How the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting the employment market for our community.
What we did
Quantic School of Business and Technology conducted a survey with students and alumni to better understand how the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting our community in regards to the employment market. Our goals were twofold: to better understand how and to what extent the pandemic is affecting our community, and to identify any strategies that could be of use. Here are our findings. Note: percentages reported below have been rounded to the nearest whole number.
Our community is particularly aware of and involved in the employment market — one of the main reasons people undertake an MBA program is to move up in their career or enter a new field. And because of the level of seniority and achievement of our students and alumni, many are involved on the hiring side as well. We sent this survey out to 5,000 Quantic students and alumni, and heard back from 1,743 of them.
25% (443) were exclusively seeking employment 25% (433) were exclusively hiring 10% (177) were involved in both activities 39% (685) were involved in neither
We got broad industry representation with respondents from agriculture and the arts to travel, transportation and telecom.
What we learned
Overall, there was a drastic shift in how people feel about the state of the employment market.
The numbers have flipped: Prior to the pandemic, over 60% were optimistic about the market; after, that number has dropped to less than 10%. Prior to the pandemic, less than 10% were pessimistic; that number has soared to over 60%.
While that is a dramatic change, there are nuances as well:
18% of respondents didn’t change their overall opinion of the market (between 15 – 22 percent for each segment).
A very small percentage, 3.3%, revised their opinions favorably, going from pessimistic to optimistic or neutral, or from neutral to optimistic.
Those that were not actively involved in either hiring or seeking had the highest percentage of negatively revised opinions at 85% going from optimistic to neutral or pessimistic, or neutral to pessimistic.
When asked to comment on this there was a wide range of responses – here are a few insights. Note: quotes below lightly edited for spelling, grammar, and clarity:
I believe Covid-19 will affect the job market globally. Home working could help cross country hiring and balance/reduce the global unemployment rate. Exceptional times require exceptional measures.
I believe we will have to adapt to the new normal and that presents the opportunity for us to re-think our mid to long term strategy and innovate accordingly.
I felt the job market before the pandemic was already heavily over-extended. In my opinion, it was artificial and unnatural for a bull market to rage on for ten years with no significant correction. For over a year, I was convinced a recession was going to happen but did not know what would be the catalyst for it.
In West Africa, there’s a high probability of decreased funding in the immediate future to areas of public health and social intervention.
Personally, I feel this pandemic has come at a time when Kenya is already economically on its knees. This virus has killed our hopes of recovering from our former status, and we are expecting very many deaths due to starvation and suicide.
While I anticipate that developed countries will be fine in a few months, I feel developing countries (South Africa, Nigeria and India especially) will be suffering the effects of this pandemic for years to come.
It seems like parents are having an extra hard time with children at home and still trying to work. Schools here are having us home school so it takes a lot of time and energy. Productivity is down and stress is very high. It makes work and school difficult.
Industry Specific Insights
Our industry (management consulting / leadership training) has been hit hard. Especially at smaller consulting firms, we’re seeing a lot of lost revenue and layoffs as corporations are pulling from training budgets to shore up core operations in this downturn.
Our information technology field is much better than other markets and even possibilities to glow providing the solution during/after the Covid-19 problem.
Staying in healthcare I feel optimistic. Potentially switching careers I feel less optimistic. Overall, at peace.
The spread of the virus will change business dynamics, especially in the segments of the traditional heavy industry as steel for instance. The virus will also weigh on the overall economy much more than the 2008 crisis.
My law firm provides services to Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, and high-net-worth individuals. We expect a downturn over the coming weeks (perhaps months) in demand for our services. This will therefore impact the need for professionally qualified staff.
Within the food industry, it’s going to be a very steep uphill battle to get things back to the way they were.
We are a startup. We now aim to be self-sustainable rather than grow quickly because of the VC climate.
There is clearly a lot of unknown and I fully expect companies will either wait out or reevaluate their business model and roles needed to support it.
We realigned expectations and targets. The hiring policy reflects this, resulting in significantly reduced hiring for Q2 and Q3. We review strategy quarterly and depending on the situation in the coming months, further changes can happen, positive or negative.
Noticeable change in activity
The events are also altering how people interact. For seekers, 74% have noticed a change in hiring processes, including interview delays or cancellations, lack of announcements, or virtual interviews. Of the 428* people in that group, 24% of those who were seeking employment have decided to pause their search.
On the hiring side, 53% have seen slowed activity, either putting hiring on hold, canceling interviews, or instituting a hiring freeze.
With so much current uncertainty we are not making any major changes. We are taking a wait-and-see approach and minimizing expenses.
Our company (1500+) has instituted a hiring freeze, as have many others. Smaller firms in the industry are furloughing staff.
I am a hiring manager and have been told by my company that junior/associate level positions are on hold (I have one open position that has been temporarily frozen) until the “shelter in place” order is lifted and we can return to the office. Higher-level positions may still be filled, but all interviews will be over video calls.
Overall, I am very apprehensive to hire because I do not know the long term effects.
What can you do?
This data doesn’t exist in a vacuum. While the volatility is obvious and there’s been a clear change in sentiment, here are some ways we can apply what we’ve learned to benefit ourselves and the Quantic community.
Know you’re not alone.
One of the most important findings is that this is happening to everyone — even those who aren’t actively looking or hiring have felt the impact. 60%, of our community is directly impacted, and the other 40% are also noticing significant changes in the market.
Many of the comments express similar thoughts around the changes that are taking place, including delays in interviews, hiring freezes, and slowdown in overall market activity. Even if you are negatively affected by what’s happening, it’s not just you.
