Many students enter business school with plans to make major career transitions post-MBA. Traditional recruiting can do a lot to help students career switch into target industries, but many recruiters remain focused on specific functional experience. For students that are making bigger career changes, creating an alternative resume is a great option to increase your competiveness in tough industries.
But what is an alternative resume?
It lists work or functional experience created during your time in business school used to supplement your traditional resume. It can showcase to employers skills and expertise not exhibited in your past work experience. The three key components of any alternative resume will include academic coursework, experiential learning, and internships.
By aligning your coursework on functional areas that you need to develop in your chosen career path you can not only tighten up subject area knowledge but can also network amongst professors, guests, and other students to make industry inroads. Part of creating an alternative resume is to showcase your competencies to prospective employers. But one must gain the competencies first so take your in-class experience seriously as you need to make sure you can “talk the talk” as you never know who will be able to help you out.
The best academic experiences often occur outside the classroom. Participation in experiential learning opportunities does not only build your real-world skill level but also provides you with a direct connection to companies and decision makers in your target industry. Popular experiential learning initiatives at most schools include Venture Labs, Start-Up Labs, and Asset Management practicums.
Internships are probably the best way to prove your skills in a given industry. But don’t just sit back and wait for the traditional summer internships. Utilize fall, spring, and winter internships to consistently develop your skills throughout your MBA experience.
Take ownership of your career by following these tips to create the perfect alternative resume!
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Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants.