Former NSHMBA Career Counselor Taking Questions
Here I got a question about career shift:
I quitted my job from a fortune 500 company in April and currently take responsibiliy in a NGO to provide consulting service. Given that my short-term goal is consulting and long-term goal is public sector,
1.which would be the proper choice: find another job to fill the "gap" or simply continue the NGO work?
2.is it ok to put NGO experience under WORK EXPERIENCE in the resume?
3.I remember you mentioned that those applicants who had a career shift with clear goal and motive before applicaiton are even more likey to be admitted. How could we make the best of the career shift?
Thank you so much!
I’ve got a client with similar background like you few years ago, and already graduated from Kellogg MBA! So don’t worry about listing only one F500 job and another NGO experience~
The key questions AO would ask are: why NGO in short-term and public sector in long-term? Do these goals relevant with your previous F500 experience? Why do you need an MBA from their schools and why now?
Don’t worry, as long as you have a strong cause for these goals, and a strong demand for specific curriculum or academic resources, plus your hard candidacy, you should be fine to get into top b-schools.
The questions are two-fold: a. Your real career development footprint, especially on developing specific skill set targeting particular NGO functions, and b. Admission demand from b-schools.
NGO and public sector careers are two very different paths, but are both typically low-compensated paths. So first, when all b-schools are aiming to advance their own rankings for future financial prosperity, they’re more likely to first admit candidates more possibly to earn higher salary at graduation. So “strategically”, unless the NGO goal is so important both to yourself and the society in global scale, and you need a competitive MBA so bad from particular schools which have strong missions like you, such as HBS, Yale SOM, UNC Kenan-Flagler, Georgetown McDonough, etc., then the goal will certainly work for you. However, you may expect most b-schools have a bigger appetite for career options with higher compensation at graduation. If this is a concern for you, then you might want to consider don’t claim these goals, at least not for short-term.
NGO is a professional experience for sure, and it should be listed on your resume as an official job. Nevertheless, it’s intriguing when you’re asking whether to find another job besides NGO you currently work for, especially as a consultant. Just a wild guess, your NGO consulting job is not really making you grow too much. If so, then that’s a great sign from few perspectives: a. You’re really eager for growth! The "drive" for success is a MUST for top b-schools which claim to educate world-class leaders. b. Probably from the bottom of your heart, there are other career options than NGO or public sector, and you might be wandering whether you should keep walking this NGO path or switch to other options. If so, a deeper look into your career drivers is needed, so as to truly dig out your enthusiasm, and make them a feasible career. And later examine your why MBA accordingly.
The ideal career management is to develop self-awareness, so as to achieve ultimate fulfillment that truly reflects your values and only belongs to you. Only your authentic enjoyable skills can lead you to that Utopia. After consulting thousands of cases, who mostly graduated from their MBAs for years and have thrived on their fulfillment, I notice school names seldom play big role in their lives. Only self-awareness can set you free from irrelevant desire.