Leverage the network
If and when you become aware of opportunities, share them widely. You never know who’s looking or who you might be able to help. If you hear of something you think might be a perfect fit for someone in particular, let them know about it, even if you’re not aware they’re on the market. You never know if they are looking for an opportunity. In addition to your regular channels, you can share opportunities and reach out directly to Quantic classmates and alumni in the online student portal.
Prepare for opportunity.
There is still some activity happening: 15% of those who are involved in hiring indicated that they have not changed anything in regards to hiring or are still hiring as usual, and in a follow-up survey, 14% of respondents have increased the rate of hiring or are backfilling positions due to quarantine during this time. If you do want or need to make a change, do what you can to optimize yourself as a candidate.
Research the market. Analyze job announcements in your field and identify the core competencies that are in high demand. Review your history for ways that you’ve demonstrated those skills in your career.
Update your resume. Make sure your Quantic career profile, resume, and LinkedIn profile are up to date, and draft a cover letter that you can customize as needed.
Professional Development. If you have an experience or skill gap, now might be the time to fill it through education, or volunteering for a project at work to learn a particular technique (Remote project execution – check!)
Proactively contact your references. It’s always easier to reach out ahead of time, stay in touch and catch up without pressure so that there’s no rush when the time comes.
If you have any questions about this survey, or ideas for Quantic that you’d like to share, please get in touch.
* Percentage based on round one of survey respondents
South32 Connectivity & Cyber Security Program Manager, Barbara Meyer knew she wanted to earn her MBA. Being a working mom, she needed a program that would fit into her busy schedule. Here is a note on her Quantic experience, why she believes all moms can achieve their professional goals, break down stereotypes, and become rockstar role models for their children:
Moms should feel welcome in MBA programs and not feel held back because child-bearing years and MBA programs coincide. Furthermore, moms should not be left having to choose between a family and furthering a career, through study. Although business schools have been encouraging more women to join master’s programs, they still have not reached gender parity.
As a single mother of a toddler, I found myself in the middle of this dilemma. I realised that in supporting my daughter’s growth as an independent, strong, educated woman, I needed to be a role model for her. I needed to be the best version of myself and put myself in a position to advance my professional career. The tricky part was how to accomplish this without feeling like I was relinquishing responsibility and missing precious time with my daughter.
As an IT program and project manager, I often thought that an MBA might provide me with a well rounded business foundation, which might be the next step to advance my career. However, everything I knew about traditional MBA courses seemed to be daunting: excessive cost, fixed on-site lectures or block periods, lengthy course durations, and sacrifices beyond my appetite. This was true until I came across an online invitation to a free MBA with Quantic.
I was hooked. Everything I hoped to have in a MBA course was packaged into the Executive MBA online offering: it was not only flexible, mobile and affordable, but also pedagogically sound and ensured active student participation (the first 11 years of my career were spent as a STEM teacher), a global network of alumni, and best of all, it could be completed in 12 months.
In the past eight months of studying, I found that the pace and schedule were manageable, while balancing my everyday life. I am very privileged to have flexible working hours and lots of support from my employer, South32. With the mobile application available 24/7, I used every spare five minutes to complete a learning unit. This happened during lunch time, sitting somewhere waiting in a queue, 15 minutes after I woke up or went to bed, and especially the time at night when the little one would wake up and I couldn’t fall back to sleep (don’t all moms know this midnight joy?). Thus far, it has been an enjoyable, highly interesting journey and well worth the effort. Even in this short time, I have been able to incorporate my learning into my day job and have applied some of the principles to make innovative changes.
Were there difficult times? Yes, especially during the time that we were both sick. Are the exams and assignments challenging? Yes, you must put in extra effort during exam week. Is the Quantic staff helpful and supportive? For sure, they know that students are human, life happens, and that there is always a plan to get back on schedule.
The most pleasantly unexpected experience with my Executive MBA was during one of my exams, as highlighted in an email I wrote:
“I wanted to share with you a precious moment and why I love the format of the Quantic EMBA. I have been working diligently during the hours that my daughter is asleep (because I do not want to impact the little time we have during the day) and thus far, it has worked very well. I try to do most of my exams early in the morning, before she wakes up. At 5:15am, I settled in behind my machine, ready to take on the Operations and Project Management exam. Instead of her waking up as normal around 7am, she woke at 5:30am. Needless to say, I had a curious, happy-to-be-alive, wanting-to-be-with-mommy, toddler. I almost had a panic attack but decided to make the most of the situation.
As she played, I finished my exam through all the questions, requests and played along. The picture says it all. Although it took a little longer, the end result was a whopping 93% and a very happy little girl. I can’t think of a better result :-).
I hope that it can be an encouragement to more mothers out there; it is possible to complete the Quantic EMBA, tend to your family and work full-time. Thank you again Quantic for enabling continuous studies and making it possible to have fun doing it.”
It is my hope that more women will join the increasing network of MBA alumni. Quantic has gone the extra mile to make moms feel welcome in the Executive MBA program. Quantic has designed their Executive MBA program in such a way that a mom is not trapped in the compromises of choosing between career advancement, further studies and raising a family. Moms, let’s go forth to equip ourselves for professional success, model an example for our children, and help to break down barriers and stereotypes with an Executive MBA.
There are hundreds of business degree programs offered globally. Navigating the business school landscape is challenging. There are tons of options.
This article will put you on the right path.
At Quantic School of Business and Technology, we understand how big this decision is. After all, picking the right MBA or Executive MBA will propel your career forward
To help equip you with the information you need to make an informed decision, we’ve developed a program comparison guide.
Use it as a tool to determine which program is best suited to your unique situation and desired career outcomes.
MBA (Master of Business Administration) programs are most commonly suited to those with less work experience — often, those who have recently graduated. These are people who require more introductory courses in business administration.
