1. Introduce yourself and your role at IE

Amber Wigmore Alvarez - Director of Career Advising in the IE Career Management Center

My name is Amber Wigmore Alvarez and I’m the Director of Career Advising in the IE Career Management Center. My connection to the IE goes back to 1999, when I came to Instituto de Empresa to pursue the International MBA program. Now I’m grateful for the opportunity to give back to IE students and alumni in a professional capacity. In addition to my Career Advising role, I represent IE in career services events and conferences worldwide, sharing best practices with my counterparts at other top business schools and ensuring that our career service offering is a reference in the sector.

2. How do you and your department help students find the job that’s right for them both before and after graduation?

The mission of the Advising team and the Careers Management Center as a whole is to “guide students and alumni to realize their unique career vision and become strategic career managers”. We do this by assigning students to a dedicated Career Advisor, based upon their program and/or section. The Advisors guide and orient students, providing them with access to a wide array of tools and resources to be used in the pursuit of their career aspirations.

3. What are the top mistakes job seekers make?

These days the top mistakes job seekers make are related to the online space. Bear in mind that 80% of employers will look you up on LinkedIn before contacting you. Therefore, it is critical that your online presence is impeccable. Candidates frequently lack a well-defined brand across platforms. It is important to identify your values and your target company’s top 2 problems and then align all messages with that. Along the same lines, many candidates create a LinkedIn profile simply to have one. This is not enough. Your LinkedIn profile needs to be absolutely polished. Ensure that your profile photograph is professional and welcoming for recruiters.

4. What are the key trends you see developing around the Professional Summary or elevator pitch?
Whether we are talking about an elevator pitch to be delivered in person or a Professional Summary on a CV for example, they should respond to the following:
– Who are you?
– What do you do?
– Why are you the best?
– What do you want?
Be prepared to deliver an elevator pitch in 20-30 seconds or differentiate yourself in 5 lines or less. The key is to set yourself apart from the rest. Consider the statistic that only 33% of jobs actually make it to a job board (the rest are part of the “hidden market”) and when they do, you’re competing against 300 other candidates for 1 vacancy.

5. What tips would you give students in order to succeed on their career path?

If I could provide students across all of our programs with 5 tips, they would be the following:
– The clock is ticking, so start now! Don’t wait until you are in the midst of your program and busy with academic coursework. You need to have careers on your mind from day 1!
– Have and maintain a positive and proactive attitude throughout your job search and during selection processes. If you don’t, you will likely project any negativity to recruiters and contacts that you make while networking.
– Invest time in devising your career path strategy.
– Familiarize yourself with the IE Careers Management Center resources and those of the IE community on the whole. From day 1 on their programs, IE students are encouraged to participate in events with alumni and network, network, network!
– What you put into your job search strategy is what you will get out of it – it all depends on you!
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