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.

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8 Strategies To Help You Stand Out at a Career Fair

8 Strategies to help you stand out at a Career Fair

8 Strategies to help you stand out at a Career FairThe month of February marks the beginning of numerous career fairs in colleges and universities. To supplement general tactical approaches for success at a career fair, here are a few effective strategies to keep in mind to stand out from the crowd.

Start well. Most universities provide career fair information online through websites or mobile apps, with lists of employers attending. Complete any required pre-registration activities for the career fair, such as RSVP’ing online, and signing up for interview slots or meeting slots with companies. (more…)

The Long Distance Job Search

Long distance job search

Long distance job searchSometimes the perfect dream job does not exist in the same town, city or even country. Sometimes the perfect job calls out from across lands and the seven seas. And sometimes a new city is the dream, and a job there is simply the means to make the move.

While this may appear to be an exciting opportunity, a long distance job search may prove to be a tad more complicated than a local job search. However, these complications are far from insurmountable. Like all good things in life, this exercise too, requires focus, preparation and patience. (more…)

How Major Is Your Major?

How major is your major?

How major is your major?In 1957, Ted Turner was 18 and studying at Brown University. He was so inspired by a professor there that he decided to major in Classics.

His father was furious about his choice for a college major; he felt the retrospective nature of the subject was better suited for recreational reading rather than university-level study. He also felt that a more practical and mainstream major would grant Ted access to a larger professional network and bring him in contact with career-oriented doers. In contrast, the academic and intellectual pursuit of Classics, he believed, would slot him in an isolated group of dreamers, with relatively commercially-unviable interests in Greek, such as the works of Aristotle and Plato. (more…)

Extra-Curricular Activities: The Employer Perspective

Extra-Curricular Activities: The Employer Perspective

Extra-Curricular Activities: The Employer PerspectiveI never let my schooling interfere with my education,” remarked Mark Twain, well over a century ago.

Extra-curricular activities began in the United States in the 19th century. At first, they were additions to academic curriculum, and had a practical or vocational component. The history of education provides several instances of schools and colleges according extra-curricular activities high importance and space in their programs. The first extra-curricular activities that were formalized in schools started at Harvard and Yale. These were literacy clubs, such as various debate clubs, and Greek social organizations such as fraternities and sororities. American schools were also the first to initiate sports clubs, which soon overtook literacy clubs in popularity. (more…)

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 in 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”. Several unfortunate stereotypes abound; non-consultants seem to feel that consultants rake in undeserved big bucks. However, consultants are highly paid in keeping with the high demand for consultancy services 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…)

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