Wednesday, November 22, 2017

New MBA Advisory Board

This Thanksgiving week, we pause to give thanks to the many collaborators who contribute to the Georgia MBA brand: our hard-working students and alumni, our loyal corporate recruiters, community partners in Athens and beyond, and the newest of this bunch, our MBA Advisory Board. The MBA Advisory Board is a group of MBA alumni and employers plus selected Terry faculty teaching in the Full-Time MBA Program and members of the Full-Time MBA staff; it’s rare to see such a dedicated, diligent group of volunteers.

The MBA Advisory Board is formally charged with making recommendations to the MBA Committee of the Terry Alumni Board. In its first year, the MBA Advisory Board met twice in Athens, once at our Buckhead campus in Atlanta, and worked as four separate committees throughout the academic year to make recommendations on the most popular MBA concentrations: Marketing, Analytics, Operations, and Finance. The first year of the MBA Advisory Board culminated in a presentation to the Dean and other Terry administrators to make recommendations for curricular enhancements to these concentrations – to ensure that our curricula align with the needs of the marketplace.

In its second year, the Advisory Board is tasked with recommendations on the Full-Time MBA core curriculum. The goal is for the core curriculum to provide a more integrated learning experience so that graduates have the optimal knowledge and skills to apply their MBA experience to current-day business situations. The three committees this year include More Integrated Thinking, More Advanced Business Software Skills, and More Interpersonal Effectiveness.

In addition to suggested curricular enhancements – many of which have already been implemented – the Advisory Board has helped expand our corporate outreach, and all workshops in our new Friday Features series have been sourced from the Advisory Board.

Our faculty, staff, and facilities are among the best in the country, but our MBA Advisory Board is at work to make a great product – the Georgia MBA – even better!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

National Black MBA Association Conference 2017 in Philadelphia

This was my first time attending the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) Conference, and it was a whirlwind. I started preparing in the summer before first-year MBA orientation after speaking with the Career Management Center (CMC) staff, who advised that I attend and put a lot of time and energy into applying for internships well in advance of the actual career expo. Starting in July, I checked the NBMBAA job board each day to find the right internship opportunities, and I continued to refine my resume. Multiple times I scoured the whole NBMBAA job board, which often had over 1500 jobs posted at one time!

The author after his interview at NextEra Energy.
The hard work and deliberate planning paid off. By applying so early in the process, I had seven interviews and three company social events lined up before NBMBAA even began. A lot of the CMC programming in August and September is focused on winning job interviews on the floor in the first two hours of the career expo. The career expo floor is a bit of a circus, as there are over 200 companies there who evaluate your potential fit in a matter of seconds. The CMC prepared us for the chaos with mock interviews and pitch practice – too many times to count – and if you present yourself clearly and confidently there is plenty of opportunity to land an interview on the floor. While I did land an additional interview on the floor, I’m glad I did most of the work up front.

The most difficult part about the whole experience is balancing classes with the applications, interviews, company social events, and company research; having to learn about different industries and prepare for interviews in a variety of roles/industries presented its own set of challenges. Overall, I think the NBMBAA experience was very worth it – and I think my classmates agree. Multiple classmates received job offers from the NBMBAA career expo.
As Bernard notes, the expo floor is a bit chaotic.

I also participated in the NBMBAA Case Competition, which overlapped with the career expo. My team – which included three other Georgia MBAs – didn’t place, but I anticipate a stronger showing next year now that we know what to expect.

My main advice for students new to the NBMBAA experience would be to prioritize your time and be deliberate in applying, prioritize your time at expo itself, and prioritize your social events by which companies you would actually like to work for. To make my time in Philadelphia most effective, I mapped out the companies on the floor, planned my wardrobe and packed my suitcase well in advance, and prepared thoroughly. I’m proud to say that because of the hard work that I put into preparing for NBMBAA, I have many great options for an internship this summer that will take my career to the next level. One leading financial firm created an M&A role for me, and they’ve never had an intern in that group before. So my final advice is to talk to companies that you’re interested in, even if the advertised roles aren’t quite what you’re looking for. If you impress your target companies, they may even create a position for you to attract good talent!

By Bernard Saunders, Georgia MBA Candidate Class of 2019

[Editor’s note: Every year, a large portion of our MBA student population attends the career expo put on by the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA); in 2017, Philadelphia was the host city and this was an even larger event than in previous years since NBMBAA combined forces with Prospanica. In most years, Prospanica and NBMBAA are the two largest national MBA career fairs. While there is a focus on recruiting diverse talent at these two events, any of our MBA students are eligible and encouraged to attend NBMBAA and/or Prospanica. There are other population-specific MBA Career Fairs, including the Asian MBA Career Expo, National Association of Women MBAs Conference, MBA Veterans Career Conference, and Reaching Out MBA Conference (ROMBA). This year, we had 74 Full-Time MBAs and 24 Professional MBAs attend. In 2018, NBMBAA will be in Detroit and Prospanica will be in Milwaukee.]