Therefore, MBA candidates are commonly required to maintain a heavier workload and a more demanding schedule during their full-time studies.
By working on a full-time schedule, MBA programs tend to offer more freedom within the denser school schedule. For instance, selecting electives or choosing a subject specialization or “track.” (Although this is not entirely uncharacteristic of Executive MBA programs, it’s rarer.)
Executive MBA (Executive Master of Business Administration) programs are developed with working professionals in mind. Those who want to keep working full time, while advancing their skills.
This is frequently done on a part-time basis. Some schools offer specializations in industries like healthcare and technology; the Quantic Executive MBA’s award-winning curriculum offers elective specializations in management, leadership, entrepreneurship and advanced strategy.
MBA and EMBA Statistics
A good approach to researching which type of program is right for you is by looking at MBA and Executive MBA programs by the numbers—or in business terms, through a cost-benefit analysis.
Cost of an MBA vs. an EMBA
Approaching your selection of a program through a financial lens is one of the most common methods of analysis. Pursuing an MBA or Executive MBA costs time and money — it’s a commitment that’s worth taking the time to think about in-depth.
The key lies in determining which type of program is best suited for where you are in your career, and which stands to be of most benefit to you in terms of career growth. one major difference between Executive MBA and MBA programs is the format of their delivery and associated costs.
Executive MBA programs, mostly delivered part time, allow students to keep their jobs. This means that Executive MBA candidates can bring in a steady income while they study, thus increasing the ROI of their EMBA degree by reducing its overall cost.
MBA programs, on the other hand, are most commonly delivered in a full-time format, requiring candidates to put income-earning on hold. They may also require students to incur additional living costs (like room and board), if they have to relocate to pursue the degree.
Executive MBA programs typically attract more mature professionals (with the average EMBA applicant age being 38), with greater work experience. They have competitive résumés and are poised to move into more senior leadership roles with their current employer, change industries, or perhaps, branch out on their own to start a new company.
MBA applicants, by contrast, tend to be younger (with the average MBA applicant age being 28) and have their applications reviewed on the basis of academic credentials. That said, many programs, including Quantic’s MBA, value unique and sometimes less traditional backgrounds.
With either program, there are always outliers so one of the most useful ways to determine which program is best for you, is to consider the kind of peers you stand to gain. Will learning alongside those who are just starting out in their careers challenge you? Will you be able to contribute to your cohort in a way that’s valuable and challenges others? These are the types of questions that can help you choose a program that stands to benefit you the most.
Each type of program is delivered with a unique purpose and student needs in mind.
Executive MBA candidates often compete for admission on the basis of their work experience rather than academic scores. And they are typically required to apply with a minimum of five years’ work experience (though their average work experience is 14 years) and demonstrated managerial or leadership roles.
MBA applicants, on the other hand, typically compete on their GMAT and academic credentials, as well as their work experience to-date. Quantic’s MBA and Executive MBA, however, do not require students take the GMAT. Both programs require a bachelor’s degree.
How long an MBA takes to complete depends on the type of program you choose. Executive MBA programs are typically part-time programs that run on weekends and weeknights and vary in duration (between 18 and 24 months, though some take as few as 12 months, like the Quantic Executive MBA); more traditional MBA programs, by comparison, usually take more time, often requiring 4 semesters of full-time study (following a typical university schedule), amounting to two years total (24 months).
Some online MBA programs are shorter; for instance, the Quantic MBA takes 10 months to complete. Though, this is not an indication of a lighter curriculum — Quantic’s program length is a direct result of its proprietary pedagogy that uses Active Learning to teach. They’ve done away with time-consuming lectures entirely and deliver content via fast-paced, interactive, and personalized modules. Plus, shorter programs mean you can start earning faster. Quantic’s MBA also has the added benefit of a built-in career network, too, so you’re likely to put your skills to use immediately.
Whether you choose a traditional MBA or Executive MBA program, the cost of tuition, plus any additional expenses, tends to be substantial.
As per EMBAC’s 2019 Membership Program Survey, the average executive EMBA cost runs at just under $83,000 (US), though higher tuition costs are not uncommon; many ranked MBA and EMBA programs’ tuition can easily exceed $100,000, and the most prestigious business schools can cost double that (upwards of $200,000).
MBA programs, on the other hand, while costing somewhat less in tuition (on average $60,000), quickly add up in day-to-day living costs that aren’t offset until graduates return to regular employment.
Quantic offer’s a hyper-competitive free MBA. How is it free? Tuition is subsidized by the built-in career network, Smartly Talent. Employers pay to recruit from the school’s high-caliber student and alumni network, thus, shifting the burden of tuition costs from student to employer. The Executive MBA, while not free, is just 5% the cost of a traditional program.
Another stark contrast between the two program formats is funding.
It’s far more common for Executive MBA candidates to be funded by their employers, while MBAs are typically self-funded.
This creates a landscape in which MBA students often have more options for applying for scholarship funding, should they invest their time in this additional research and application process.
It should be stated, though, that over the years schools have begun to offer more Executive MBA scholarships in response to a changing trend whereby EMBAs are seeing less employer sponsorship and need to be self-funded. Quantic’s Executive MBA offers candidates pathways and resources for employer-funded tuition reimbursement.
And of course, even for students who are company-funded, conditions may apply, such as requiring that Executive MBA graduates complete a term of employment with the sponsoring company after graduation. Additionally, most require that the school is accredited (Quantic is accredited).
A student’s lifestyle is heavily influenced by the program they choose to undertake.
