By Vasant Venkatramani
It has been more than a year since COVID-19 has changed the MBA experience of students. The transition to a largely online learning experience has compromised students’ ability to meet the right people that can catalyse their career following their MBA. Recruiters are plentiful, but most have little understanding of the specific requirements of an alumnus.
This is where Pat McDonald comes in. While the art of networking is often cited as one of the biggest benefits of studying an MBA, for Pat, it has been her life’s calling. With the AskPat service (available only to MGSMAA members), graduates or soon-to-be graduates can reach out to Pat to help find the best people to grow their professional network and build the next phase in their career.
“One of the most common pieces of feedback I hear is how graduates do the MBA, but don’t really know how to make the most of it in terms of meeting the right people.”
“The qualities of building effective relationships remain the same: do the hard yards, follow up, and demonstrate your value to others through your achievements.”
Pat’s association with MGSM extends more than 35 years, firstly with MGSM and then with the MGSM Alumni Association. Yet in all that time, her passion for helping MBA graduates further their career remains undimmed.
“One of the main things that MGSM founding dean Bruce McKern wanted to do was to emulate what he had seen at Harvard: he saw the power of their alumni association and how graduates, even ones years apart, stayed in touch. This helped reinforce how valuable their association with one another was.”
“At MGSMAA, you are meeting and connecting with people who have been on the same journey as you. Over the associations I’ve made over many years, I’ve been inspired and enthused by the sense of camaraderie that students have for one another" said Pat.
As one alumnus who called out to Pat to help him said, “At a time when I was looking for a change of direction in my career, I asked Pat for help. She showed me how to maximise my LinkedIn profile and look for opportunities inside and outside of my existing network.
In the end she was able to help me get an interview (and in turn a job) with one of Australia’s most prestigious companies. I doubt that this could have happened within the timeframe if I didn’t ask Pat. We went fishing and I caught the big one!’
"Ask Pat" program is free offer for MGSM Alumni Association members. Limited time only. Apply now!
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