Last month, the Raymond A. Mason School of Business held the Graduate Business Career Symposium for all students pursuing an MBA at William & Mary. The symposium included lunch and a keynote speaker, three alumni panels, and time for networking.
The three panels all covered different subjects relevant to graduate students interested in business careers, and all alumni panelists fielded student questions at the conclusion of each panel. The first panel focused on how new technologies are changing the consulting field and which digital skills are now necessary for success. The speakers gave advice on a variety of topics, ranging from how to prevent the leakage of sensitive material to dealing with technologically-challenged clients. While most of the speakers’ advice revolved around how to use new technologies to your advantage, all five alumni on the panel impressed upon the students the continued importance of interpersonal relationships.
The idea of a balance between technological knowledge and personability spanned the three panels. Matt Williams BBA ‘89, and former CEO of the Martin Agency, said in the marketing-based panel that while staying up to date on changing technology is a necessity, “strategic thinking, good people skills, and collaboration and leadership skills are going to separate the people who are good enough to do business from those who are talented enough to lead it.”
The three panels also all touched heavily on advice for current students. The third panel was focused almost completely on this advice, with panelists telling students about their own careers, as well as what worked and didn’t work throughout their journey. Palak Vijayvergiya, a first year MBA student, said that she thinks this is the main reason that this event is held. She believes that by hearing honest, frank advice from successful alumni, students can learn from their mistakes and avoid making the same ones.
Similarly, second year MBA student Brianna Mayer said, regarding the event’s value, “When you get to hear from panelists in the industry, you get a sense of what trends are important in the industry right now and how you can add value to the industry. They also give a lot of growth and development advice, which can be really useful if you think on how to use it for your own growth and development.”
Events like the Graduate Business Career Symposium exemplify the high priority the Raymond A. Mason School of Business puts on connecting their students with possible employers. The exceptional job opportunities and alumni connections available to students after graduation is a big part of why students choose to pursue their MBA here at William & Mary, and events such as this one show just why those opportunities are readily available.