Graduate Management News

January 2017

The Newsletter of the Graduate Management Admission Council

Work Experience Is Key to Helping Students Launch Fulfilling Post-MBA Careers

Foundational work and core business classes should be a major part of any MBA curriculum, but experiences outside the classroom give students an edge in their post-MBA careers.

Career Success

Responding to times of uncertainty around the incoming administration and the effect it will have on the economy, Lehigh University’s College of Business and Economics is launching a new one-year (1-MBA) MBA program that includes an internship. This is in an effort to provide students a path to full employment upon program completion.

We have made work a central part of the 1-MBA. Geared toward career changers and professionals who want to accelerate their careers, the 1-MBA offers an eight-week internship and a dedicated coaching team assigned to each student. The coaching team is comprised of a faculty member, alumni mentor and executive coach that serve as mentors and assist students in identifying internship opportunities and subsequent full-time job placement.

According to a recent article in U.S. News and World Report, experts advise prospective students to target b-schools that offer work experiences in various industries, so they have plenty of opportunities to explore careers.

“For students who are looking to make a change, particularly if they are changing industries or changing roles, those experiences are critical,” according to Andrew Ward, associate dean for graduate programs and associate professor of management at Lehigh University College of Business and Economics.

Within the MBA, we also endeavor to help students with their careers through a Professional Development Program (PDP), whereby students can develop and implement a plan for solidifying their next career phase, while acquiring the skills and experiences necessary to make an impact.

The PDP consists of seminars designed to help students transition from their current positions to the next level. It also includes individual coaching sessions and networking dinners with business executives. “The one-one-one professional development coaching sessions were instrumental to helping me define and articulate what I wanted from my career, work environment, and professional culture," Lehigh MBA alum Abigail Lutte said.

Our strategy for boosting students’ career prospects post-MBA emphasizes experience outside the classroom, including work experience as well as professional development coaching, so that students can go beyond the foundational work and core business classes. It’s these experiences that make the 1-MBA program unique.

About the Author

Michael TarrantinoMichael Tarantino, MBA, is Director of Recruitment & Admissions, Graduate Programs, at Lehigh University..