WorkWise Q&A, Blog Tip: MBAs, reputation, slam dunk

01/16/2014 12:20 PM

01/16/2014 12:23 PM

Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I’m thinking of going back to school for a degree that will capitalize on my business interests. I can’t decide whether to get an MBA or Executive MBA. What should I be thinking about? About to Decide

A: Dear About, You’ll learn more about business either way. An Executive MBA would likely be a program you could complete while working. Check with HR to see whether your benefits would cover the tuition, or even part of it. Do the same for an MBA program. The fact that a company would help out for an Executive program doesn’t mean that it would for a traditional program, because you might be less likely to return to the company once you had your degree.

Compare the faculties in the programs. Is there a leading light in your area of interest? Contact schools you’re considering to speak with alumni about their experiences. Schools and programs have their own personalities.

Remember to ask yourself what types of complications you can handle. Can you be a whirling dervish who works during the day and attends classes some nights and weekends? Can you afford a traditional MBA course of study? If not, will you be able to absorb the debt? mlc

VISIBILITY

Q: Dear Dr. Culp, A lot of my friends are trying to get quoted in the press, but they own their own businesses. Do you think this a good tactic for job hunters? Looking Ahead

A: Dear Looking, Gaining visibility won’t hurt your job search. It might even enhance your reputation while getting your name and expertise out to new people.

Identify your specialty and possible topics to discuss. Read articles written by editors and reporters in your specialty. Then contact them with your ideas. Don’t give up if you’re turned down. Get referrals if you mistakenly target the wrong person.

Consider approaching radio and television news directors and business program hosts. When scheduling an interview, ask if you may have a CD of the interview.

Keep a list of every media hit you have ... the title of the article or program, its date and the interviewer, if applicable. Mention them on your resume. When relevant, save links for your website. Ask radio and television stations who give you CDs if you may put them on your website, too. Even if the work you’re seeking has nothing to do with the media, you’ll have demonstrated excellent communication skills. mlc

BLOG TIP: COVER LETTER

“I’ve always felt it important to let the interviewer or recruiter know just how suited you are for a particular job, even before (meeting) you,” comments Leslie Friedman (houstonian.com). In a previous job search she capitalized on the NBA championship of the local sports team with a new position she wanted. Her implicit message was that as far as her competition went, she was the champ.

She began by capitalizing on the team’s colors. Mailing her resume on red paper, she attached to it on yellow (evocative of gold) her “Top Ten List of Reasons the Houston Rockets Should Hire Leslie Friedman.” She included a number of details that would reflect how much she knew about the team and convey enthusiasm.

She could spell and pronounce the long Polish name of the then-head coach, had the same first name as the team’s owner, knew that “a bank shot” is different from a bank account and, for 20 years, had been expressing her fan-hood with season tickets. She also mentioned she’d been in the same seat all of those years, an important point to convey stability and commitment.

She passed the first round of interviews and was invited back. The ball was in her court.

Mildred Culp welcomes your questions at culp@workwise.net. © 2014 Passage Media.

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