One aspect of the MM program that never ceases to amaze me is the speed at which it flies by. Of course, when one is immersed in its peak moments – with readings, assignments, group work, and test prep consuming every single waking hour – it seems never-ending. But really, when you take a step back, 9 months is no time at all.
So, as an MM alumnus who graduated from the program back in 2012, my one piece of advice for the Class of 2015 and all incoming classes, would be to embrace all that the MM program has to offer. Have fun, challenge yourself, don’t take things too seriously (like I did), and make sure to develop those relationships – you’ll thank yourself later.
Trust me when I say you’re going to miss school – especially the camaraderie you build with your classmates. Many of my best friends today are those I met four years ago at Sauder in the MM.
For those of you who are looking to start your careers right away, you’ll soon find out that the stakes are a little (or way) higher, depending on where you end up. An organization has invested in you to perform. You need to do everything in your power to succeed and achieve results – not to mention make that paycheck (not to discourage you!). It’s an entirely different thrill. With that being said, use the MM as a lab – make a ton of mistakes, learn from them, and have a blast in the process!
Speaking of those personal relationships, one in particular from my MM experience led me down the career path I’m on today.
Back in May of 2013 I was finishing up an internship at HootSuite – the Vancouver social media startup. I wasn’t necessarily looking for work, as I wanted to see how my internship would play out. But one day, I got a group message in my Facebook inbox. It was from one of my MM classmates saying the following:
“Hey guys!! just wanted to send out this message and see if any of you might be interested in potentially working at SAP – someone I met a few months back just emailed me with an opening in their Sales/Marketing/Customer Service division…. please let me know if any of you would like me to put your name forward- since I’m already working I would be happy to recommend you guys or anyone else from our class you guys think might be interested!”
I thought to myself – “Oh, what the hell, let me apply! What’s the worst that could happen?”
The worst would have been not getting a callback. The best, I guess, is what ended up happening. I got the job, started working for SAP, worked as hard as I could, and, after eighteen months, got promoted to my current position as the Team Lead for the North America Inbound Marketing team.
The moral of the story is that your professional network and the relationships you build today can have a great impact on where you end up in the future.
Without my classmate, I would have never come across the job posting or pursued the role in the first place. Even had I applied online via a database or job board, I may have never made the crack. Because my classmate had already established a relationship with the SAP hiring manager, her endorsement went a long way and helped me move through the interview process with ease and confidence. Sure, I still had to win over the hiring manager, but going in hot is always better than cold.
So whether you’re currently in the MM program, or simply on this blog to check things out, start today! Go out there and build your network, develop those relationships, and meet as many people as you possibly can. It can only add value to you in the long run.
Oh, and if you’re reading this (classmate who endorsed me), I owe you a huge thank you and a few rounds at the bar! That’s for sure. Thanks for reading and good luck.
– Kian Khoshnevis, MM ’12