VMock Thinks

VMock Thinks

VMock wishes to bring forth voices and stories of career management with its varied hues to help you advance on your career path.

Latest Posts

A Career in Investment Banking

A career in investment banking

A career in investment bankingThe portrayal of the famous Hollywood Finance villain Gordon Gecko, in the 1987 movie Wall Street won Michael Douglas the Oscar for Best Actor.

Greed is good.” declared Gecko. Investment bankers are perceived to personify this greed, due in no small part to the image of the industry perpetuated by the media and popular culture.

Joris Luyendijk in his book Swimming with Sharks wasn’t far off the mark when he said, “Investment banking is a trap, a game and an addiction. The reward is big, but uncertain, which makes it exciting and keeps you coming back for more.” (more…)

The New Marketing Age – Should Data or Instinct Drive Your Decisions?

The New Marketing Age – Should Data or Instinct Drive Your Decisions?

The New Marketing Age – Should Data or Instinct Drive Your Decisions?Is there such a thing as a purely rational, logical business decision? Do business leaders and entrepreneurs rationalize and reason before arriving at that decision? Consider what a data-obsessed world we live in. It isn’t hard to see how central data has become to everyday life. Your smartphone can tell you how long it will take to get to your destination, your fitness tracker counts the number of steps you have taken throughout the day, your smart home device can raise and lower temperatures based on your preferences that it has recorded. Imagine taking that kind of microdata to a macro level and you can begin to grasp how critical data becomes to an organization. So crucial have data scientists become that they have quickly gained the confidence of the C-Suite. In fact, many recruiters make the argument that if you haven’t become comfortable with “data-speak” in the next ten years your chances of gaining the C-Suite are woefully slim. (more…)

Is Consulting About Giving Advice?

Misrepresentations and unfortunate stereotypes about consultants are plenty. You must have heard the oft-quoted one attributed to Carl Ally that goes like this: “a consultant is someone who borrows your watch to tell you the time and then keeps the watch” or “consultants are hired to deliver bad news”. And the Dilbert comic strip that has Dogbert thinking about conning and insulting people and then combining “con” and “insult” to produce “consult”. Even as these unfortunate and less-than-complimentary terms about consultants abound and consultants continue to take flak from non-consultants who perceive them to be less than hard working but raking in the bucks nonetheless, the consulting industry has flourished and experienced consultants continue to be in high demand across the business landscape. What consultants actually do seems foggy to many (read cynics). The above mentioned quotes seem to insinuate that companies often hire consultants – at great cost - to tell them what they already know but have trouble accepting. It would appear that having the news delivered by outside consultants would bring greater validation to the conclusion already drawn by executives. Among the many misconceptions prevalent about consultants –they tell companies what they want to hear, they are not team players, they are too expensive – is one that is especially difficult to ignore: that consulting is just about giving advice. So what do consultants bring to the table other than doling out advice? Well, for starters, good consultants operate from a position of empathy for the client. They display a genuine concern and desire to help their client – whether it is to solve a problem, avoid a conflict, or bolster a strategy. This sense of empathy humanizes a consultant as a real person with a keen desire to assist his or her client and help them overcome a challenge. Best-selling author Pat Lencioni says that consultants need to be transparent and humble in order to establish a connection with the client. This does not mean that these attributes should come at the expense of confidence and competence, rather they should complement the required fundamental skills. If a consultant lacks humility and empathy, the client will likely be less disposed to accepting the consultant’s advice. Another quality of the above-average consultant is the ability to listen. Listening carefully to employees who are the primary stakeholders and being eager to implement change and solve a problem or a set of problems is imperative to a consultant’s job. In all likelihood these employees have worked for several years in the industry and are well-informed and tuned in to the company’s problems. A great consultant engages with employees and builds relationships with them to gain their trust and confidence. Gone are the days when consultants could meet clients’ expectations by simply delivering a Power Point presentation. To defeat long-held stereotypes, elite consultants nowadays not only deliver ideas and solutions that can be implemented but also communicate their ideas to a wider audience. “Thought leadership” has now become a buzzword for experienced strategy consultants who deliver novel solutions and are willing to share their ideas with the world. They write papers, books, contribute to journals and attend conferences to promote their ideas. This kind of activity increases their street cred and establishes them as solution-focused thinkers who deliver great value to clients. Visit VMock to get a deeper understanding of how you can express your leadership and analytical skills through the resume. Today, consulting is more than just about strategy. Consulting has widened its reach to include such topics as implementation, people (HR) and internal processes. Consultants bring a ton of expertise to these subjects through their long association with and gathering intelligence from corporations and businesses, they have advised long term. So if you thought consultants are minting money with “one size fits all” approaches towards their clients, nothing could be further from the truth. It is true that consultants like to go for quick and effective wins in an effort to gain credibility with company stakeholders but their long-term solutions are based on a thorough evaluation of the client’s problems, not just the symptoms. Experience immediate and customized resume feedback on the VMock SMART career platform. An online resume review program, VMock is an intuitive tool that relies on artificial intelligence, data science and natural language processing to cater to the individuality of each student. The system evaluates the resume on critical parameters including how distinctly you reflected your core competencies. The application provides guidelines and details through specific examples, how you can demonstrate key soft skills –‘communication’, ‘leadership’, ‘teamwork’ and ‘initiative’ through your resume. Witness noticeable improvement in the quality of career guidance that has so far been adopted by leading schools from across the globe like: INSEAD, Stanford, Yale, Wharton, Chicago Booth, Kellogg and several others.

