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  1. #1

    Unemployed after an MBA from Top 30 US University

    Hi,

    I am from India and I want to give some background to my case.

    I completed a Bachelors and then a Masters degree in India in Business and worked for 3 and half years at a leading private sector bank. Neither my job nor the team I was working with was satisfying (to say the least!) and my boss who was extremely jealous of my progress deliberately withheld my name for a second promotion which was due. I was a star performer and within 6 months of joining I was promoted to Assistant Manager from Senior Officer. This incident amongst others led me to a lot of introspection and I decided to finally fulfill my long time dream of studying for a professional masters degree in US from a top University.

    So I left my job in Sept. 2005. It was a hard decision - applying for graduate courses in US is extremely expensive and I was on a tight budget. My job at the bank required extremely long working hours - I was working for 6-7 days a week for 16-18 hours a day (no I am not kidding when you work in a country like India in a retail bank things can be pretty out of control!!!). I used this time from Sept 2005 until May 2006 (when I came to US) and worked hard on finding universities, preparing for GMAT, taking exam, interviews etc and then finally making the trip to the US!

    I joined a top school here and worked very hard. I worked as an intern in my university for a year without pay while studying a full time demanding MBA course and kept looking for a job. My problem - the US and world economy tanked just as I graduated in May 2008. Plus I was on a student visa looking for a company that would sponsor my work permit.

    It is now April, 2009 and almost a complete 1 year since graduation. I am returning to my home country jobless.

    My biggest concern now is that I have been unemployed for about 9 months prior to MBA + almost 12 months after my MBA i.e. a total of 21 months and counting!

    I want to be honest when I am interviewing with the companies and yet I am struggling with how to explain this to them without coming across as a loser.

    I have worked so hard, given up 2 years of salary paying job to do an MBA, paid so much in tuition, living expenses, traveling for job interviews across the US and yet to find a grain of success.

    I am losing hope, and have had terrible thoughts about my future or a lack of it!

    Please advise on how to explain these gaps on my resume which I did not want and worked hard to avoid them but still ended up having them.

    Thanks and may god bless you!

  2. #2
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    shuja

    Look, it takes some guts to go to another country and do an MBA, particularly self supporting. Most people are covered multiple ways over when they do the MBA, with management experience and that sort of income.

    You could have picked a better time to dive into the shark pool, but that's about all.

    Never mind what anyone thinks, the facts say something quite different. You just went to get an MBA, which you've done, and have a look around to see what was available. In practice, the finance sector has been shedding jobs since about May 2008, not hiring.

    So-

    You spent some time pre MBA setting up the degree.
    The degree is pretty much full time.
    You had little or no chance of finding any finance gigs in the US, but you did try.

    Any US election means forget everything between November and January, anyway. The administrations come and go, and nobody gets much done. That applies to business, too, because Wall Street is in lock step with that echelon of the society, even in the best of times.

    This is almost self explanatory. How do you figure you're a loser, after going through what was practically the Apocalypse, in your profession? Einstein would have had trouble finding work in that environment. The only guy finding extra work in finance is Nouriel Roubini.

    Gaps explanation:

    May-November 2008: Sector meltdown, Lehmann Bros, US election.
    Dec 2008- Feb 2009 TARP applications coming on line, industry shakeouts.

    In practice, you've only had any credible chance of finding anything for about a month, and those are still very thin on the ground. There's been no such thing as a finance job market since Lehmann Bros. Most of the Americans are still busy firing off their CVs and winding up their networks.

    I know India's a tough, occasionally brutal work environment. I think you could consider working in healthier places, where your situation will be less "selectively understood". Canada, Australia, and New Zealand might be more receptive places to look for work.

    If you want to stick around in the States, check things out with your university and your friends. There will be someone there who knows the ropes, and will have a few ideas, and probably some contacts.

    You're in MBA Land, now. Pick up the phone and start networking.

    A word of advice: Never give up.
    Paul

  3. #3

    Why be so concerned?

    You don't need to be so concerned about being unemployed despite having an MBA. What you need to understand is that the market is extremely tough especially in the USA since many Americans themselves aren't getting jobs let alone a foreigner. Perhaps going back to India is a blessing in disguise since India is a booming economy with lots of business opportunities. I myself was in a similar situation to yourself around 3 years ago when I finished my MBA from a Top 10 University in the UK but was unable to get employment in the U.K. Imagine, that was a so-called booming period and I couldn't secure employment. I should be ashamed. However, God is great, and I managed to get some capital to start my own business. I started my own business in India and have made more money than I ever could with an MBA. Furthermore, I have done well enough and never dream of going to the USA or UK anymore. The kind of business and income I'm generating here in India is impossible in those economies. Perhaps this gives you a good idea of what to do. Why do you want to look for a job when you can run your own business? I would strongly recommend identifying small but profitable business opportunities that can definitely bear fruit. Furthermore, these businesses are owned by you and nobody can make you unemployed except yourself. I'll be more than happy to suggest ideas if you are interested.

