by Eli Lefterova and Patricia Keener, Career Coaches
After 2 years of rich MBA experience at LBS, many of our students are going global!
From the graduating class of 2018, 14% chose to work in Europe, 11% in Asia and 7% in the US. International destinations are becoming more and more popular and our experience has shown that it is a combination of networking, developing local market knowledge and consistency that allows students to successfully secure international roles.
Starting early, make a plan
A key element of being able to successfully tackle an international job search is starting early. Recruitment timelines are often different across countries – for example some companies in Asia and the US have application deadlines earlier than their counterparts in Europe. As soon as the MBA programme starts, you’ll have exploratory workshops as part of the Career Development Curriculum, complemented by one to one sessions with a career coach to crystallise your career strategy and create your action plan for an international job search. In addition, spend some time creating your personal recruitment timeline for the country (or countries) that you’re interested in and familiarise yourself with how recruitment processes may differ by speaking with sector leads and using our online resource, GoinGlobal.
Network, network, network
It’s hard to pinpoint a single factor that has the most influence in a complex job search, however, networking is most definitely a contender for the top spot. We always recommend starting with the diverse LBS network, which is very willing to support current students. Reach out to alumni and current students to find out more about the recruitment market in the country you’re interested in and start building relationships locally. Use your undergraduate alumni network, professional associations’ international network or previous work colleagues that are based in that geography. Attend relevant events on campus to take your networking further – LBS has many very active international student clubs and networking events are on the agenda quite regularly! In addition, look for opportunities to network in country – participate in relevant treks and consider taking part in a Global Business Experience or International Exchange or use holiday breaks to meet people in person.
Be consistent, stay on track
In a two year MBA consistency is key! A lot is happening and there are often conflicting deadlines and priorities. However, building relationships with people in your target region will require time, so being consistent in your efforts can really pay off. In order to maintain consistency, one MBA student I am coaching at the moment dedicates a minimum of 20 minutes on career searching every day – some days spending a lot more time (preparing for an interview or a coffee chat for instance) whereas other days just responding to some messages or reach out to an alumnus online. However, the key is to have this as part of a day to day routine.
So whether you are certain that you will be pursing an international career after your LBS MBA or you are still considering your options, the Career Centre can support you and guide you along the way. It will most certainly take some strengthening of your networking muscle but it will also be fun!