad to be part of the Wisconsin School of Business”, I wanted to start off this post by saying that. After two months, I realize how right of a decision I made when I decided to join the WSoB MBA program. A big factor in that realization is how much focus WSoB places on career management. Being an international student coming to the U.S. for the very first time, I was apprehensive about the career management aspect of student life. I need not have worried. We started working on our resumes right after getting our acceptance letters. We were even given a book specific to international students on how to approach job searches.
After getting on campus, we have had several mock interview sessions. The 2nd year students have been a great help in conducting our mock interviews as well as guiding us on how to go about the job search. As soon as I joined the program, an alumna emailed me to offer help. I discuss my career options and decisions with him on a regular basis, and he has provided a great perspective with helping me make informed decisions. I have had 3 mock interviews with alumni who are in a senior management position in the industry. We have had a career management session almost every week, which has helped all of us first year students get our STAR (Situation-Task-Action-Result) stories perfected, and we’ve had plenty of opportunities to refine the way we talk about our past experiences. We were assigned career coaches based on our specialization who are there to provide more information about different companies that recruit from Wisconsin, and they also provide advice on how to get in touch with different alumni for help and advice. The Career Management department takes the extra measure of ensuring that we don’t miss any application deadlines and that we are fully prepared for our internship interviews (yes, they have already started!!).

At Wisconsin, I am really impressed by how everyone on the staff, from faculty to department heads, takes an interest in your career and provides active guidance on how to achieve your goals. The AC Nielsen Center for Marketing Research organized a Board Meeting, where senior executives from various companies came from all across the country to mentor for us. They provided insights into different industries and companies, and they offered a great deal of help with all aspects of career management, including resume building. If you can imagine it, a Director from General Mills spent an hour with me and took the time to suggest how I can improve my resume and my career highlights!! These industry leaders are always a phone call away from me and I can always call them up for any advice that I need, from discussing upcoming interviews to sharing how my MBA journey is progressing. 

As I head into interview season, I feel completely prepared and positive about the potential outcomes. The career focused approach of Wisconsin has enabled me to feel confident about my chances for securing a great internship opportunity in one of the top companies in the U.S. Even though it has been only two months since I started school, the amount of effort that the Wisconsin School of Business has put in my career management has already made a substantial effect. Let the interviews begin!