Temple University’s Fox School of Business will launch a new, artificial intelligence (AI) feedback tool to help MBA students better prepare for job interviews this Spring.
In partnership with Quantified Communications—a big data and behavioral analytics firm—Fox’s feedback tool will combine proprietary analytics with insight from experts to provide each student with personalized feedback on their verbal and oral fluency, two key factors that influence interview performance.
Fox joins an elite roster of business schools offering the new technology, including Harvard Business School and The University of Texas at Austin’s Executive MBA program.
“MBA candidate recruiting is changing; employers are turning to AI to improve the hiring process and the AI market is expected to grow to some 47 billion by 2020,” says Janis Moore Campbell, director of graduate professional development at Fox for the past six years.
“It’s something we can’t ignore at Fox. We’re striving to stay on top of the most effective ways to help our students fare well.”
Matching employers’ efforts in the AI sphere, Fox’s video feedback tool interprets facial expressions to evaluate a candidate’s communication skills and personality traits. MBA students can upload their mock interviews through their iPhone for feedback.
It’s not a case of adopting new technology for the sake of it, Janis says. AI tools actually improve the hiring process. “Rather than being something to be afraid of, schools should embrace AI as it helps level the playing field for candidates,” Janis explains.
“These tools fight against the bias—over school rankings or even gender, for example—that traditional interviews often have. By focusing the assessment on the performance or potential, candidates that may otherwise be overlooked can rise to the top.”
The video feedback tool is just one of a number of new tech innovations MBA students enjoy at Philadelphia’s Fox School of Business. Since 2014, Fox MBA students have used RoadMap—another data-crunching feedback tool powered by Microsoft’s Power BI—to track their personal and professional development throughout the program.
The new innovations are bringing results. Fox placed 100% of actively seeking MBA graduates into jobs in 2016; 97% in 2017. This year, Janis says, they’re on the same track.
Major employers of Fox MBA grads include global firms like JPMorgan Chase, Novo Nordisk, and SAP SE. Microsoft hired a high-performing Fox MBA grad last year.
Consulting and finance are still a big draw although, Janis notes, motivations are changing—more MBA grads are working for nonprofits or in corporate social responsibility at private firms.
“We’re seeing smaller companies come to us; some which may not have previously looked at MBA hires,” she says. “Among the students, there’s less of a tendency to go into cookie-cutter MBA roles. Students are looking into entrepreneurship and innovation. The triple bottom line is also important. Students want to work hard for something they feel has meaning.”
How can MBA students at Fox School of Business stand out in the jobs market? As ever, it’s about having the right combination of both hard and soft skills, Janis explains.
“Emotional intelligence is key to leading teams. Any leader needs those core skills of active listening, openness, and the proper verbal and non-verbal skills to lead,” she says. “[At the same time] if an employer sees SQL, or Tableau, or Power BI on a resume, it will be helpful to any student.
“Steve Martin says ‘be so good that you cannot be ignored,’” Janis continues. “I think this is advice all MBA students can take to heart. It’s about covering all bases; having that intellectual curiosity; going beyond the obvious; and asking good questions.”