“I love what I do,” says Beth Briggs proudly. She's the assistant dean of career services at NYU Stern. It may sound like a simple—perhaps even superficial—statement, but for Beth, it's anything but. In fact, it's the very crux of her work in the careers department.
“I know how important it is to be in a job where you feel engaged, or you feel like you are part of strategic solutions, where you feel like you're working with an amazing team,” she continues.
That outlook informs a big part of her aim: to help students discover an “environment that helps them to feel successful.”
Beth recently celebrated her ten-year anniversary at the school. She and her team assist as many as 800 full-time MBA students yearly with internship, full-time roles, and general movement toward their career aspirations. And that doesn't even take into account the part-timers, Executive MBAs, or alumni with whom she also works.
Beth’s strategy for guiding students along this path is a question of establishing a clarity of intention or in her words: "Helping them to begin to map out what their overarching career-journey is going to be like.” Students are given different activities and assessments that help in identifying their strengths and the salient features of the desired job.
Beth’s noted a number of MBA jobs trends among NYU Stern grads.
Stern's reputation remains anchored in the finance realm, but like a lot of other top business schools, recruitment and employment from the tech sector have increased. What really cemented it for Beth was Amazon's arrival as top employer for the class of 2017—the first time a tech firm occupied that position.
The shift was also reflected in the overall stats which demonstrated a marked increase (from 10% up to 17%) in employment by tech companies. Of course, Stern's proximity to Silicon Alley and the fact that a number of top-technology employers actively court Stern MBAs contribute to those figures.
According to Beth, there's a significant overlap between the Stern's much-touted finance strengths and the roles ultimately filled in the tech market. “Students are able to find the right kind of functional role within the tech industry because there's enough space in the tech industry for students to be able to not only find the company but also the role that's the right fit for them,” she remarks.
What are employers looking for?
“Students we bring into each class have a balance of IQ and EQ and a real collaborative spirit that time and time again, I'm told by our employer-partners and recruiters, really makes a difference to their organizations when they bring Sternies into their roles,” Beth continues.
“What I hear from employers is that they're looking for people who can hit the ground running, who can roll up their sleeves, and can do it in a collaborative way, while also forging a leadership path for themselves."
What advice does Beth have for MBA applicants? She says identifying your career goals early is key.
“Recruiting in the first year can start pretty fast. Get out there and talk to other MBAs regardless of the school that they went to and learn about the kinds of roles and opportunities that exist. Then, when you join your MBA program you are able to get more focused more quickly.”
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