Center for Student Professional Development Blog

Leadership Road SignLeadership is learned behavior that becomes unconscious and automatic over time.  For example, leaders can make several important decisions about an issue in the time it takes others to understand the question.   Many people wonder how leaders know how to make the best decisions, often under immense pressure.  The process of making these decisions comes from an accumulation of experiences and encounters with a multitude of difference circumstances, personality types and unforeseen failures.   More so, the decision making process is an acute understanding of being familiar with the cause and effect of behavioral and circumstantial patterns;  knowing the intelligence and interconnection points of the variables involved in these patterns allows a leader to confidently make decisions and project the probability of their desired outcomes.   The most successful leaders are instinctual decision makers.  Having done it so many times throughout their careers, they become immune to the pressure associated with decision making and extremely intuitive about the process of making the most strategic and best decisions. This is why most senior executives will tell you they depend strongly upon their “gut-feel” when making difficult decisions at a moment’s notice.

Beyond decision making, successful leadership across all areas becomes learned and instinctual over a period of time. Successful leaders have learned the mastery of anticipating business patterns, finding opportunities in pressure situations, serving the people they lead and overcoming hardships.   No wonder the best CEOs are paid so much money.   In 2011, salaries for the 200 top-paid CEOs rose 5 percent to a median $14.5 million per year, according to a study by compensation-data company Equilar for The New York Times.

If you are looking to advance your career into a leadership capacity and / or already assume leadership responsibilities – here are 15 things you must do automatically, every day, to be a successful leader in the workplace:

Look the Part

Invest in your image on and offline with a budget-conscious haircut, updated clothes, makeup, and a professional head shot for your online profiles.

Since we’re only on week one of this countdown to the New Year, New You, I want to start with something fun. This week I want you to go shopping for your personal brand.

That’s right, you heard me – shopping. Sure, you can tell your significant other that Amanda made you do it. And for those of you with tight budgets, I’ll show you ways to invest in your brand without breaking the bank.

In all seriousness, to be successful in the job search you have to look and feel your best. Isn’t it easier to put yourself out there to network and interview when you’re feeling good about how you look?

And while it’s not fair, experts agree that a person’s appearance can affect the outcome of one’s job search and potential for advancement in the workplace. Your personal grooming, professional wardrobe – even your haircut – play a role in your personal brand.

Here are 3 ways to upgrade your look to improve your brand – on and offline.

Get groomed.

Invest in a professional haircut and other grooming services such as waxing, makeup for the ladies, and a professional shave for the gentlemen. Look on Groupon or LivingSocial for daily deals on these types of services. Often, salons will offer free or discounted cuts for their academies, such as Aveda or Vidal Sassoon. Unless you’re in a highly creative field, stick to a more traditional haircut style. Ladies can take advantage of the cosmetics counter at the nearest department store or Sephora location for a free makeover. You may be guilted into buying a lipstick, but overall it will be great deal.

Get tailored.

During this holiday season most of you will be out and about buying presents for your loved ones. Put yourself on the list this year. Take advantage of the holiday sales to update your job-search wardrobe and accessories. Use sites like Deal News to find the best promotions, and shop sites like Overstock for discounted products. I am a big fan of Marshalls and TJ Maxx for great deals on high-quality clothing and accessories. Is your family nagging you for gift ideas? Scope out the stores and ask for specific items or gift cards to boost your job-search attire.

Get a glamour shot.

Did you know that your LinkedIn profile is 40% more likely to be clicked on if you have a photo? But not just any photo. This image needs to be professional, friendly, and in alignment with your personal brand. The webcam shot is not going to score you any points with prospective employers. And while you have a great family and your dog is adorable, neither of these images belongs in your profile picture.

If you’re thinking about getting a family portrait taken at the local mall, ask if they could throw in a head shot of you as well. Sears, jcp, and Walmart are offering discounts on portraits between now and December 31. Really strapped for cash? Ask the photographer at the holiday event or wedding you’re attending to take a shot of you. Just make sure your attire and the background are suitable for your professional image.

With a small investment you can boost your self-esteem and personal image for the job search, so give these tips a try this week. Next week, we’ll talk about making your professional resume mobile.

