By Ariel Resnikoff, current full-time SMU MBA student
Almost exactly two years back, I decided that I wanted to quit my full-time job in New York and take the long journey across many continents to Singapore for an unidentified amount of time. I knew that the career shift would be big, so to do it with as little stress as possible, I felt that I had to secure a job in Singapore while I still had a steady pay check. Unfortunately, these trials were futile and it took four months from the time I reached Singapore to find an enjoyable position.
Luckily, during those four long months, I decided that applying to an MBA program would offer another option should I still find difficulty securing a position. Exciting news, I both found a great job and was accepted to SMU! I decided that since I had been planning to do an MBA in the U.S. when I returned, the one-year SMU program with so much diversity would be an extremely exciting way to go.
SMU arranges a varied curriculum that encompasses both hard and soft skills from accounting and finance to strategy and decision-making. During the internship phase of the programme, each student can either set out to get experience within his/her own industry or try out a new industry, and in the process gain new hard skills as well as soft skills such as communication, management, leadership, negotiation skills etc. As such, in addition to classes, my major concern was getting my resume sorted for whatever type of internship position would come next.
The Dato’ Kho Hui Meng Career Centre (DKHMCC) took over right away, meeting individually with all 57 students in the full-time MBA class of 2015 to review resumes and determine the direction in which each of the students is looking for their career to go. Personally, I didn’t know at that time where I wanted to go with my career, and they were able to walk me through that as well.
Between the guest speakers and company visits organised by the department I was able to narrow down my career goals. The DKHMCC regularly organises workshops too, where you can find anything you need: from how to dress for an interview to the proper use of cutlery during a lunch meeting. I really felt that the individual attention was key in finding what I want to get out of the MBA. For each interview offer I received, the directors would put together a mock interview to help me prepare for the big day.
The outcome was that I landed a six-month long internship with KPMG, working in their strategy department. Through the course of my internship, I’ve worked on proposals throughout many industries, getting to experience not only doing business in Asia, but also consulting. It’s great making contact with KPMG both personally and as an SMU MBA student – if you are considering this postgraduate programme, these are the kinds of opportunities you will have as well.