Career Services Gives MBA Student a Competitive Edge
Bhavita Jain, a dual MBA/MSIS student, relied on Baylor's Graduate Business Career Team to help her navigate the complex world of hiring and land a summer internship that advances her career goals.
Career Services Gives MBA Student a Competitive Edge
After a dozen years of IT consulting in her native New Delhi, Bhavita Jain moved halfway across the globe to Waco to gain experience that would propel her to greater heights in the IT industry.
Not long after enrolling in Baylor’s Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) program, she became intrigued by the broader management training offered by the MBA program and opted to pursue a joint MSIS/MBA degree.
Then, only a few months after joining the MBA program, she landed a competitive position at a leading tech company. As she looks forward to the next phase of her career, she credits Baylor’s Graduate Business Career Team with playing a key role in shaping her journey.
Building a Foundation
From an early age, Bhavita aspired to become a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force. After completing an undergraduate degree in engineering at Kurukshetra University, she entered the Air Force’s rigorous selection process. “I did not end up being selected, but I did not get disheartened,” she said. “Instead, I decided to use my engineering skills to make my way in the IT world.”
For the next 12 years, she moved through a series of roles at Ericsson, IBM, British Telecom and Xerox (Conduent). She learned how to troubleshoot complex technical problems in the early years before stepping back and leveraging her knowledge to manage teams. “I love talking to people, so communicating and helping my team members all day was an excellent fit for me,” she said.
As much as she enjoyed management, she reached a point where she sensed the need to update her technical knowledge. “Technical questions would come up in client meetings and I no longer knew how to answer them like a developer,” she said. “I felt rusty. That is when I started thinking about pursuing more education before returning to industry.”
Attending Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business was a natural choice for Bhavita, who wanted to complete a specialized master’s degree with a STEM designation in a location close to her extended family in Texas. In the fall of 2022, she arrived on campus to write the next chapter.
It did not take long for Bhavita to realize that in addition to sharpening her technical skills, she had an abundance of opportunities to build her management expertise as well. During her first semester in the MSIS, she took two MBA courses in management that exposed her to a broader range of management topics than she had ever encountered.
From a case study that involved donor acquisition for the Christian Women Job Corps to a research project on the merits of PSI DSS, a payment industry standard, Bhavita was surprised at how much she relished tackling problems outside of IT. “My MBA classes stretched my strategic thinking and planning skills to solve the type of problems I had never confronted before,” she said. “I decided that going further down the MBA path would only help me in my career.”
After setting a new course direction as a dual MSIS/MBA student, Bhavita connected with Amine Qourzal and Kaytlin Suarez, Graduate Business Career Team members who co-teach several career management classes at the Hankamer School of Business. “In the first career management class I took, I found Amine and Kaytlin to be incredibly approachable,” Bhavita said. “Every conversation with them boosted my motivation and confidence level.”
Kaytlin SuarezIn the classes they teach and in their one-on-one interactions with MBA students, Amine and Kaytlin are careful to avoid giving students the impression that they offer a job placement service. “We are here to teach students how to fish, not give them the fish,” Kaytlin said. “Our goal is to build transferrable skills that not only help them through their current application and interview process but also serve them well throughout their professional lives.”
Kaytlin savors the opportunity to engage her dual passion for recruiting and teaching, two past careers, on behalf of MBA students. Throughout the year, the needs she addresses depend heavily on the season. In the early fall, students lean on her for help in polishing their resumes and cover letters. Gradually, the focus shifts to networking and interview preparation. By the spring, students are seeking advice on selecting and negotiating job offers.
Bhavita was confident in her ability to tell her story through her resume and cover letter, but she found the interview process to be more daunting. “It had been a while since I had interviewed for a new job, and there were specific things about the process that were new for me,” she said.
While the job search process in India and the U.S. is fairly similar, she has noticed that interviewers from U.S. companies tend to focus more heavily on company culture and values. Successful candidates will be able to demonstrate that they can integrate seamlessly into an existing team.
The increasing use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in hiring presented another unfamiliar challenge to navigate. U.S. companies are using automated tools not only to scan resumes but to stand in for human interviewers. While students have grown accustomed to participating in virtual interviews, they are now having to adjust to recording answers for an AI tool to analyze.
“I had never had to look at a camera and record interview answers before,” Bhavita said. “The first one I did was incredibly challenging. Fortunately, the career team assured me that this was a normal practice and gave me practical tips and resources for success, including doing mock recordings to see how I was coming across on a screen.”
Bhavita used Big Interview, one of the paid resources that Career Services offers to give students a better feel for what it is like to interview with AI. “This tool helps students learn how to monitor everything from body language and energy level to the conciseness of their answers,” Kaytlin said.
Other resources focus on different elements of the hiring process. Job Scan helps students tailor their resumes to specific job openings in a way that maximizes their chance of making it through an automatic filter. Handshake, a tool frequently used by universities, posts job postings, job fairs, campus interview events and other career-related opportunities on campus in one place. Career Shift, similarly, serves as a job search tool that helps students connect with Baylor alumni across industries.
Putting it All Together
Bhavita began applying for summer internships early in her time at Baylor. She was initially concerned that her breadth and depth of experience could backfire on her, reasoning that companies preferred more fresh talent, but Kaytlin and Amine assured her that her experience would only work in her favor. “Whenever I started to feel doubtful or overwhelmed, they reminded me of what to do next and kept me moving forward,” Bhavita said.
Her search paid off in only a few short months. She fielded several competitive offers for Summer 2023 internships, ultimately accepting an offer from Dell Technologies to join its IT department as a Product Management intern. “This is exactly the kind of role I was hoping for in order to move my career forward,” Bhavita said. “I couldn’t be more excited for this new opportunity and grateful for all the support I received along the way.”
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