Since Executive MBA candidates tend to have significant and continual work obligations alongside their academic pursuits, course schedules will typically run outside the usual 9-to-5, during what many working professionals consider to be their leisure or personal/family time. This, of course, will also have significant social implications—although course attendance and networking with their newfound community can help fill that social gap. The latter is true for MBA candidates too, who will undoubtedly spend much more time in person with classmates, whether in the classroom, in the library or at networking and MBA events on evenings and weekends.
Because Quantic’s programs are entirely online, it enables both Executive MBA and MBA students to learn on their own schedule, with most students spending between 5-15 hours a week on course work. And with group projects, virtual classrooms for discussion and debate, and optional in-person meet-ups and conferences, there are plenty of opportunities for networking and connecting with fellow peers.
Executive MBA Benefits
The “E” in EMBA often has prospective students mistaking the EMBA as a more “elite” form of study in comparison to the “more basic” MBA program.
The reality is the two programs are simply designed to suit different kinds of students. They offer different curricula and educational experiences. While much of the core curriculum is shared between the MBA and EMBA, Executive MBAs offer more in the way of advanced courses in C-level management, strategy, and leadership.
MBA programs tend to include more introductory courses for those with less managerial experience with the option to specialize in more focused courses, similar to those seen in an EMBA curriculum.
Due to constraints on EMBA candidates’ schedules, EMBA programs also offer more classes on the weekends, on some weeknights, and in more condensed formats.
This results in a program that tends to offer fewer elective options than a typical MBA. However, EMBA cohorts tend to have students from all kinds of backgrounds who bring different experiences, perspectives, and knowledge to the table, which massively enhances the learning experience in its own unique way.
A Master in Business Administration program offers candidates significant monetary returns upon graduation.
While salary increases vary by candidate and industry, according to the 2019 Executive MBA Council Survey, EMBA graduates saw an average salary boost of 13.5%.
While this number is lower compared to MBAs (who by virtue of being younger and earlier in their careers have more to gain in terms of earning potential), the same survey also saw 53% of EMBA candidates reporting that they received more responsibilities, with 40% of those surveyed reporting that they received a promotion during the program.
There’s no doubt that a degree of either type is well worth pursuing.
The skills acquired during study vary by program, depending on the specialties and concentrations chosen, as well as the type of program.
The primary skills gained from an EMBA degree are those related to effective leadership, strategy and corporate governance.
According to the 2019 Executive MBA Council Survey, EMBA graduates reported learning skills that included strategic thinking, decision-making and leadership, in addition to gaining insight into economic factors affecting businesses today, as well as accounting skills and financial acuity. Such skills can help candidates who wish to take their consulting work to the next level, as well as those wanting to move into executive leadership roles and the C-suite within an organization.
The most competitive degrees have gained that reputation by way of the opportunities they afford their graduates, the network and career support. Programs with a strong career network offer candidates avenues to new jobs as well as mentorship opportunities. These are particularly beneficial to students who are hoping to change industry.
MBA and Executive MBA Admission Requirements
Because MBA and EMBA programs tend to attract candidates at different stages of their careers, they often differ in their requirements for admission. For instance, most MBA programs require a bachelor’s degree at a minimum. Whereas EMBA programs require more work experience (typically 10 to 15 years).
Since most Executive MBA candidates already have a strong foundation of business experience,, standardized tests like the GMAT (Graduate Management Assessment Test) are less commonly required for admission.
Conversely, most MBA programs put more emphasis on GMAT scores when reviewing candidates’ eligibility, and, though some programs do waive it, it’s important to know whether you need a GMAT for the MBA as well as the minimum score required to apply. While many Quantic students have taken the GMAT (and scored on par with students at top schools!), it’s not a requirement for admission.
In the MBA world, application essays are also weighted quite heavily in admissions and some applicants might vie for a spot through more creative approaches (some schools even require video essays). And though most global programs are offered in English, students who aren’t native English speakers are often required to get a minimum score on a standardized language test, such as the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).
In terms of recommendation letters, both the MBA and EMBA programs often require at least one, if not several. For the Executive MBA, where work-life balance is important, candidates are also required to supply written proof that their current employer actually supports their pursuing the degree. This is true for EMBA applicants who are being sponsored by their employer to study, as well as for those who aren’t, because chances are that candidates will have to do some coordinating with their company (including potentially taking some time off) to complete the program. Quantic’s employer-funded tuition reimbursement program makes this conversation easy with a downloadable guide.
Choosing the Right Program for Your Lifestyle Goals
The delivery format of a business degree can have huge implications for the success of a candidate during their studies as well as beyond graduation.
In-person programs provide the traditional grounding of an academic environment, but this comes at a premium — higher tuition costs, relocation, and putting a budding career on hold to attend full time
Luckily, competitive online programs are on the rise. They are changing the landscape and reducing the barriers to entry. Some programs even incorporate cutting edge technology into their Learning Management Systems. For some candidates this is a better option. It increases their competitiveness in the job market,but doesn’t involve a massive investment of time and money. .
Traditional (On-Campus) MBA/EMBA Programs
Residential programs are a suitable choice for students who wish to be more fully immersed in campus culture.
On-campus programs also offer candidates more opportunities to network and socialize with their cohort, professors, and the wider academic community outside of their structured MBA or EMBA schedule.
Part-Time MBA/EMBA Programs
A part-time program, whether an EMBA or MBA, is best suited to students who wish to continue working while earning their degrees. Coursework for these programs is most often scheduled on weekends and weeknights. Of course, those choosing this option may find they require a high level of discipline, as their “free time” will be largely occupied by coursework.
Those with children or other personal commitments and responsibilities may have to assess their priorities during their course of study to ensure they stay organized.
Online MBA/EMBA Programs
More non-traditional programs, like those delivered online, are gaining popularity, as they offer more flexible schedules and learning environments for the modern student—and with much lower financial barriers.
