Are you considering applying to the Indian School of Business AND switching careers post-MBA? Then you’ll want to read the following excerpt from our recent Q&A with Mr. V. K. Menon, Senior Director of Placements at ISB, as he discusses important information for career switchers at the ISB.
Question: I have often read about ISB students making career shifts after years of being in one position. How does the one-year program help students to make such dramatic career shifts? How does the school assist students in considering different choices?
VK Menon: As we said at the start, around 70% of the guys shift their careers in some way. Either they shift their function or they shift their industry or their geography or they might shift two of them or they might shift all three…
The important thing is look at it from the eye of the recruiter…The recruiter says fine, you’ve got three, four years of experience in whichever domain you’ve been working in. We will give you credit that you have got to a premium MBA program. We will give you credit that you have done well in your undergrad…But now you should tell me why we should take you over somebody else we can get from the market who is coming from a similar experience background?
Now this is the question you have to answer when it comes to the interview. How ISB prepares you for that is again going back to the question which was asked some time back. Right from the time you join, you will be connected with learning – as we call learning and development experts. These are all people with vertical experience across verticals. That is sales and marketing, technology, finance, etc. and these people will handle and guide you through the process. They will tell you what you need to do to be able to answer that question which we discussed. They will connect you will alumni. They will connect you with industry leaders and experts. There are programs which are specifically designed for industry people to come and give you guidance. So this whole process is orchestrated by the career advancement services group.
Question: What if I want to change industry being from a family business background?
VK Menon: This is also another very interesting question because hidden in the question is another question….Will the companies think that I may not stay with them? There are all kinds of fears which are there in the minds of people who are coming from that background. But what I have seen is, as far as the company is concerned, the company is looking for certain skill sets. That’s number one. Number two is by and large, most companies these days promote an entrepreneurial culture. They want people who are risk takers, who can think differently, who can come up with solutions, who can take responsibility and move forward quickly in a flexible way. So all these are requirements.
Now what I have seen is, unless you are coming in from a family industry which is directly competing or something, which I haven’t had many cases like that, but if you’re coming from an industry, a family – a background where you have your own industry or your family has an industry, these recruiters are quite comfortable taking you because their assumption is that since you have your own industry or participated strongly in it, you will have this in-built characteristics, risk taking, responsible, flexible, move ahead fast, all these entrepreneurial characteristics which become very favorable. So I have seen a lot of people from family backgrounds get very nice roles.
For more questions and answers on switching careers at the ISB, check out the 2014 ISB Career Shifts Q&A transcript or audio file. You can also view Accepted’s Career Changers 101 page for more information.
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