Amanda Augustine

Amanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders, the online job-matching service for career-driven professionals. She is a Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC) and Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) who provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Have a question for Amanda? Submit your question here for a chance to have it answered in her weekly column, and be sure to follow@JobSearchAmanda on Twitter and “Like” her on Facebook for up-to-the-minute job-search advice. 

Students & Alumni – Meet Great Companies Live Online..Attend the Fair from Anywhere!


Career fairs are one of the many ways students and employers get together. I recently attended a diversity career fair with students. Hundreds of companies participated in this particular event. It was an amazing opportunity for the students to meet a broad array of companies from various industries and locations.Roxanne HoriRoxanne Hori

For the second-year students, this was like getting back on a bike. After a break from formal recruiting, second-year students are back in the mix of meeting employers in advance of the fall interviewing season.

The story is very different for first-year students. Career fairs are a great way to meet prospective employers. But most first-years are not yet ready to have those career-fair conversations. Jumping into the excitement of meeting so many different companies requires preparatory work. Think about the following:

Goals: What is your goal in attending a career fair? Is it to gather information or to find a job? The companies are there to identify potential candidates for interviews. They are assessing you on that limited interaction you have at their booth. Are you prepared to answer questions on why you’re interested in their company/industry/job function?

Self-assessment: Knowing yourself and what you want to do is important before attending recruiting events. You want to have your pitch ready when you meet recruiters. To get to that point, I ask students to do the self-reflection that is important for all job seekers before participating in recruiting activities. I know you think you did this as part of your business school application process. But through the years, I have seen students who wrote one thing and—after a few weeks of business school—find they are headed in a different direction. Knowing who you are and what you really want to do will make interactions with recruiters more productive for you and them.

Develop your pitch: You have probably heard this before, but everyone needs an elevator pitch. At the most recent career fair I attended, two young men who had started a company and wanted my school to support them approached me. They had a pitch for me as to who they were, what their company does, and why it would make sense for my program to team with them. Likewise, when you approach a company representative, you want to make sure you have a short, 60-second pitch that sounds natural, not rehearsed, and that you can project in a natural tone, vs. rushing through something.

Your pitch needs to communicate the following:

Who you are: This should include whether you are a first- or second-year student, the name of your MBA program and university, and a little bit about your background so they have something to remember you by. (This gives you some stickiness in their memory.)

What you are seeking: Your pitch should clearly state whether you’re seeking a summer internship or full-time position, what you hope to be doing, and the unique skills or experiences that you will bring to bear on the job. Don’t share too many details or get bogged down in technical terminology, as they will tune out.

Don’t forget to leave the recruiter with a great résumé, one that has been reviewed by someone in your career center and that highlights the same things you’re sharing in your pitch. And don’t forget to follow up. The job seeker who stands out is the one who actually does the appropriate follow-up with the recruiter or company. So if this is a company you’re interested in, ask about the next steps. If they suggest you apply online, do it, but be sure to mention in your cover letter your interaction at the career fair with the name of the person you met at their booth.

Career fairs serve many purposes for the first-year MBA job-seeker. It’s a wonderful way to learn and develop relationships with people in the business community. Think of your first year as building your foundation for the full-time job search.

WebEX Instructions 2012

“A Day In The Life” is an ongoing series that highlights popular post-MBA job functions, as seen through the eyes of the recent grads in the positions.

P&G's Isaac SantosP&G’s Isaac Santos

What does an assistant brand manager do with his time, especially when the brands of his company service more than 4 billion people? To find out,Bloomberg Businessweek‘s Victoria Black spoke to Isaac Santos, a 2011 MBA graduate from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, who holds that position at Procter & Gamble’s (PG)headquarters in Cincinnati, focused specifically on the company’s Old Spice brand.

Before enrolling at Goizueta, Santos, 40, worked as a project manager at the Department of Environmental Protection in Florida, testing the sanitation of drinking water. He grew up in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and studied environmental engineering at the University of Florida.

Here’s a peek into Santos’s daily routine (some responses have been edited for space and clarity):

7 a.m. I wake up and start reading e-mails. I spend 20 minutes responding to the urgent ones while watching the news. Since I’m in a global role, e-mails come in from my regional counterparts throughout the night.

8:30 a.m. I get to the office and check my calendar. I get more than 70 e-mails each day, so I pace myself in answering them. I answer the first batch at this point.

9:00 a.m. The brand marketing group meets to discuss relevant topics and share news about the business, competition, or trends.

9:30 a.m. I meet with my manager to set objectives for the week. I also use part of this time to get some coaching from him. Coaching is a key behavior at P&G and happens between all levels—upwards and downwards.

10:00 a.m. I work on a recommendation for a project I want to bring forward to our leadership team today. This includes mining quantitative data in P&G’s databases and documents, as well as analyzing qualitative data from external sources like Google (GOOG). I start putting together what I’ve found in a PowerPoint slide deck. This takes me back to my management practice class at Goizueta, where I learned to add structure around ambiguous business problems.

11:30 a.m. I meet with our summer intern. We discuss the status of his projects, as well as any obstacles that he’s facing. As his coach, I act as a barrier-breaker to help him be successful.

12:00 p.m. Round two of checking and answering e-mails and voice mails and then it’s time for lunch. Some days I go outside for lunch with co-workers, others I just go to the office cafeteria. Today, I went to the cafeteria and brought lunch back to my desk so that I could finish the presentation for our lead team this afternoon.

1:00 p.m. Time to manage day-to-day business. In my global role, I oversee the business strategies of three regions: North America, CEEMEA (Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa), and Latin America. Today’s discussion is about claims, trademarks, and packaging design.

2:00 p.m. I present to the multifunctional brand lead team to discuss my recommendation.

2:30 p.m. Recommendation approved by the lead team. Now it’s time to work on a PowerPoint deck that communicates all commercial elements of a global project I’m about to share with the various regions. They will use this to deploy and execute the idea.

3:00 p.m. I meet with the ‘Be a Mentor for a Day’ team, a cross-brand/cross-functional team that mentors at-risk junior high students. I will be leading the next event and today we are meeting to discuss ideas to improve the program.

3:45 p.m. Mental break. The day can be busy, so I try to take 15 minutes to surf the internet and socialize. I have good friendships with my co-workers and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We share a lot of laughs throughout the day.

4:00 p.m. Conference call with the brand’s advertising agencies to discuss ongoing and upcoming creative work, such as TV ads, digital, and overall communication priorities. Today we discussed casting for our new commercial, talent, and music rights for some of our previous advertising, as well as a new digital idea that will be coming out this fall.

5:00 p.m. This is time I have set aside on my calendar to learn more about the business. Today, I’m reviewing a deck about concept writing.

6:00 p.m. Round three of reviewing e-mails before calling it a day.

6:45 p.m. Dinner time. I like to go to dinner with co-workers or grab a quick bite to eat before heading out to meet up with friends. Today we went to a new restaurant downtown on the river. It’s a nice way to unwind after a busy day.

8:00p.m. Salsa on the Square. This is a weekly summer event in downtown Cincinnati. In addition to hanging out with friends and meeting new people, it allows me to have fun via a now 10-year-old passion of mine, salsa dancing.

10:00 p.m. Work out on the treadmill, followed by a few weight reps. Time is my most valuable asset and it’s often difficult to find time for the activities I enjoy, but I try to stay fit because my health is important.

While social media is not reserved to any generation or age, there is no denying that millennials are heavily influencing how organizations operate in the world of digital communication. My fellow millennials have a great deal to learn as far as strategy and execution goes, but their social nature is driving a distinct change in organizations both young and old.

As seen in the infographic below Millennials are responsible for a culture shift because of their emphasis on social media freedom, quality of work, and collaborative work environments. Because millennials continue to grow both in quantity and quality within the workplace, even the most traditional companies are being forced to adapt and become more collaborative and social by nature.

Companies that do adopt these changes will prove to be successful and leaders within their industry as they will be attracting more talent and bringing that talent to an enivornment that they can succeed in. As many will tell you, it’s not enough to just have social, but to truly succeed in the digital age, you have to BE SOCIAL.

As evidenced by the statistics and information in the infographic, the instinctual social nature of Generation Y is preparing them maximize their value by bringing that nature to their employers and driving visible business results across the board.


Gen Y In the Workplace Via MBA@UNC

Avoiding MBA Internship Blunders

June 22, 2012 //

By now everyone living in the world of MBAs knows that the summer internship is really a two-month interview to determine if the candidate fits in well at the company and merits a full-time job offer.

“If a student completes the internship without (a) acquiring new skills, (b) developing a list of new contacts and professional relationships and mentors, it was time wasted,” writes Vicki Lynn, senior vice president for client talent strategy and employer branding at Universum U.S.A. “The internship is an opportunity to grow and develop professionally, add to skill sets, and acquire mentors and references—for the next opportunity.”

But like any opportunity, an internship can also be a potential minefield. Mistakes that can sabotage any hope of a future with the employer are shockingly easy to make. Here are seven of the biggest blunders MBA interns make and how to avoid them:

Mistake No. 1: Partying Too Hard

While most business school administrators say this is a pitfall that is more common to undergraduates, MBAs can still easily end up drinking too much, saying inappropriate things, or making sexual advances toward a colleague, says Damian Zikakis, director of career services at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. Frankly, an MBA intern won’t be cut nearly as much slack as an undergrad making this same error.

Mistake No. 2: Never Asking for Feedback

One MBA intern excitedly jumped into a project without asking for guidance or finding out if he was on the right path. When it came time for him to make the presentation, his manager was disappointed because it wasn’t what he was looking for, says Gary Fraser, assistant dean and executive director of MBA career services at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. To sidestep this kind of error, Fraser suggests asking for a midpoint evaluation if the office doesn’t already offer one. This is an opportunity for interns to gauge how they are doing and for managers to steer them in the right direction.

Mistake No. 3: Failing to Toot Your Own Horn

Interns have to keep track of their accomplishments throughout the summer, especially if they are taking on projects and assignments from people outside their department, because their managers might not be aware of all they are doing, says Fraser. At the evaluation or as they are completing tasks, interns should keep their managers informed.

Mistake No. 4: Avoiding Work

MBA students have often griped about having little to do at their internships, says Zikakis. What they should be doing instead is asking how they can contribute further, he states. They should ask people—even those outside their department—if they could use a hand, especially if they are working on things that interest them. Basically, they should pitch in whenever possible and never look for ways to get out of work or do less.

Mistake No. 5: Ignoring the Cultural Norms

Every employer has its culture, which includes a certain set of acceptable behaviors. What time does everyone arrive and leave? Who picks up the coffee? It behooves interns to observe for a bit and try to fit in as best they can. Zikakis recalls an error a BBA intern made that cost him his job and could happen to anyone, including an MBA.

The intern was out late and overslept, which meant he would not make it to work on time. He called and told the intern director what had happened, apologized, and asked if he could come in now. The intern director said no but that he wanted to see him at 8 a.m. on Monday morning. The student arrived at 8:10 on Monday morning, and the intern director told him that he made three errors—sleeping in, calling rather than just coming into the office late and asking for forgiveness in person, and showing up late on Monday morning. Calling might have been O.K. at another office, where there might have been more leniency about arriving late. It wasn’t at this one. The student should have figured that out.

Mistake No. 6: Keeping to Yourself

Sure, interns must do a great job. They also need to get to know people. Networking is an important part of this lengthy interview. Interns need to make allies, people who will confirm their good behavior and talent and put in a good word when it comes to hiring or if any problems should arise. Avoiding the first five mistakes on this list is a good first step in making a good impression and getting to know people.

Mistake No. 7: Fulfilling the MBA Stereotype

Many an MBA has been accused of arrogance. There are a number of ways to demonstrate humility. The best way is to not be big-headed. Be a team player by working well with others regardless of their alma mater, says Zikakis. In addition, employers sometimes ask interns to do grunt work, which they think is beneath them. This might be another test to determine if interns are team players, and it can produce other opportunities by exposing them to other work. “Make the photocopies,” says Fraser, “if you have to make the copies.”

Finally, interns have to know their place in the office and be respectful of the executives. One intern made an appointment to meet with the managing director of the business expecting to win him over with his charm. When he arrived at the meeting, he had little to say except that he wanted to do a good job and wanted to introduce himself. “This kind of meeting seems insincere and opportunistic,” says Zikakis. “You must provide some kind of tangible feedback about something worthy or have a question that only that person can answer.”

Top 10 Tips for MBA Recruiting Success

Categories: Career Planning

Everyone loves a “Top 10” list.  I ran across a good list the other day at my family’s favorite sandwich shop, Jimmy John’s.  On the wall they have Dave Barry’s hilarious 16 Things That It Took Me Over 50 Years to Learn. #2 will take on new meaning for you as you work through your MBA and #13 is truly the one of the fastest ways to learn about a person’s character.

As an interview coach and trainer, people often ask me for “top tips” on how to avoid mistakes on their path to a new career.  Trying to avoid mistakes can be cautious and negative, so I thought we should focus on success strategies instead.

As for Career Success Strategies, here’s what I’ve learned over the last 10 years:

  1. Surround yourself with positive people at school.  One of those people should be ex-military – they are more disciplined than you and are great leaders.
  2. Be an information hound early in the process by talking to as many classmates as possible about their career experiences.  As your interviews approach, reduce those conversations to eliminate stress and confusion.
  3. Realize now that you will face more rejection than you ever have before.  It’s normal if about 80-90% of your interviews result in a ding.  Knowing that fact in advance will take away some of the sting.
  4. Plan to double the time you think it will take to prepare your cover letters and resume(s).  Triple the time you think it will take to prepare for case interviews and other analytical tests.
  5. Everything is evaluative, even the friendly coffee chat, so take them all seriously.
  6. Rejoice in your classmates’ victories.  Staying positive and energized will motivate you along your path.
  7. Before every key conversation, consider what the other person wants.  As you answer their questions think, “How could I help them?”
  8. Be OK with saying no now and then.  Fear of Missing Out is one of the biggest diseases on campus and it often leads to exhaustion, bags under your eyes and caffeine addiction.
  9. Practice everything out loud:  greetings, good-byes, behavioral stories, career aspirations, case interviews and anything else you might say to a recruiter.  It’s amazing what pops out of our mouths under stress.  Plan to keep those surprises to a minimum.
  10. Stay grateful.  Remember how you felt when you got into school.  Fight hard to stay that way by reminding yourself often how fortunate you truly are.

M.B.A. Recruiting Activity Increases

 Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

On-campus recruiting activity for M.B.A.s is up compared to last year, according to results of the M.B.A. Career Services Council’s (MBACSC) Fall 2011 Recruiting Trends Survey. Seventy percent of schools taking part reported an increase in fall recruiting M.B.A.s for full-time positions, and 46 percent reported an increase in internship postings for M.B.A.s.

“The survey results indicate a positive trend we have continued to observe in the past few years,” explains Nicole Hall, MBACSC president and executive director of alumni and career services at the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University. “We’re seeing an increase in almost all industries and in most company types.”

At the same time last fall, 76 percent of schools reported an increase in on-campus recruiting for full-time jobs. Similarly, the findings show that 68 percent of respondents report an increase in full-time job postings, compared with 86 percent from last fall.

Increases in recruiting activity are occurring across most sectors, according to the MBACSC. More than 40 percent of respondents reported increases in consulting, consumer products, energy, pharma/biotech/healthcare products, and technology. Real estate and government continue to be the weakest industries, according to the MBACSC. In contrast, financial services showed a decrease compared with an increase last fall.

The MBACSC’s Fall 2011 Recruiting Trends Survey was conducted from January 12 – February 2, 2012; 102 programs responded to the survey. Results were compared to a survey fielded in late fall 2010, when 92 schools responded.

Information provided by 

Yahoo’s CEO Among Many Notable Résumé Flaps

May 9, 2012 //

Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson is facing a call for his ouster over the accuracy of his academic credentials. Here, a look at some notable résumé flaps:


Yahoo Inc. said in May 2012 that its new chief executive, Scott Thompson, didn’t earn a degree in computer science as stated in a recent securities filing, citing an “inadvertent error” without providing further explanation. The admission came after an activist shareholder, hedge fund Third Point LLC, pointed out the discrepancy. Yahoo’s website stated Mr. Thompson had received a bachelor’s degree in accounting and computer science from Stonehill College. Yahoo later said Mr. Thompson received a bachelor of science degree in business administration with a major in accounting from Stonehill. The fund, run by activist investor Daniel Loeb, called for Mr. Thompson’s immediate termination.

In 2006, RadioShack Corp. Chief Executive David Edmondson resigned by “mutual agreement” after he admitted inflating his educational background. Mr. Edmondson acknowledged misstating his educational credentials from Pacific Coast Baptist College in California, saying he believed he received a ThG diploma—typically a certificate with fewer requirements than a bachelor’s degree—and not a bachelor of science degree as he previously claimed. But the CEO also acknowledged he couldn’t document the ThG diploma. Mr. Edmondson said in a statement at the time: “The board and I have agreed that it is in the best interest of the company for new leadership to step forward.”

Bausch & Lomb

Eye-care company Bausch & Lomb in 2002 rescinded a bonus for CEO Ronald Zarrella after learning his biography incorrectly claimed he had an M.B.A. from New York University. “I am fully responsible for the misrepresentation in my official biography, an error that has been repeated elsewhere,” Mr. Zarrella wrote in a letter to the board, adding: “There is simply no adequate excuse for a misrepresentation of this kind, and thus I offer none.” He offered to resign; the board didn’t accept his resignation. He retired in March 2008.

When Heather Bresch was promoted to chief operating officer in 2007, the company said she had an M.B.A. from West Virginia University. Ms. Bresch had studied at the school but hadn’t completed her degree, an independent panel later concluded. After receiving questions from the media, the university retroactively awarded Ms. Bresch an M.B.A.—which, after further contention, it moved to revoke. In an emailed statement in 2008, she said, “I continue to believe that I did what I needed to do to earn my degree. The administration allowed me to take an unconventional approach as part of what was then a program in its infancy.” Ms. Bresch is now the generic-drug maker’s chief executive.

Gregory Probert, the president and chief operating officer of Herbalife Ltd., resigned in 2008 after he was caught embellishing his academic credentials by fraud investigator. Herbalife, a Los Angeles marketer of weight-loss products, had said Mr. Probert received an M.B.A. from California State University, Los Angeles. It mentioned the degree in at least 19 regulatory filings. But Mr. Probert never finished Cal State’s M.B.A. program, where he took classes in the early 1980s, the university said. Mr. Probert said he nearly completed an M.B.A. at Cal State, but “the truth is that my vanity prevailed and I did not take action” to correct Herbalife’s biography.
MGM Mirage

J. Terrence Lanni, the chairman and CEO of MGM Mirage Inc., retired from the gambling company in 2008 shortly after questions surfaced about his academic background. Mr. Lanni claimed to have an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California, but the school later said that, while he had earned a bachelor of science degree, there was no M.B.A. on record. When questioned about the discrepancy, Mr. Lanni said he had received an honorary M.B.A. from the university in 1992. USC denied the claim. Mr. Lanni said at the time that his decision to retire had nothing to do with the allegations.

In 2009, railroad operator CSX Corp. levied a “substantial financial penalty” on its chief commercial officer, Clarence Gooden, after discovering that he had misrepresented his academic background in a corporate biography. Mr. Gooden claimed he had earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia in the 1970s. As he later admitted, he attended the school for several years but never completed the degree. The executive released a statement at the time apologizing to employees: “I want you to know that I take full responsibility and hope that you will accept my sincere apology.”
Veritas Software

In 2002, the chief financial officer of Veritas Software Corp., Kenneth E. Lonchar, resigned after directors learned he had lied about having an M.B.A. from Stanford University. A Veritas biography said Mr. Lonchar received a bachelor of arts degree in accounting from Arizona State University. A university spokeswoman had said it could find no record that he was a student there. In a written statement at the time, Mr. Lonchar said he regretted misstating his educational background. “Under the circumstances, I believe my resignation is in the best interests of both the company and myself,” he said.

James Peterson, the president and CEO of Microsemi Corp., an Irvine, Calif.-based semiconductor maker, kept his job but paid a $100,000 fine in 2009 and gave up his bonus that year after the company learned that he had attended classes at Brigham Young University, but was never awarded the bachelor’s and M.B.A. degrees that he had previously listed as credentials. After conducting a review, Microsemi said its board “concluded that the interests of Microsemi’s shareholders are best served by retaining Mr. Peterson while imposing appropriate financial penalties and remedial actions.” The board also adopted an ethics policy that, among other things, mandated background checks for directors and high-ranking executives. “I have respected the board’s process from the start, and I accept the results of that process,” Mr. Peterson said in a company statement at the time.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In 2007, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology dismissed its longtime dean of admissions, Marilee Jones, after the university received an anonymous tip that she had embellished her own credentials. She attended college for one year, as a part-time student at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1974, but never received the bachelor’s or master’s degrees that she claimed from RPI. Nor did she receive a degree she claimed from Albany Medical College, the university found. In a statement released by the university, Ms. Jones said she first fudged her résumé in 1979 when she was hired in a junior position in the MIT admissions office. When she was promoted to the deanship in 1997, she “didn’t have the courage to correct my résumé,” she wrote.
R.H. Donnelley