By removing overhead costs, these programs can offer a valuable curriculum, experienced faculty, and deep industry expertise at a fraction of the cost of an in-person program (and sometimes even free).
By virtue of not being overseen by large regulatory bodies, the curriculum of these programs is often more customized and responsive to the changing needs of industry, and not simply academia.
For example, Quantic EMBA cohorts follow a guided sequence of coursework especially developed by a team of specialists who collaborate with professors from top elite business schools to bring the program to life. Students are offered bite-size lessons and individualized feedback (every eight seconds!) so that they feel supported throughout the course of their studies, in addition to online and in-person group work and networking opportunities that round out the program.
Today’s business professionals are already seeing the signs of a growing remote workforce, heightened interconnectivity, more collaborative tools, and changing operational structures that are altering how we do business globally.
More flexible online-first programs can be seen as an extension of these wider trends and can, simply by virtue of their delivery format, offer candidates unique insights into the evolving contexts of work as well as the skills necessary to succeed as leaders in this changing environment.
Summary: Choose the Right Degree for Your Career Growth
Is a particular MBA or EMBA program right for you?
That’s the fundamental question.
To answer it accurately, you need to look at your own eligibility first and foremost (e.g. career maturity, academic experience and work experience).
After that… you should evaluate your own ability and desire to commit to it.
If you still want to do one, then the delivery format is important.
You now have the choice of online MBA’s, as well as more traditional full time and part time options.
Pick one that works for you.
Your own learning style, lifestyle habits and personal responsibilities and commitments — these things play a large role in what you get out of whatever format you choose.
Not everyone is primed for success right out of the gate.
There are many reasons why students choose to earn their MBA from Quantic. Quantic offers innovative degree programs that are online and mobile, so students can learn wherever they want. And for many, the highly selective and global nature of Quantic’s admissions is a major draw—all in service of building an impressive and engaged network of students and alumni around the world.
Unlike many online education platforms, Quantic provides its learners with myriad opportunities to meet and connect. Quantic’s Network allows students and alumni from the MBA and EMBA programs to discover students located in their geographic area and who share similar interests. And with the recent addition of the Network Events tab, students can now do more than just communicate on the platform; they can also connect in person.
In the Events tab, students can peruse the many community events Quantic has to offer. These range from in-person conferences, meetups, and special events to online orientations and book clubs, where students discuss the monthly book pick over video chat. Some of the most significant networking opportunities in Quantic’s highly engaged network are the in-person meetups and conferences held in cities around the world.
Quantic meetups allow for students to make real-world connections with their classmates. Meetups range from sharing dinner with one another at local restaurants to a special event such as touring Facebook’s NYC Headquarters. Recent meetup cities include Toronto, Berlin, Taipei, and Sydney. Quantic has hosted meetups in over 40 cities in 2019 alone, including trips to tour the United States Capitol building and London’s Houses of Parliament.
While meetups primarily bring together students and alumni who live in the same city, the weekend-long Executive MBA conferences draw students from (nearly) every continent. Conference itineraries vary from city to city and provide unique opportunities for students to experience and learn about the city they’re in. In 2019, conferences were held in Washington D.C., Singapore, and Dublin, with the next scheduled for Spring of 2020 in Copenhagen.
Conferences provide an excellent opportunity for students to not only network with other students and alumni, but to learn about real world businesses. Students partake in workshops, collaborate on case studies, hear talks from prominent business leaders, and visit successful local businesses to gain new perspectives and insights on how businesses are run across industries and in different countries.
Why does Quantic put so much emphasis on students networking virtually and through conferences and meetups?
According to Alexie Harper, Quantic’s Co-Founder and Chief Academic Officer, “Networking provides students with new career opportunities and allows them to meet the right people who may later provide them with career resources and support when they need it.”
Networking can even be a source of inspiration—presenting different paths of success that others have taken and that you have perhaps overlooked. Particularly in mid-to-senior level management roles and for students embarking upon an entrepreneurial endeavor, networking is a vital component for advancing one’s career, avoiding stagnation, and making the most out of opportunities that arise.
There’s evidence that networking plays a major role in hiring. The chart below from SilkRoad’s 2018 research report on hiring sources shows that referrals were the largest source of job hires by a long shot.
This chart from Statista shows that friends and professional connections provided the most new opportunities for job seekers in 2018.
Through student projects that encourage students to work together to solve business issues, student meetups and events around the world, and the Network tab features, Quantic students are encouraged to build meaningful connections.
So go on. Meet new people, reconnect with old acquaintances, and grow your network. You never know where it could lead.
From art teacher to Facebook partner, Ian stresses the importance of finding your “common thread”
Something that most (if not all) Quantic students have in common is the desire to learn. Students come from a wide variety of backgrounds, with interests and expertise in everything from biotechnology, investment banking, and engineering, to start-ups, non-profits, and more. Some of these students, often with an insatiable sense of curiosity, wish to earn a degree in business so that they can transition into a new field. Moving from one industry to another can be difficult, but it goes smoother with the right mindset and guidance. This is the lesson that Quantic Executive MBA student Ian Saville learned and mastered.
Ian has changed career courses multiple times. In high school, he wanted to become a priest, but was also interested in math and physics. So upon entering his freshman year in college, he was set to double major in physics and religion at The University of the South. But, ever in search of a challenge, Ian opted for a major that pushed him out of his comfort zone: art. He realized that math and physics had answers that were too defined. He was drawn to art because there aren’t right or wrong answers, and that openness left room for him to problem solve and figure things out on his own. Upon this realization, he switched majors and completed his B.A. in studio art, and then earned his M.A. in Art Education from Columbia University.
