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GMAC™ Offers Career Planning Tool on

Why do people go to b-school? Most say they want to either launch a new career or further their current one. But how much thought have they really given their career plans before they submit an application? Are they sure they’ll be happy in the field they’ve chosen? Do they know how the schools to which they’ve applied will further their goals? How well do applicants really know themselves and what motivates and satisfies them?

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) has long advised prospective students and applicants to undertake serious career self-assessment before pursuing business school. Now, for the first time, GMAC is offering a product that can help them do that: CareerLeader, an online self-assessment tool for sale in the MBA Store on

How CareerLeader Works

CareerLeader uses three psychometrically sound questionnaires to rate users’ business- and work-related attributes and determine career paths and corporate environments that would best suit them.

  1. The Business Career Interest Inventory assesses users’ interests in eight core business activities: 1) application of technology; 2) quantitative analysis; 3) theory development and conceptual thinking; 4) creative production; 5) counseling and mentoring; 6) managing people and relationships; 7) enterprise control; and 8) influence through language and ideas. This section of CareerLeader also measures the test takers’ entrepreneurial attributes.
  2. The Management and Professional Rewards Profile helps test takers prioritize which rewards matter most to them: 1) affiliation, or feeling part of the group; 2) altruism; 3) autonomy; 4) financial gain; 5) intellectual challenge; 6) lifestyle; 7) managing people; 8) positioning, or using current career moves to prepare for future opportunities; 9) power and influence; 10) prestige; 11) recognition; 12) security; and 13) variety.
  3. The Management and Professional Abilities Profile assists test takers in evaluating their strength in the 22 abilities the test developers deem necessary for success in business. These abilities—all related to problem solving, taking initiative, or interpersonal effectiveness—include the following:
  • critical thinking
  • quantitative analysis
  • creativity
  • multitasking
  • confidence
  • leading/managing
  • strategic thinking
  • teamwork
  • sensitivity and tact

CareerLeader also describes 26 career paths in more than 300 Web pages, explaining the abilities and experiences required to be successful in each.

CareerLeader costs U.S. $50.00. The one-time fee gives purchasers use of the CareerLeader website for five years, during which time they can take the assessment twice.

The Creators and Their Philosophy

CareerLeader was developed by Peregrine Partners, a Brookline, Mass., firm founded by Timothy Butler, director of MBA career development programs at Harvard Business School, and James Waldroop, the former codirector of MBA career development at Harvard Business School. Butler and Waldroop’s philosophy on attaining career satisfaction, which guided them in the creation of CareerLeader, has three tenets:

  • Interests, not skills, should be the foundation for people’s careers. (Math whizzes make unhappy accountants if they don’t truly love what they are doing.)
  • The combination of what people are interested in, what they value (financial gain, altruism, security, etc.), and what they are good at (communication, quantitative calculation, taking quick action, etc.) makes their career path unique.
  • Corporate culture often contributes more to personal satisfaction than the specific duties or industry category of a job.

More than 190 graduate business schools use CareerLeader to help enrolled students identify desirable business careers.

CareerLeader Benefits Students and Schools

Susan Motz, director of new product and business development at GMAC, identified the potential for CareerLeader to help applicants define their goals and their approaches to fulfilling these goals.

“CareerLeader has a lot to offer,” said Motz. “Career services professionals from business schools have been using it to help them advise current MBA students in their pursuit of jobs, but reaching prospective MBAs earlier will be a tremendous benefit to both the applicants and the schools.

“Applicants would choose programs with a clearer understanding of how a school’s education and career services will help them to achieve their goals. So when they become students, they will be more satisfied with their b-school experiences and will be more focused in the placement process—all of this, of course, is good for the schools.”

“CareerLeader can help people at any stage of the business school process, but it’s most effective when used early, while they are still forming their plans,” said Motz. “We encourage schools to recommend CareerLeader to their inquiries and applicants, especially to those who are unsure of their career direction or who seem to need a fuller and more realistic understanding of their stated career choice. That’s when CareerLeader is most valuable.”

For More Information

To learn more about CareerLeader, please contact Peter Moran, marketing manager, GMAC®, by phone (1-703-749-0131) or email (, or visit the CareerLeader page in the MBA Store®:

Graduate Management Admission Council™ and GMAC™ are registered trademarks of the Graduate Management Admission Council™. All rights reserved.
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