What do Business Schools have to do to keep MBA hiring positive in times of crisis? This question was the center piece of an article recently posted by the Financial Times with the title “Students in the driving seat.” While many US companies appear to run development programs offering MBA hires the chance to be rotated through different divisions and groomed for senior management, this concept has never completely or not yet taken off in Europe.

So what do European schools do different to prepare their students for a glorious career within leadership longing environments?

Here at IE Business School, the career services are trying to shorten the odds by pushing students to think about their careers early on rather than waiting for graduation to come. In the International MBA program for instance, students must complete a careers workbook, which includes writing a summary of professional intent, researching companies, and writing a CV and cover letter to secure a meeting with their career adviser.

“We show students how to manage their careers strategically,” says Amber Wigmore Alvarez, executive director of career services at IE. “These skills go far beyond a first job after business school – they are skills for life.”

In other words, getting students to reflect on a constant basis from an early stage during the MBA program by guiding them through providing the knowledge and tools necessary to understand their own capabilities, potentials and possible career paths might be a key ingredient in answering the first question of this post, besides going fishing in a pond that has gotten become more and more competitive. 

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