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Make the Most of Your Campus Visit!

When looking for an MBA program I did all my online research but there were two factors I couldn’t evaluate through my computer screen: the campus and the people. When UGA offered a Campus Visit Day I knew it would be the perfect way to learn about both. I flew in from out of town and stayed with a friend in Atlanta the night before, but what I thought would be a normal day started a little rough. I slept through my alarm and woke up when I was supposed to be leaving for Athens. So I quickly curled my hair, added a few sprays of dry shampoo, and jumped in the car still wearing my pajamas. I put on my makeup and suit in my car parked in Tate Parking Garage at 8:50 a.m. and rushed into Correll just in time for coffee.
Looking back I wonder how I was able to pull it off, but something worked out because now I’m here and loving Georgia. Hopefully your visit day starts off a little more smoothly than mine. So to help you get ready I’ll explain what to expect. When it comes to preparing for your Campus Visit Day, do as I say not as I do!

Coffee with current students
Your morning starts with grabbing some Jittery Joe’s coffee with current students. This is a great time to ask those questions you really want to know about student life.  Ask the stuff you maybe wouldn’t want to ask during an interview that are more about student life and not about the program specifically.  I know I wanted to know if Athens really was as fun as people say it is. (Trust me, it is.) I also wanted to know how rigorous the curriculum is from a student perspective. I was able to gather great information that allowed me to make the best decision.  Definitely ask, “Why did you choose Georgia?” The reason they picked Georgia could possibly be the exact thing you’re looking for.

Class Visit
The chance to sit in on a real MBA class can give you insight into what your day could look like at Georgia. The opportunity to hear one of our outstanding professors speak is one you should enjoy. All of our professors are amongst the top in their respective fields and leverage their real world experience to show us what is really going on in business today. During my visit last year, many of the students were laughing and engaging with the professor throughout the class. I was able to get a sense for what being part of the class could be like. Also, the class visit is a great time for you to take a bit of a break from talking and asking questions.

Terry College of Business now has four brand new buildings that you will get to see on the tour. Our main building, Correll Hall, is where all our MBA classes are held. Hearing the stories of alumni donating and seeing all their names on the walls of classrooms and hallways shows the power of the alumni network at Terry. We are so lucky to have state-of-the-art facilities to work in each day. It definitely makes studying a lot easier when you have lots of technology and comfy chairs to use.

Information Session
After you’ve had the chance to speak with current students and see what a day in the life of a Georgia MBA looks like, you have the opportunity to sit down with Admissions staff and ask all of your questions. Please, feel free to ask any question you have throughout the day. Do not feel like you need to wait until the Q&A session to ask. This is a time for you to get more detailed answers to specific questions that you haven’t yet gotten answered. I liked this session because many of the other prospective students asked questions I hadn’t yet thought of. Listen carefully to each question because you never know if it’s something you missed or forgot.

Afternoon Evaluative & Informational InterviewsIf you have already applied and been asked to interview on this day then you will do so at the end of the day. I really liked this set up because it allowed me to get a better sense of Georgia before my interview. I was able to ask more specific questions and comment on specific aspects about the program that interested me, some I only learned that morning. Also, because you spend time throughout the day with Admissions staff, you will already know them a bit more and feel more comfortable for your interview. Look out for more specific interview preparation tips coming up on the blog very soon!

By the end of the day you will get a sense for what your life could be like here at Georgia. Make the most of your trip and use the afternoon to go explore campus and downtown Athens if you can. The Campus Visit Day can show you what it’s like for students in class, but there is nothing like experiencing Athens for yourself. I hope you have a wonderful Campus Visit Day and understand why we all love Georgia so much. Go Dawgs! 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Early Fall Networking and Career Programming Photo Recap

The metaphors abound for the first semester of the MBA experience: firehoses, sponges, even pâté geese. Here's a quick photo overview of programming and events outside of classes for the first three weeks of the semester. Thank goodness for a long weekend ahead! 

MBA1s meet MBA2s at Southern Brewing Company after the first day of classes
FTMBA Program Director Santanu Chatterjee gives a short address as part of the University's celebration of the 70th anniversary of Indian independence
Our students came prepared with good questions for representatives from Regions Financial Corporation
At the end of the first week of classes, our returning MBA2s serve as panelists for a series of Day in the Life of an MBA Intern panels by function/industry
Alumni Adam Johnson (Cognizant) and Marsha Smith (EY) introduce their their industry and the consulting job search
Each fall we do "pitch parties" to practice our pitches for national career fairs
MBA1s, MBA2s, a recent alumnus, and the Terry Dean pose at the Graduate Business Association (GBA) faculty-staff-student mixer in downtown Athens
 Not pictured: 

Terry Third Thursday with Equifax CEO Rick Smith (Atlanta Campus)
MBA2 Pitch Party
MBA Leadership Fellows Retreat
CMC Career Mentor Training
AT&T Student Leader Dinner 
Introduction to Case Interviewing with Alvarez & Marsal 
First Home Game MBA Tailgate (tomorrow!)