“I think a lot of art making is about problem solving, coming up with unique expressions and novel ideas to address issues,” said Ian. “It’s challenging, and I like challenges.”
Problem solving is a big deal for Ian. It is something that has guided his career, influencing the various jobs he’s pursued. After college, Ian became a middle school art teacher in New York City because he felt it would help promote kids’ ability to problem solve and think critically. While he was passionate about educating kids, he realized that being a teacher wasn’t his true calling.
Ian then went on to become a career coach. He said that he wanted to help people reach that moment where they realize their potential and what they really want to be doing. He believes that if you can think about the underlying concept of why you are passionate about something, then you can find clarity in what you want to do. While he preached this concept to others, Ian realized that he needed to do this himself.
Ian needed to make a change — a big one. The thought of moving into a new industry can be an anxiety-inducing endeavor; there’s always the risk that what you think you want to do, won’t actually pan out in reality. It’s cause for some serious self-discovery and Ian heeded the call. He decided to meet with a mentor of his to find clarity.
Ian’s mentor helped him recognize that there was one thing connecting all his jobs and interests — a desire to help people grow. Ian originally wanted to be a priest to help people, he became an art teacher to help kids, and he was a career coach to help people improve their lives. This commonality was the beacon Ian needed to figure out his next step.
“I think there’s something about career transitions and pivots where it feels really daunting, but once you understand what that common thread of your work is, it actually makes it a lot easier,” said Ian. “But you really have to do the work and reflect on it to get there.”
This realization may sound simple, but it is not easy to come to. It takes a great deal of patience and focus to truly take an objective look at yourself and figure out your strengths, weaknesses, and passions. Ian did not simply snap his fingers and figure it out.
“It took a lot of screwups,” said Ian. “I had a lot of really bad interviews in that process. It’s not like an overnight ‘aha.’”
Even though Ian had figured out what he wanted to do, he struggled to convey his industry-hopping in a way that was attractive to employers. Ian realized that he had been going about it all wrong, and that he was trying to hide and downplay his teaching experience instead of using it as a strength. He figured out that the main idea of teaching is “taking abstract concepts and turning them concrete.” By reframing his experience in this light, he discovered that his work had quite a few parallels to the tech industry.
It was in this reframing that Ian was able to land a job at Facebook, where he started as a Knowledge Manager before his current position as a Learning and Development Partner. Even at Facebook, Ian continues this idea of improving the way people figure out what’s important, out of an abundance of unnecessary junk, and builds knowledge pipelines to streamline the essential information.
“When we think about learning and development, there’s the need for learning and there’s the solution,” said Ian. “If we could reduce the amount of time between the need and the solution, then we are doing the right work.”
If you’ve been following this blog, you might sense a theme in the people we’ve profiled for Student Spotlights — they are all natural leaders. Ian is no different. In his career advising, he worked with executive-level clientele and learned a great deal about leadership. He believes that the key to being a good leader is consistency; consistent in how they delegate, ask questions, and create inclusive environments where everyone’s voice can be heard. Ian says that leaders need to think about the people they are leading and put themselves in their shoes.
“Be really empathetic to the people you are trying to empower or influence,” said Ian. “What do they want? What’s in it for them? Why should they care about your perspective?”
Ian also believes that good leaders need to be conscious of what they do and don’t know. It is important to reflect on themselves and think about where they have weaknesses and who under them has strengths in those areas.
“Great leaders have the awareness of knowing what they don’t know and can bring in others quickly to fill the gaps,” said Ian. “A bad leader is someone who holds all of the pieces to themselves and feel as though they need to be in control all of the time.”
Outside of advising others and his work at Facebook, Ian stays occupied by looking for other problems that need solving — in one instance, finding a better way for kids to learn Chinese. So, he and his wife created a children’s music book that teaches Chinese. The idea for the book came from Ian’s wife, Peipei, who was born in Shanghai. She wanted their son to learn the language but they soon realized that it was difficult to find books that teach young children Chinese. Peipei and Ian accepted the challenge and recently published the book, Bao Bao Learns Chinese.
During this process, Ian’s knack (or perhaps, penchant) for problem solving came into play when he and his wife had to figure out a business plan, despite neither of them running a business before. While Peipei was the one who actually created the book, Ian supported her with the business aspects. Even though Ian was a novice in this arena, the business parts of launching this venture went smoothly, thanks to the knowledge he gained in Quantic’s Executive MBA program. Ian said that Quantic helped with the awareness of business principles and decision making needed for the success of the book. Ian and Peipei, who works at Facebook as well, also used their combined knowledge of digital marketing to help launch the book.
Ian leveraging what he learned in Quantic to publish a book is something that reflects Quantic students as a whole — they are driven, self-motivated people who aren’t afraid to tackle new challenges. These students actively seek new opportunities, such as continued learning and switching industries, in their quest to reach their true potential. While transitioning to a new industry may seem scary and difficult, Ian’s talent for navigating complexities and the discovery of his “common thread” allowed him to find his dream job. It’s a story we can all learn from and ask ourselves as we broach any major career change — what’s my common thread?
An essential list of resume questions we developed to help you showcase your experience, skills, and potential to employers. Plus, a resume template you can download!
Creating a great resume can be daunting: What format looks best? How long should it be? What information should you include?
Below is an essential list of questions we developed for Quantic students and candidates in our career network to help them showcase their experience, skills, and potential to employers. And to make the process even easier, we created this simple, one-page Word template (download here) that follows these recommendations. Copy your information into this template to put your best foot forward in your job search!
1. Is my resume easy to read?
Use Times New Roman or Arial.
Use 11 or 12 point font.
