An Executive MBA opens doors to new and exciting career opportunities. At INSEAD, the Career Development Centre (CDC) offers a wealth of resources and practical help to support you in the process of self-discovery and exploration.
But what does this mean in action? We sat down with Larry Medina, INSEAD Associate Director of Career Coaching and Education, to find out more.
Larry, what role does the CDC play in supporting Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) candidates?
Larry: CDC’s primary role for Global Executive MBAs is to support them through their career journey, while they are at INSEAD.
In fact, almost 80% of our executive students expect to see a positive change in their career progression when joining INSEAD.
Their aspiration quickly materialises as just halfway through the programme, two out of 10 achieve an internal promotion, external acceleration or start their own business.
However, their individual career support needs are very diverse, and we have developed different “personas” to help identify these needs.
To be able to cater to the different personas, the CDC is structured very flexibly, with consistent support and varied programme paths that participants can go through.
What are the different types of support available to GEMBA candidates?
Larry: CDC’s industry experts can help with understanding the different market landscapes, and internal on-demand coaching is available to participants at any point of the programme.
We also have a series of workshops that we run from January to July each year. These include topics that are relevant for executive and mid-level participants that may be seeking new job opportunities. This can be anything from job search strategies, how to network, and how to interview successfully.
With the wide range of topics available, participants get to select the sessions that are most relevant to them.
Finally, we have the “Career Maximiser” programme. This is designed for those who are seeking a very structured path that is offered purely online and in a modular format
But the key tool are our external coaches who are very experienced in working with senior professionals in a variety of sectors and markets, and who are available for dedicated and bespoke coaching sessions.
For example, if a participant has already started their career planning, they may work with their coach on tactical tools like branding and LinkedIn, all the way through to potentially doing a mock interview with the coach.
We also offer group coaching with a subset of our external coaches. This allows multiple participants to give and receive feedback while sharing ideas with each other.
Essentially, the coaching support is very flexible depending on where the participant is in their particular career journey. It is very critical to engage with the coaches.
What is the difference in the type of coaching that participants will receive from an internal coach versus an external coach?
Larry: The internal coach is more for the early exploratory conversations because he or she will be more of an expert about all of the resources that we have available, such as the Career Maximiser, the various workshops and so on.
Their role is to help explain what the resources are and better direct participants on what they can potentially do next.
The external coaches are used to working with executives on their career development and career plan. In general, they are industry agnostic, but we also have a few coaches who are experts in a specific industry.
Our coaches are globally versed, and based in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
So if you are on one campus, and you're looking at another market - let's say, you're in Middle East but you're really looking at China - then the external coach should be the coach that we have available for that particular geography as well.
Are there also on-campus recruitment drives available for GEMBA students?
Larry: Large-scale recruitment drives work for positions in the early career stages, but when you get to senior and mid-level types of positions, which is what Executive MBAs are typically looking for, recruitment is a lot more driven by networking and executive search firms.
Therefore, we don’t work with on-campus recruitment drives but instead offer quite a number of industry events each year around executive search where we bring in a panel of executive search professionals covering Europe, Middle East and Asia to talk about a specific topic such as private equity, venture capital, or just a general executive search panel.
This is a great way for EMBAs to learn more about how to effectively use executive search and to network with professionals that are in the field as well.
We also have companies that come to share information and recruit for mid-level and senior executive roles.
Another exciting event is Startup Week with a series of offerings for participants who may be looking at entrepreneurship or joining a startup.
Finally, what services are available to support candidates after they graduate?
Larry: We continue to provide the full suite of services up to six months after graduation. The reason we do that is because a lot of GEMBA participants don’t switch jobs during the programme for a variety of reasons, but they are looking to switch right after the programme ends.
After the six-month period, we have Alumni Services, which is another form of coaching access. In addition to this, a number of the workshops provided continue to be open to GEMBA alumni.
All in all, our goal is to help participants engineer not just greater success but also personal fulfilment in their careers.