“It’s hard to imagine that I would be where I am without Fisher,” says Shahyan Ahmad, an MBA graduate from The Ohio State University’s Max M. Fisher College of Business, now working at Google in Silicon Valley.
Originally from Pakistan, Shahyan sought to transition from engineering to business with a Fisher MBA, attracted by the school’s specialty in supply chain management and warm Midwest feel. After his first year, he landed a summer internship at Motorola. Yet as he started his second year in late 2007, the world was on the brink of financial collapse.
In stepped Fisher’s Office of Career Management. Shahyan was interviewed on campus and secured a post-MBA job at retail giant Sears Holdings Corporation in Chicago, six months prior to graduation. From a career-progression perspective, he admits, he owes Fisher a lot.
“What was most helpful was the relationship with the counsellor at the careers services,” he says. “He put me in touch with 10 different companies that he knew were still looking to hire international students.”
At Fisher, over 90 percent of MBA students are hired within three months of graduation, many before. The school is ranked third globally by The Economist in terms of creating new career opportunities. And Fisher’s extensive corporate reach means 80 percent of Fortune 500 firms recruit on campus.
Fisher supports its students before, during and after their MBA. From day zero, it’s with interactive online career modules and access to the careers team. In orientation week, it’s through the experience of seminars focused on the unique needs of international students.
The Ohio State University Office of International Affairs (OIA) holds international student job search roundtable discussions and workshops, and offers support in terms of visas and work authorization issues. While breaking into the US jobs market can be a challenge for international students, Fisher opens doors.
Shahyan joined Google in 2012—four years after earning his MBA—but he still reached out to the Fisher network.
“The professors at Fisher are always willing to meet you before class, after class, outside of office hours,” says Shahyan. “So when I knew I was about to start looking for jobs again, I contacted my old Fisher professors to ask them how I should go about it.”
It’s the same community feel, and personalized career service, that attracts international students to the school. When Megha Tikoo relocated from India to pursue an MBA in the US in 2011, she initially felt out of her comfort zone. Fisher’s relatively small but diverse class soon allayed her fears.
“Fisher helped me to grow in a very safe environment,” she says. “I got a great network, and a great mentor; someone I still reach out to constantly for advice.”
While at Fisher, that same mentor offered her a summer consulting internship; her first job in the US. She worked in the school’s admissions office. And she travelled to Brazil, supporting an entrepreneur with a marketing strategy for his e-learning startup.
Megha was a career switcher, looking to transition from the operations side of hospitality to the more corporate side. After her MBA, she moved straight into a job at IT services firm IGATE, recently acquired by Capgemini. Now, she’s a senior consultant specializing in human capital consulting at Deloitte.
“It all started at Fisher,” she says. “The MBA is more than just classroom study, doing electives and gaining your credits. It really focuses on experiential learning.
“And the careers office prepares you well – with personal branding, mock interviews, career fairs—there’s a lot of focus on helping students prepare themselves for the job market.”
Fisher places international students into jobs both in the US and further afield. And it boasts an extensive alumni network, with Fisher grads in over 104 countries worldwide.
Among them, Maria Cosme, who works in her native Colombia at Johnson & Johnson. It’s the same company she joined after earning her MBA, landing the role two months prior to graduation. Now, she’s in a regional management role, working with three Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries.
“I wanted to have a role that was impacting people,” she says. She got it. “Fisher is responsible for everything,” she continues. “As well as the application and the interview, the MBA opened my eyes to see that there was something else besides what I knew here in Colombia.”
Wherever its graduates are in the world, Fisher ties stay strong. Shahyan is still actively involved in the school community, talking to and interviewing prospective MBAs. And eight years on, he’s still in regular contact with his MBA colleagues. He’s even attended a Fisher MBA wedding.
In Silicon Valley, he works along with other Fisher MBA graduates from his class at Facebook and cutting-edge data analytics firms.
Jamie Mathews-Mead, Fisher’s senior director of graduate career management, is not surprised. “Fisher’s international MBA students have all the resources to support their career and job search success,” she says.