Misrepresentations and unfortunate stereotypes about consultants are plenty. You must have heard the oft-quoted one attributed to Carl Ally that goes like this: “a consultant is someone who borrows your watch to tell you the time and then keeps the watch” or “consultants are hired to deliver bad news”. And the Dilbert comic strip that has Dogbert thinking about conning and insulting people and then combining “con” and “insult” to produce “consult”. Even as these unfortunate and less-than-complimentary terms about consultants abound and consultants continue to take flak from non-consultants who perceive them to be less than hard working but raking in the bucks nonetheless, the consulting industry has flourished and experienced consultants continue to be in high demand across the business landscape. What consultants actually do seems foggy to many (read cynics). The above mentioned quotes seem to insinuate that companies often hire consultants – at great cost - to tell them what they already know but have trouble accepting. It would appear that having the news delivered by outside consultants would bring greater validation to the conclusion already drawn by executives. Among the many misconceptions prevalent about consultants –they tell companies what they want to hear, they are not team players, they are too expensive – is one that is especially difficult to ignore: that consulting is just about giving advice. So what do consultants bring to the table other than doling out advice? Well, for starters, good consultants operate from a position of empathy for the client. They display a genuine concern and desire to help their client – whether it is to solve a problem, avoid a conflict, or bolster a strategy. This sense of empathy humanizes a consultant as a real person with a keen desire to assist his or her client and help them overcome a challenge. Best-selling author Pat Lencioni says that consultants need to be transparent and humble in order to establish a connection with the client. This does not mean that these attributes should come at the expense of confidence and competence, rather they should complement the required fundamental skills. If a consultant lacks humility and empathy, the client will likely be less disposed to accepting the consultant’s advice. Another quality of the above-average consultant is the ability to listen. Listening carefully to employees who are the primary stakeholders and being eager to implement change and solve a problem or a set of problems is imperative to a consultant’s job. In all likelihood these employees have worked for several years in the industry and are well-informed and tuned in to the company’s problems. A great consultant engages with employees and builds relationships with them to gain their trust and confidence. Gone are the days when consultants could meet clients’ expectations by simply delivering a Power Point presentation. To defeat long-held stereotypes, elite consultants nowadays not only deliver ideas and solutions that can be implemented but also communicate their ideas to a wider audience. “Thought leadership” has now become a buzzword for experienced strategy consultants who deliver novel solutions and are willing to share their ideas with the world. They write papers, books, contribute to journals and attend conferences to promote their ideas. This kind of activity increases their street cred and establishes them as solution-focused thinkers who deliver great value to clients. Visit VMock to get a deeper understanding of how you can express your leadership and analytical skills through the resume. Today, consulting is more than just about strategy. Consulting has widened its reach to include such topics as implementation, people (HR) and internal processes. Consultants bring a ton of expertise to these subjects through their long association with and gathering intelligence from corporations and businesses, they have advised long term. So if you thought consultants are minting money with “one size fits all” approaches towards their clients, nothing could be further from the truth. It is true that consultants like to go for quick and effective wins in an effort to gain credibility with company stakeholders but their long-term solutions are based on a thorough evaluation of the client’s problems, not just the symptoms. Experience immediate and customized resume feedback on the VMock SMART career platform. An online resume review program, VMock is an intuitive tool that relies on artificial intelligence, data science and natural language processing to cater to the individuality of each student. The system evaluates the resume on critical parameters including how distinctly you reflected your core competencies. The application provides guidelines and details through specific examples, how you can demonstrate key soft skills –‘communication’, ‘leadership’, ‘teamwork’ and ‘initiative’ through your resume. Witness noticeable improvement in the quality of career guidance that has so far been adopted by leading schools from across the globe like: INSEAD, Stanford, Yale, Wharton, Chicago Booth, Kellogg and several others.