In 2006, telephone-directory publisher R.H. Donnelley Corp. said that its chairman and chief executive never graduated from the Minnesota university he attended. David Swanson attended St. Cloud State University in Minnesota from 1973 to 1976 but didn’t earn a degree. R.H. Donnelley had twice issued news releases stating that he had. The company said the detail had never appeared in any document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission or the New York Stock Exchange. It said Mr. Swanson didn’t claim to be a graduate of St. Cloud State when he was hired. “This is a regrettable situation for which I accept full responsibility,” said Mr. Swanson at the time.
Smith & Wesson

James Minder resigned shortly after being named chairman of gun maker Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. in 2004 when it was learned that he had spent time in prison in the 1950s and ’60s for an armed-robbery spree and an attempted prison escape. Mr. Minder confessed his past to directors after getting a call from a reporter.
U.S. Olympic Committee

Sandra Baldwin resigned in 2002 as president of the U.S. Olympic Committee after admitting she hadn’t received an undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado in 1962 and a doctorate from Arizona State in 1967. She did attend Colorado in 1958-1959 without graduating and earned a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State in 1962. She said she completed the course work for a doctorate but didn’t finish her dissertation.

University of Notre Dame

In 2001, George O’Leary resigned as Notre Dame football coach five days after being hired, admitting inaccuracies in his academic and athletic background. Mr. O’Leary claimed to have a master’s degree in education and to have played college football for three years, but checks into his background showed it wasn’t true.


“Chainsaw” Al Dunlap, ousted by Sunbeam in 1998 amid allegations of accounting irregularities, was later discovered to have been terminated by Max Phillips & Son after seven weeks in 1973 and by Nitec Paper Corp. in 1976 after two years as president, according to his lawyer. The two major search firms checking his employment history never uncovered those dismissals.


Greetings from the Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD)!

Did you know that your FMBA peers have found jobs and internships with companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Endo Pharmaceuticals?  Check out just a few of the FMBA students who reported a job/internship offer!


Have you found a job or internship in 2012 and want to be included in the FMBA job/internship update?

Let the CSPD office know online! Or come in to the CSPD office to fill out the form, get your picture taken and collect a small token of our best wishes.

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To thine own self be true, the oft-quoted William Shakespeare line, is advice that MBAs should take to heart as they undertake the job hunt. That’s the conclusion of a study by two business school professors who find that candor is the best approach job seekers can take when interviewing, even though the temptation can often be strong to misrepresent oneself to appear a stronger candidate.


The professors, Daniel Cable of London Business Schooland Virginia Kay of the University’s of North Carolina, Chapel Hill’s Kenan Flagler Business School, followed a group of 146 MBA students over the span of their two-year B-school careers and shortly thereafter, trying to determine what role “self-verification”–people’s desire to have others view them as played in landing a job and their job satisfaction. The researchers collected interview feedback from admissions staff who’d interviewed the MBA students before they matriculated at the school, as well as their final grade point average. Students also were asked to fill out a survey both during their summer internship and four months following graduation that asked them to answer questions about how they perceived themselves. For example, students were asked to rate themselves on such questions as, “I like to be myself rather than trying to act like someone I’m not,” or “It’s important for an employer to see me as I see myself, even if it means bringing people to recognize my limitations.”


Those who were forthcoming about their self-image had a high level of job satisfaction, a strong commitment to their jobs, and high ratings from their supervisors, according to the study, published in the latest issue ofThe Academy of Management Journal. In addition, the authors found that business school admissions officers can do a better job predicting future academic performance of applicants who are more forthright about how they view their strengths and weaknesses.


The findings may be counterintuitive to MBA students, who often erroneously believe they need to engage in “extensive image creation” when trying to land a job, the study’s authors said. That can backfire, because if individuals cannot deliver on the skills and abilities they promise, they may find themselves in a role where they will not be able to succeed. In addition, they may alienate themselves from their co-workers, Cable and Kay suggested in the paper, titled “Striving for Self Verification during Organizational Entry.”


