The careers team play a key role in ensuring our students become career ready, and helping to find a role suitable for them.
In this post, we speak to Jessica Yu, Careers Coach for the Master of Management Analytics program who looks back at the first year, and offers tips for future students about how to make the most of the career service at Rotman.
What are some of the skill students develop with your help?
I work with the students on a number of things. We teach them how to make the most of networking, how to refine their pitch, how to create an impactful resume and there is the opportunity to practice interviewing.
A big thing is connecting them with industry, we give them a safe environment to have coffee chats and practice networking skills before they get out there and meeting employers.
Typically, we’d have workshops to develop the skills, mini groups to practice, and then we offer one-on-one coaching if more help is needed. We can provide as much one-on-one help as the student needs to succeed.
How often do you see students?
I start contacting students in July before they start the program. Based on their application profile we provide tailored support and resources to help everyone get to the same level at the start of the program. There is also a self-assessment tool so they can identify their own strengths and areas of opportunity. At this point we also start to work on their elevator pitch.
For individual sessions, at minimum I see every student before they start the course or in the intro term to go through their resumes, then again in the second term. I offer drop-in hours for 30 minutes before their first class each day, students can always arrange other appointments and I see most of the class much more than this. I’m more than happy to put in a lot of effort with each student individually. However, they must also be prepared to put in that same level of effort.
This is in addition to the various workshops we run throughout the program.
The job search
January/February is probably the best time to start the job search.
While a number of jobs do come up in the Fall, it really too early to be applying – students haven’t even finished one course yet. Of course, students can apply for these positions. However, we find they are much more competitive later in the year.
Typically, we see that On Campus Recruiting (OCR) jobs pay a little lower than those that might come out later in the year, the ‘just in time’ jobs, as for these positions you’re competing with the regular job market, not just recent grads.
Preparing for interviews
We look at the job description and go over the key skills needed, We then start looking at some of the people in my network, in their network, the Rotman network who they could contact to learn a little bit more about the opportunity or the organization from.
We also go through some mock interviews.
If it’s a case-based interview, we have an online tool called Vocaprep which the student can practice on. We can also connect the student with a case coach if needed.
For technical interviews students can practice on a platform called HackerRank. Many companies use this. If needed, students are able to get technical support from faculty members or people like Jay Cao in the TD Management Data and Analytics Lab.
There are many resources available. It’s making sure the students know about the right ones for their situation. We have weekly newsletters to update students on what is going on.
My highlights from the Class of 2019
I enjoyed seeing their growth, from the intro term, seeing their communication skills growing, their network growing, and being open to the tools we are providing them with, and then finding success afterwards.
There were students who are unsure, saying ‘this is not going to work, it won’t work’. I encourage them to try, and when they do, they notice the changes.
Tips for students
The most successful students are the ones who have a strong drive for career success and are motivated to find a job. They start before the end of the school year, probably in terms two. If you’re coming to the program with work experience you can still benefit from using the career service, there are resources such as the alumni network you can tap in to.
The success of the program is also depended on the success of the students. It’s about giving back. If students who have got a job as still being contacted by employers we encourage the students to think about their peers to make a connection to someone suitable who still might be searching.
We’re going to be bringing the first class back to Rotman to talk to new students during the year. The first alumni panel will actually take place on the first day of orientation for the second class. Speaking to our alumni is something our new students should certainly take advantage of.
The Master of Management Analytics is designed to give students the advanced data management, analytics and communication skills needed to become an analytics professional.