Misrepresentations and unfortunate stereotypes about consultants are plenty. You must have heard the oft-quoted one attributed to Carl Ally that goes like this: “a consultant is someone who borrows your watch to tell you the time and then keeps the watch” or “consultants are hired to deliver bad news”. And the Dilbert comic strip that has Dogbert thinking about conning and insulting people and then combining “con” and “insult” to produce “consult”. Even as these unfortunate and less-than-complimentary terms about consultants abound and consultants continue to take flak from non-consultants who perceive them to be less than hard working but raking in the bucks nonetheless, the consulting industry has flourished and experienced consultants continue to be in high demand across the business landscape. What consultants actually do seems foggy to many (read cynics). The above mentioned quotes seem to insinuate that companies often hire consultants – at great cost – to tell them what they already know but have trouble accepting. It would appear that having the news delivered by outside consultants would bring greater validation to the conclusion already drawn by executives. (more…)

The Biggest Recruiter Pet Peeves

The Biggest Recruiter Pet Peeves

The Biggest Recruiter Pet PeevesImagine yourself in the world of a recruiter. It may seem quite foreign to you presently, viewed from the lens of a job seeker, however, it can be a force to reckon with once you begin selecting candidates for significantly valuable positions. You would learn that a day in the life of a recruiter presents several challenges of its own. Right from defining what your client or hiring manager expects in terms of the ‘best-fit’ to filtering out irrelevant applications to waiting for the final hiring decision to be communicated to candidates desperately seeking your response.

Yes, it is a demanding profession. So, as a recruiter, while you are contending with various occupational demands springing out of nowhere, you really wouldn`t want candidates to unnecessarily interrupt your work due to their ignorance. So, over the course of your recruiting experience you develop a natural revulsion over certain mistakes and behavioral responses of applicants. (more…)

Thanksgiving and Job Search: Don’t be a Turkey!

Thanksgiving & Job Search: Don't be a Turkey!It`s that time of the year. The thought of family, friends and of course-the perfectly resplendent, cooked to perfection turkey beckons us. Yes-we have our game face on! (in the spirit of festivities, pun has been somewhat intended). The happy cheerfulness in the air induces you to dive right into prep mode. You are excitedly looking forward to draft ‘to-do’ lists, zero-in on the best supermarket to source the freshest piece of turkey and the most popular drinks/cocktails.  Along with planning all the trips to your local grocery store and stocking up the pantry, pause to think if you can utilize this break to refine your job search strategies and overall career plan.