  4. #4

    Re: Why be so concerned?

    Hello friends, this is Rahul here.... an MBA aspirant. I am a bit confused about the country from which i shud do MBA. I m planning to join a B-school by next year.

    I have a few questions:-
    1. How will, probably, be the job scene in US after, say, 2.5 years from now?
    2. How is Canada, for doing MBA & getting a good job over there? I am planning to settle there, if i can.....
    3. I think, UK, being a small country with a high density of population, wont be able to take any more load of foreigners... Is my thinking right?
    4. If we talk about Australia, US, UK & Canada for MBA & Job prospectus, in which order can these countries be ranked starting from the best?
    5. Can a Canadian or an Australian MBA, get me a job in US?

    Kindly provide me the replies of this questions, if possible.

    Thanks in advance,
    Regards,
    Rahul

  5. #5
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    Re: Why be so concerned?

    rahulsharma1982

    Comments in italics in your quote:

    Quote Originally Posted by rahulsharma1982
    Hello friends, this is Rahul here.... an MBA aspirant. I am a bit confused about the country from which i shud do MBA. I m planning to join a B-school by next year.

    I have a few questions:-

    1. How will, probably, be the job scene in US after, say, 2.5 years from now?

    Remember this current situation is an anomaly. The US, normally, is a tough job scene, highly competitive. Call it two years, and these days will be long forgotten. The MBA is pretty much a requirement, in that field in the US.


    2. How is Canada, for doing MBA & getting a good job over there? I am planning to settle there, if i can.....

    Canada's doing a bit better at the moment than the US. However- if you want to live there, I have some friends over there, and you can be looking at -40C in winter, in Toronto. I suggest you check that out, because it'll be a shock after India.

    3. I think, UK, being a small country with a high density of population, wont be able to take any more load of foreigners... Is my thinking right?

    The UK is currently doing its usual thing of a high migration rate. You have to love the place. It can be a very tough place for migrants. According to most sources, it's change a lot from the basic image. There are some very beautiful places, but it's very much a big city environment.

    4. If we talk about Australia, US, UK & Canada for MBA & Job prospectus, in which order can these countries be ranked starting from the best?

    I'm a bit biased, but:

    Australia
    Canada
    (Large gap)
    US
    UK

    This is definitely not the best time for either USA or UK.


    5. Can a Canadian or an Australian MBA, get me a job in US?

    Yes. It's really a matter of accreditation, and all these countries are pretty much in the loop.

    Kindly provide me the replies of this questions, if possible.

    Thanks in advance,
    Regards,
    Rahul
    Whatever you do, check out where you do your MBA, and any other qualification. Never mind where it is, make sure it delivers what you're paying for, and you're not sending yourself broke doing it. It's quite possible to waste time, money and effort on travel and expensive courses.

    We've had quite a few people on this site, including from India, who've done the whole US MBA thing and found themselves having to go back with no job and nothing else to show for all that.

    Play this very cool. The people coming back were having a really tough ride trying to crack it over there, and wound up having to come back. Plan it all and cost it, before you spend a cent, or even pick up a phone.
    Paul

  6. #6

    Re: Why be so concerned?

    Thanks a lot, Pauloz, for your such an informative reply.
    I think, going for Australia or Canada will be a better option...

    However, I have read on some web-site that job scene after MBA in Australia is not good... Its really tough to get even a work permit in Australia after MBA. Is that true?

    I have nearly 5 years full-time experience in marketing field.... By qualification, I am an Engineer. Wot would be the job scope for me in Australia after MBA? & How about migrating to Australia?

    Same thing, I have heard about Canada also.....There, the work permits are given only for the span of time, for which you have studied... As for example, after a course of 8 months, job permit/work visa will be given only for 8 months..... Is this true?

    Also, please let me know the names of globally renowned B-schools of Australia.

  7. #7
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    Re: Why be so concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by rahulsharma1982
    Thanks a lot, Pauloz, for your such an informative reply.
    I think, going for Australia or Canada will be a better option...

    However, I have read on some web-site that job scene after MBA in Australia is not good... Its really tough to get even a work permit in Australia after MBA. Is that true?

    I have nearly 5 years full-time experience in marketing field.... By qualification, I am an Engineer. Wot would be the job scope for me in Australia after MBA? & How about migrating to Australia?

    Same thing, I have heard about Canada also.....There, the work permits are given only for the span of time, for which you have studied... As for example, after a course of 8 months, job permit/work visa will be given only for 8 months..... Is this true?