Use 0.5-1 inch margins on each side.
2. Does my resume tell a clear story and showcase my strengths?
List experiences in reverse chronological order (most recent position first).
List multiple positions for the same employer as individual entries to highlight your progression.
Focus on achievements, not descriptions: Write concisely and focus on problems you solved, actions you took, and results that followed. Do not describe overall duties. Consider using the following framework: Action verb + Project (what you did) + Result (what you accomplished).
One page per 10 years of work experience: For most people, a good rule of thumb is one page per decade of work experience.
3. Do I stand out?
Make it personal:
Include a small “Personal” or “Additional Information” section at the end of your resume. Include language proficiencies, citizenship, service activities, society memberships, or current hobbies. If including interests, be as specific as possible (e.g. “avid Caribbean scuba diver” or “die hard Philly Eagles fan”). Do not repeat information from other sections.
Start each bullet with an action verb, and lead with the most important point.
State the outcomes of your work and quantify them when possible.
4. Is my resume error-free and consistent?
Format: Companies, universities, job titles, and dates should all be formatted the same way. We recommend bolding companies and universities, using italics for titles, and utilizing MMM YYYY–MMM YYYY (e.g. Jun 2015–Jul 2016) for dates.
Spacing between experiences and at the end of bullets should be consistent.
Things to avoid:
Avoid jargon, personal pronouns, objectives or personal statements, photos, and listing “references upon request.” These just take up space without adding value.
5. Have I proofread my resume?
It helps to have a friend or two proofread your resume for you. You can also read your resume backwards to help catch spelling mistakes—start at the last word and use your finger to guide you from one word to the previous. This forces you to isolate each word from its sentence.
6. Is my resume formatted as a PDF?
Formatting in Word is variable, so always save your resume as a PDF. This way, the recipient of the resume (your potential employer) will more likely see the resume the way you intended.
Note: This is a general guide that works across many industries and job functions. However, we know that it may not be appropriate for all fields (e.g. design, where the layout also serves as an example of abilities in the field) or experience levels. We hope you find it useful and wish you luck in your job search!
Congratulations to two Smartly MBA students who have been honored in the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 List.
Quantic (formerly known as Smartly Institute) is proud to announce that two of its MBA students have been honored in the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 List. The annual list by Forbes magazine recognizes young leaders who are making outstanding contributions to business and industry.
Kaitlyn Yang is being recognized in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Hollywood & Entertainment category. She is the founder of her own Los Angeles-based post-production studio, Alpha Studios, and has over 40 credits to her name, including the five-time Emmy award-winning Robot Chicken. Kaitlyn is a Quantic MBA 2016 graduate and also a graduate of University of Southern California’s Animation and Digital Arts Program. You can find Kaitlyn’s profile on Forbeshere.
Mary Iafelice is being recognized in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs category. Mary is the co-founder of the Washington, DC-based humble ventures, which supports entrepreneurs from underserved communities, including veterans, women, and people of color. In the company’s first year, they’ve helped 25 startups raise over $4 million in funding and achieve nearly $1 million in revenue. Mary is a Quantic MBA 2017 candidate and also a graduate of College of the Holy Cross. You can find Mary’s profile on Forbeshere.
“Having not just one but two Forbes 30 Under 30 winners in the first year of our MBA program is a testament to the quality of the Quantic community. Kaitlyn and Mary are two high impact entrepreneurs that we’re proud to support,” said Tom Adams, Quantic’s CEO. “We look forward to seeing them continue to grow their respective companies.”
Congrats to Kaitlyn and Mary, and may they have continued success with their companies!
Smartly is on a mission to connect learning and skill attainment to positive career outcomes for candidates.
The team behind Smartly set out to alter the status quo in higher and professional education. We realized there was a larger issue at hand that needed to be addressed – it’s common for students to spend upwards of and often over $100,000 on a graduate degree without clear career advancement. On the other end of the spectrum, employers are at a loss on how to reach out and acquire talented candidates. Our career network, Smartly Talent, makes the process of hiring and vetting more streamlined and efficient for our partners – leading companies and organizations. We are on a mission to connect learning and skill attainment to positive career outcomes for our candidates.
Sign up. Once you have signed up and been accepted into Smartly Talent, you will be able to quickly view and connect with our candidates. You’ll be able to put in Preferences to find candidates that match your openings. Plus, our machine learning algorithms also suggest suitable profiles to you. We’re using technology to connect companies to talent, and strengthening the workforce with more efficient employment matches. You’ll be: joining a range of companies in our network including:
Our Candidates. In Smartly Talent, you will find high-caliber candidates looking for new opportunities. They have studied at elite universities and achieved results at innovative companies. These candidates join our career network, Smartly Talent, when they are admitted into one of our learning programs – world’s first, elite free MBA (2-10 years of work experience), executive MBA (10+ years of experience), and the Smartly Business Certificate (0-2 years of experience).
Browse Top Talent: In the “Browse” view, you can filter candidates by office location, role, years of experience, and keywords. When you see a candidate that you are interested in, you can Invite to Connect and send a message to the candidate letting them know what position(s) you are recruiting for. You can also just Like a candidate to request a connection without sending a message. We also give you the option to Share a candidate with a teammate via email or Pass on a candidate that you don’t want to connect with at the moment.
Featured Candidates: Our matching algorithm and personalized curation are used to suggest candidates that might be of interest to you.
Track Your Candidates: In your Tracker, your interactions with candidates are centralized. You’ll be able to see candidates you’ve connected with, your pending connections, and candidates passed on.
Save for Later: You can use our newly introduced “Save for Later” feature to revisit candidate profiles when you’re ready to make a decision.
