Career Detection – A student’s perspective

Last Saturday, as a kick off to semester 2, I went to the Careers Detection workshop which is part of our PPD programme. It was everyone’s first day back in Smurfit after the Xmas and analysing your career at 9am on a cold January Saturday morning was a bit of a jolt back to reality for most of us. I’ve been to lots of these types of events over the years. I know my Myers-Briggs, interview technique, CV structure as well as the next person. So I guess my expectations that I’d learn something new were not too high. But as I’m job hunting at the moment I thought why not, I might get something out of it.

I‘m glad to say it was well worth it. There was lots of very practical and honest advice on the current job market – it’s tough (knew that), most roles are contract (yes I’m hearing that a lot) and the successful candidates are putting 20 – 30 hours into prepping for each interview (wow best get at it so). There were also some very useful tools. The Richmond Career driver’s section was good and sparked a debate about money being a driver or is it just a hygiene factor? Our Celtic Tiger mortgages need paying; kids need to be fed and so on.

The RIASEC skills analysis didn’t work for me at first but after some rework it backed up what I knew from Myers-Briggs and it was good to see the Xmas holidays hadn’t changed me! The skills audit was very useful and after it most people’s skills had gone from ten to twenty into the mid one hundreds. A lesson about under selling yourself there definitely!

Alan Meates Smurfit School Exec MBA student
Alan Meates

To me the most valuable was the information interview technique for networking. A very powerful way of getting out there, collecting information and making contacts. Chatting to other attendees afterwards, most thought the same.  The presenter Brian McIvor did a good job getting the group of forty or so MBAs well engaged. He deliberately provoked reaction at times and got it! No “shrinking violets” in this MBA group then. The lecture slides were good and I’d recommend getting a copy of them.

One take away for me was the question, how much do I really use the MBA network as a Career network. New Year’s resolution No. 1 maybe?

– Alan Meates Year 2 EMBA.