    Also, please let me know the names of globally renowned B-schools of Australia.
    rahulsharma1982

    Interesting question about job scope, because if you could put those three elements into a job, you'd have a massive advantage. Not many people would have that combination of skills. Say if you were to find a job marketing the financing of engineering businesses, etc. Or managing finances in engineering... Or chief project officer, overseeing the project on several levels.

    Marketing in Australia is a smaller area than finance, mainly serving the local market. although obviously there are some connections with the big global companies.

    It's not correct that the job scene is tough after an MBA, nor that the work permit situation is bad, although because of the recession the number of annual places for skilled workers has been reduced to 110,000.

    MBAs are global currency as qualifications, and Australia is no exception. The more likely problem, actually, is experience. You'd be competing with MBAs in the purely financial business management area. I think your best shot is to point your MBA into the marketing arena, where you have strong additional qualifications.

    This is something I did a while back on migration to Australia.

    http://www.cvtips.com/immigration/australia.html

    Most of the materials on this page are still current, but always check out with Dept of Immigration for the latest info.

    That's also not correct about Canada. Their system is fairly similar to ours, and the golden rule of work visas is not to believe rumors, positive or negative. Get on to the Canadian embassy and check it out first hand.

    The best business school in Australia is Melbourne University, where a couple of friends of mine teach. It's not cheap, but it has an excellent reputation. Another possibility would be the Australian National University in Canberra (global top ten) or the University of New South Wales. The emphases in Australian universities vary a lot. University of Melbourne, I know for a fact, does the whole range of business studies.

    This is the link to their home page: http://www.unimelb.edu.au/

    On the right of the page you'll see some links, Information For and Information About. Check those out first, because it's a huge site and navigation can get a bit daunting, even when you know where you are.

    One further thing, and it's an important basic principle:

    The bureaucracy of the migration and study thing can be a real irritant. The best way to do it is to make sure things get done properly first time. Ask the people at Immigration and the University exactly what's required, and to spell it out, if necessary. It can save you months, if not years, of frustration and having to correct things.
    Paul

  8. #8

    Re: Why be so concerned?

    Thanks again.....
    Your reply, based on my experience & qualification, is quite motivating. Well, I will tell my primary concern. I, basically, want to migrate to some cool, clean, developed, systematic & less populated country. That is the real reason, why I am pushing myself for an international MBA.

    As such, I do not have any specific choice for any country, it can be some country in Europe/North America/Australia/New Zealand. Only thing, which I want is clean atmosphere, cool climate, educated & broad-minded people around me.

    However, as Indians are, mostly, good at just one foreign language - English, I am planning to do MBA & get settled in some English speaking country.

  9. #9
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    Re: Why be so concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by rahulsharma1982
    Thanks again.....
    Your reply, based on my experience & qualification, is quite motivating. Well, I will tell my primary concern. I, basically, want to migrate to some cool, clean, developed, systematic & less populated country. That is the real reason, why I am pushing myself for an international MBA.

    As such, I do not have any specific choice for any country, it can be some country in Europe/North America/Australia/New Zealand. Only thing, which I want is clean atmosphere, cool climate, educated & broad-minded people around me.

    However, as Indians are, mostly, good at just one foreign language - English, I am planning to do MBA & get settled in some English speaking country.
    Glad to help.

    Australia:

    I don't know if 45- 47C in our summer would qualify as cool anywhere else, but by Indian standards, Australia would be OK, particularly near the coast.

    Educated: More or less.

    Broad minded: Yes, but we do have a few regressives still living in the caves.

    Clean: By global standards, immaculate. Doesn't say much for global standards, but usually pretty tolerable, middle class standards.

    English: Australia has a range of usages and terms which take some adaption, but you might find the accents a bit difficult for a little while.

    New Zealand

    Very cold sometimes, the odd earthquake, but nearly everybody who goes there loves the place.

    Educated: Mainly in Australia, but some good local stuff.

    Broad minded: As long as you understand the Maori issues, (most of which, like our Aboriginal issues, are perfectly reasonable. Some, however are a bit reactionary.) and appreciate the sensitivities on both sides. The Kiwis are generally pretty likable people. Learn to like the All Blacks, (even we do, really) and all will be well.

    Clean: Like Australia.

    English: The Kiwis have only one vowel, but have managed to have a democracy as well. Accent is pretty easy to get, after a week or so.

    Canada:

    Cold, in a sense other people don't quite understand. Last summer, I was talking to a Canadian friend. It was 40C in Sydney and -40C in Toronto.

    Educated: Better than the US in terms of studying conditions, according to all reports, except perhaps places like Harvard, Princeton, etc.

    Broadminded: Like Australia and New Zealand, genuine multicultural society, with a few idiots who haven't noticed the 19th century has ended yet.

    Clean: So much so the Americans keep making jokes about it.