Capitalize on the opportunities available to you this Thanksgiving season:

  • Indulge in assiduous planning: In addition to planning the feast for the D-day, recognize the value of this additional time available to you to clearly define your career goals and specifically-your job search objectives. Whether you are poised comfortably in your current job, considering of making a career pivot or entering the job market after a sabbatical, you should strive to search for the job that best fits your skills, values, accomplishments and long-term career goals. This holiday break can serve as the perfect time to curl your feet besides the fireplace and mull seriously over the industry, companies and places you should target to progress confidently on your desired career path.

(more…)

Developing Your Personal Brand

Developing Your Personal Brand

Developing Your Personal BrandPerception is an extremely sought after asset. Yes, an asset. In this extremely connected, ‘viral’ world of ours, how you are viewed, mentioned and interacted with, is very evident. Your identity is no longer just a definition of your personality. It is much more than that. It is your qualification to promote your unique qualities, achievements and experiences. It is the special gear that pushes you beyond the finish line before your competitors can work out a strategy. More than anything, it is an outcome of the skill to convert your unique value into a lasting memory. That skill is also known as personal branding.

As you chart your career path, garnering various skills and lessons, accord fair amount of your time and effort on investing in your personal brand. And we cannot view it as anything other than an investment. Personal branding requires you to consciously build channels and messages that speak how special you are to your professional and personal connections. It requires you to excel at defining those elements that exceed beyond the current situation of your life. (more…)

Thinking like an Entrepreneur

Thinking like an Entrepreneur

Thinking like an EntrepreneurEntrepreneurial success has been the stuff of corporate legend, case studies, even pop culture-from movies (“Steve Jobs”) to TV shows (“Silicon Valley”) for a long time now. The fact that there has been no dearth of enterprising pioneers coming on the scene from Elon Musk to Zuckerberg, in recent years, only furthers the interest. Silicon Valley has never been more aspirational, headline-grabbing and fantasy-like it is today.

Before we delve into the elusive formula that makes all the aforementioned entrepreneurs who they are, we should pause to reflect why entrepreneurship is perceived as an attractive career avenue. Perhaps it has something to do with the rare, dogged and path-breaking zeal which ensures a dream to turn into reality. A reality, that not only leaves a legacy, causes some sort of change-economic or social, but also spreads a bit of magic along the way. It was this unrelenting faith in his dream that enabled Walt Disney to bring magic–literally into our entertainment world.
Or perhaps it is an outcome of exceptional, creative thinking. Perhaps it is all this and much more. (more…)

Upping Your Leadership Game

Upping your leadership game

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”-John Quincy Adams

Upping your leadership gameThe word ‘leadership’ conjures up a defining image of a charismatic person with a massive number of followers, taking charge to make an enduring impact. Someone like Martin Luther King Jr. or Gandhi. We naturally associate the quality of leadership with a rank or position of authority. How else can you inspire any change, if you do not feel entitled to do so, we wonder. However, leadership is really the skill to influence others to maximize their potential, devise a solution and make firm, positive choices. So if we really look at it, it is more about your conviction and far less about the title on your business card.

So, as you strive to make a noticeable contribution in your job, think of adding value that transcends the immediate objectives of the task or project handed to you. When you realize how your contribution fits into the bigger story for your team, department or company, you would stand out. You would stand out as someone who can handle the responsibility to take decisions. You would stand out-as a leader. (more…)

Add the value of part time jobs in your resume

Add the value of part time jobs in your resume

Add the value of part time jobs in your resumeHow important are your part-time work experiences? You would have definitely found yourself asking this question at some point during the course of your college life. And if you are slated to join your very first job, then this is a significant consideration for you. The reason, this subject perhaps seems like a challenge is because we tend to inadvertently trivialize part-time jobs. In our quest to find the job that is ideal for our long-term career goals, we overlook those experiences that perhaps do not seem relevant now, however, their contribution in our professional development cannot be discounted.

Applicants new to the job market, grapple with the dilemma of whether to include temporary jobs in their resume, primarily because they are unable to see the value that can be aligned with their career goals. Every work experience, as in life, however temporary or enduring, comes with its lessons. (more…)

Please wait...

Subscribe

Sign up to get access to interesting content –blog posts, newsletters and other refreshing stuff on a regular basis.