Invite to Connect: When you’re ready to move forward with a candidate, you can use our “Invite to Connect” feature to start the interview process.
Hire!: Your first hire is free while we’re still in beta! So sign up or head back to Smartly Talent today to browse our candidates!
As your business grows, how can you hire with the same mentality as your upper management?
As companies scale, upper managementbegins to focus more on business operations and the macro management of the organization. Recruiting decisions shift to hiring managers and recruiters. As a recruiter, you aim to hire candidates that uphold the company’s values and culture. Before you reach out to candidates, everyone on the hiring team should have a clear sense of your company’s core values and markers you’re looking for during the interviewing process. Now the question becomes, how can you hire with the same mentality as your upper management?
Ask behavioral interview questions
Technical questions are an important part of any interview process but it’s important to remember that they are only one piece of the puzzle. Asking behavioral questions during an interview is a great way to test emotional intelligence, temperament, and the candidate’s stress response. The unconventional nature of behavioral questionstests candidates’ authenticity and problem-solving skills.
Look beyond the resume
The difference between skill and competency is hard to gauge by quickly scanning a CV. It’s especially hard to vet candidates early in their careers based on resume alone. Inc. Magazine argues, “excellent candidates are being overlooked, not because they lack ability, but because they have a blank resume.” For inexperienced candidates, it’s important to look at aptitude and whether they could learn the necessary skills, and then quiz their skills and competencies. You want to hire for the future–you want to hire people that are not afraid to take initiative and have great work ethic. Sometimes the best candidate is not the one who has the most relevant experience but the one with the most potential. Here are two suggestions to consider. First, you can ask candidates to solve a problem during the interview or submit a writing sample with 24 hours. Second, to gauge passion, you can ask candidates to speak about any personal projects that they may have started or are working on.
Hire for the “IT” factor
Soft skills and non-technical skills can be hard to quantify. Understanding how a person works with others or their leadership potential isn’t something that any resume or even quick interview will uncover. But, these skills are important to the “IT” factor. Google believes that “Technical ability will only carry you so far. Employers also want to see a skill that can’t be taught.” That’s why asking behavioral interview questions are so important. Behavioral interview questions help identify intangible skills.Teamwork, communication, work ethic, adaptability, problem-solving, and intellectual humility are some of the important qualities to look for when hiring and vetting candidates. As you make your next hire, keep asking yourself–does this candidate have the “IT” factor to be successful at your company?
We know that building your team can be challenging and time-consuming. That’s why we designed Smartly Talent, our hiring platform where you can efficiently browse and connect with high caliber candidates for your open positions. We have amazing software engineers, data scientists, marketing managers, account executives, product managers and more who are active in our career network and are taking advantage of our learning platform to gain the business skills they need to get ahead in their careers.
Sign up or head back to Smartly Talent to browse our candidates today! And, while we are in beta, your first hire is free.
A few tips to ensure that you’re doing your part to keep your company’s “All-Star” talent around for the long haul.
While attracting top talent requires diligence, retaining them poses another challenge for young startups and large companies alike. Cultivating and nurturing talent is essential to the success of an organization, as high performing employees directly impact your business. This function is something that cannot be automated; companies that support and encourage educational development, professional growth, and overall satisfaction of their employees tend to see lower employee turnover rates. Here are a few ways to ensure that you are doing your part to keep your “All-Stars” around.
One of the most valuable assets for a young startup is time. Having standard operating procedures and training modules in place allows new hires to better understand the day to day requirements of the role. Having mentors with experience at an organization can help new hires with onboarding and understanding the organization better. Mentors who are currently in roles that new hires want to take on in the future can provide valuable advice on how to accelerate their personal and professional development.
Promote a Learning Culture
Forbes believes that “establishing learning and development processes, and routine coaching practices, helps ensure people are acquiring new knowledge and skill to keep up with the intensified ‘mitosis.’” Give candidates space and ability to explore and learn new ideas. A great example is companies investing in B2B online learning platform subscriptions for their employees. This gives employees the ability to learn and hone skills that can aid them in the current role and promote their professional development.
Give and receive feedback
In his book “The Hard Things about Hard Things,” Ben Horowitz explains “that the reason employees leave a company is due to lack of guidance, misaligned expectations, and questionable feedback they receive. Often times when employees resign, they are leaving their managers and not the company.” Constructive criticism and valuable feedback help show that an employee’s work has a meaningful impact and areas upon which they can improve. When giving feedback specificity, observations based on facts, and encouragement on how to improve moving forward are crucial. This helps build trust and relationships between managers and their employees. Impactful feedback is critical for employees to grow and succeed which then impacts the company as a whole.
Reward and Retain
Working at startups can be risky and equate to long hours, but rewarding your hardest working employees can help provide a balance or a sense of fairness. According to research done by FastCompany, employees who feel tired and burnt out are 31% more likely to look for a new job than those who have a great work-life balance. For smaller startups, organizing weekly lunch outings and happy hours are a quick easy way to reward employees after a hectic week or project. Asking your “A Player” employees for product input and feedback is a great way to let them know their ideas matter. It also helps when the upper management at a company is vocal about the impact that each and every employee has on the company’s vision and direction. Townhall meetings that congratulate and spotlight team members and groups based on their accomplishments is another way to ensure that employees are rewarded for their hard work. For Series A and B startups employees, perks are often rewarded based on performance and meeting goals. Some examples include bonuses, onsite gym and spa facilities, and lounge areas with games and snacks.
We know that building your team can be challenging and time-consuming. That’s why, we designed Smartly Talent, our hiring platform in which you can efficiently browse and connect with high caliber candidates for your open positions.
Sign up or head back to Smartly Talent to browse our candidates today! And, while we are in beta, your first hire is free.