“Anyone who teaches in an MBA program has likely heard the litany of student complaints about the need to wear the mask, check your values, etc., when you enter the corporate jungle,” Cable said in a press release. “When we launched this research, I would have been prepared to argue that maybe it’s not so bad to be true to yourself even if it does diminish a bit your chances of landing a job. Finding that it doesn’t diminish those chances in the short term while it helps everyone in the long term is a great outcome.”


The report’s findings jibe with the advice that career services officers traditionally give MBA students. Julie Morton, associate dean of career services and corporate relations at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, says the authors’ conclusions are “totally in line” with how they advise students beginning their job searches.


Even if students can “fake it” for the first round of interviews, they will find it harder to do so during the second and third round of interviews, when they spend a longer time interacting with people at the company where they are interviewing, Morton says.


“Our assumption is that you can be candid and professional at the same time,” Morton says. “Your professional self may not be exactly the way you interact with your family and friends, but your professional self should not be this made-up, manufactured being by any means.”

To be directed to the full article click here:

Imagine you’ve been on the job market for about six months. You are paying your mortgage on your credit cards at this point. Your unemployment benefits are about to run out and your job prospects remain dismal, no matter what you seem to do.Interviewing

Finally, you land a killer opportunity, pass the phone screen and show up to an interview with a hiring manager. Just as you think you’re about to close the deal, she spins her computer screen around and asks you to login to your Facebook account.

What do you do?

This is common enough that it now has a name: Shoulder Surfing. According to Lori Andrews, a law professor at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law specializing in Internet privacy, this practice is “coercion if you need a job”. Not to mention the violation in Facebook’s privacy policy, albeit unenforceable.

Facebook’s official statement is that shoulder surfing “undermines the privacy expectations and the security of both the user and the user’s friends” and “potentially exposes the employer who seeks this access to unanticipated legal liability.”

The ruling, made by the FTC in May, 2011, was that companies can usesocial media information as part of a background check, but this information must be available from public databases. In other words, strictly speaking, it could be illegal for companies to use private social media information against you without your consent. (I say could be because I am not a lawyer, I just pay attention.)

However, there are some cases wherein this type of deep probing could be deemed appropriate; for example law enforcement or defense. In this case, it would be easy for the employer to defend their request to access private data as it pertains directly to the candidate’s qualification to perform the job.

But when Justin Bassett, a statistician based in New York, was asked for his Facebook password he refused. And so should you. Many states are already in the process of introducing legislation against this practice, and if you live in Illinois and or Maryland, such legislation already exists.

How to Protect Your Privacy in a Job Search

As our economy makes its baby steps towards recovery, chances are that fewer people will “need” to find a job that desperately. Assuming your situation is not dire (and it’s probably not, the unemployment rate for people with bachelor’s degrees or higher is only around 4.5%), here are some responses you can memorize and use in an interview just in case they ask.

  1. I take my agreements very seriously. And it is against Facebook’s user policy to share my password with anyone else. I’m going to have to respectfully decline your request.
  2. I’m sure your firm has a social media policy. Well, it is my own social media policy to use Facebook for personal reasons. I mean no offense, but I’m going to have to decline.
  3. Privacy is a very serious matter for me. Should I be employed with your organization, I would honor private company information just as seriously as I honor my own. Even if this means losing a great opportunity for me, I must refuse your request. And know that if I were presented with a similar situation with your private information, I would respond in the same way.
  4. I wouldn’t want to jeopardize your organization’s standing withOFCCP’s regulations about asking about kids or other protected private matters in the course of an employment decision. Therefore, if you don’t mind, I’d prefer to keep my Facebook profile private. However, should you and I become friendly after my employment, I would have no problem having you in my network. (Note: please see my post on how to deal with nosy bosses on Facebook)

I will leave you with one final thought. Never forget that Facebook owns your data no matter what — and it takes up to seven days for them to remove deleted information from their database.

When you use social media you are a publisher. Never forget that. When people complain that they now have to “watch their step” with every post, welcome to reality. That’s the way it always was. And I think these issues are arising precisely because we are all maturing in our use and our understanding of social media.