    English: Strange mix of British and American English, but comprehensible.

    US: Too diverse for easy definitions. An American friend told me once that the US has the best and worst of everything, and over the last 32 years, that's basically the case. You're probably better off in the big cosmopolitan areas.

    I stick to my previous statements about where best to use that MBA, but if you're able to move around, you could go to any of these countries relatively easily. If you're a citizen of one, you can go there without a visa for a few months, too, and really move around pretty well.
    Paul

  10. #10

    Re: Why be so concerned?

    Thanks a lot again..... I will surely come back to you when I have something to share.

    Regards,
    Rahul

  11. #11

    Re: Why be so concerned?

    Hello,
    Is Canadian MBA degree able to fetch me a job in US or Europe? How much is the canadian MBA degree acceptable in India?

  12. #12
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    Re: Why be so concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by rahulsharma1982
    Hello,
    Is Canadian MBA degree able to fetch me a job in US or Europe? How much is the canadian MBA degree acceptable in India?
    rahulsharma1982

    As I understand it, the MBA is a pretty much international degree. I doubt if you'd have much trouble with the accreditation of a Canadian MBA in Europe or the US, or anywhere in the world.

    Except, ironically, India, where for some reason accreditation, which is supposed to be done by mutual treaties and similar mechanisms, seems to be taking forever. Even medical qualifications are taking decades to get mutual standards of recognition. The problem is that recognition of Indian qualifications isn't being achieved at even a snail's pace, so reciprocal accreditation isn't something you could take for granted.

    I think, but I'm not sure, that India has taken the practical approach, rather than wait for sanity and efficiency, and is doing more recognition of foreign qualifications than it's receiving in return. I checked out MBA Accreditation in India for you, and came up with this link: http://www.bschools.indiaedu.com/mba...ion-india.html

    Foreign companies in India would be the exception, obviously, if external MBAs aren't recognized yet.
    Paul

  13. #13

    Re: Why be so concerned?

    Thanks a lot again for ur guidance....

    I was going through some web-site the other day & came across a good number of reputed schools in France, Belgium, Spain & Germany....

    How is the post graduation work permit scenario if France, Spain & Germany? I have already stopped researching anything about US coz the way things are moving in US, i dont think any foreign student will be able to survive there..

    Kindly give me the feedback about the schools in France, Belgium, Spain & Germany...

    Thanks & Regards,
    Rahul

  14. #14
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    Re: Why be so concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by rahulsharma1982
    Thanks a lot again for ur guidance....

    I was going through some web-site the other day & came across a good number of reputed schools in France, Belgium, Spain & Germany....

    How is the post graduation work permit scenario if France, Spain & Germany? I have already stopped researching anything about US coz the way things are moving in US, i dont think any foreign student will be able to survive there..

    Kindly give me the feedback about the schools in France, Belgium, Spain & Germany...

    Thanks & Regards,
    Rahul
    Rahul

    It's better to think European, rather than specifically national, in this case. I've done articles in the past on these subjects, and I can tell you from experience to check the current state of all these visas and permits. They change often, and they can get a bit legalistic. Rather than give you an encyclopedia of links, I suggest you make direct contact with the embassies and get their current info, rather than the stuff I did last year.

    Generally speaking, the EU is progressively taking over the work permit thing, and although it's still national legislation in all its various forms, they're working on a standardized process. If your employer is an EU employer, you get the benefits of the employer's entitlements under EU membership. Belgium is very well placed in that regard, with a lot of treaties, local entitlements, etc, but you have to put up with their somewhat bureaucratic, but efficient, processes. It takes a while to get your permits from the communes, but you get a good set of consistent rules to work with, too.

    Belgium does have a system for permanent residency, and their whole approach is quite well developed. They're not called the crossroads of Europe for nothing, and their system is perhaps the best.

    For study, Belgium is also pretty good, they have a range of top line colleges and good study visa regulations, it's relatively easy.

    If you're an Indian citizen, by the way, Belgium has recently signed a new treatment with India, which gives certain new advantages to Indian citizens and employees of Indian companies. That's another possible legal side entrance, may be worth checking out.

    France and Germany are a bit less helpful, at the moment, because of the recession. Their work permit systems are basically international standard, but they've been hit very hard by the recession, and unemployment is a big issue.

    Spain: Doing worse than other EU nations, wouldn't recommend.
    Paul

  15. #15

    Re: Why be so concerned?

    Hello,

    Which specialization is in more demand or gets u more money - International business or Marketing???

    My profile in brief:-
    B.E. Electrical
    Around 4.5 years of full time techno-commercial marketing experience (Domestic & International both).

    So for me, both the above mentioned specializations are fine. Hence, kindly guide me which specialization should I choose???

    Regards,
    Rahul


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