June 14, 2024 | Admissions & Programs Team

The following blog post is part one of a Q&A with Katie Mulheron, director and Business Analytics career consultant for Simon’s Jay S. and Jeanne Benet Career Management Center. She shares her insight on resources the Benet Center offers to MS students, networking, and more!

Admissions & Programs: Can you describe some of the MS career resources the Benet Center offers? How do the staff work together to support the students?

Katie Mulheron: Yes! It’s important to know that our team consistently is evaluating programming and resources to ensure what is available to students aligns to the everchanging demands of the marketplace.
Within the Benet Center, the career education and professional team is responsible for ongoing education throughout the year on topics that are relevant to the entire MS cohort, regardless of program. An example of this would be a student fan favorite workshop with our Benet Career Peers that allows students to practice behavioral interview STAR stories and gain personalized feedback.
Our career advisors take on programming that is program specific and help students understand what resources may be best to use at various points within their career journey. For example, within Analytics we’ve collaborated with some of our faculty partners to understand cases or experiential learning embedded into courses and designed supplemental activities and workshops to help students understand how what they are doing in coursework translates to the interview process. It also helps us to better understand a student’s professional brand as we help them refine their networking pitch or adjust their application materials.

A&P: How do you help MS students—many of whom are coming right out of undergraduate school—explore their career options and decide on their ideal roles after they graduate from Simon?

KM: We offer a four-part Career Education Series to all of our MS students at the start of their programs. It’s offered in the Pre-Fall term for MS in Business Analytics, MS in Finance, and MS in Marketing Analytics students, and MS in Accountancy students complete it upon arrival in Fall A. This programming is led by advisors and focuses on exploration, having the students look at common roles the students in that program tend to seek. It helps them think through questions such as: What should I know about my skill set? What industry choices are available to me? It’s important for them to understand why all of this matters and is part of their pitch. 
When they go into session three, they really start to think about that value proposition. Who am I? What are my aspirations? Why did I choose this program? And what am I hoping to do with my degree? Again, that's going to continue to be refined throughout the fall semester. The goal is to have students ready to go by spring recruiting. Ideally, the fall semester is focused on career exploration and assessment. Students find themselves exploring roles, industries, and company culture but also looking internally. This is where they will answer questions like: Who am I? What do I want to do? What are my likes and dislikes? This foundation provides a clear vision and strategy for the application and interviewing phases.  

A&P: We know that networking can be a new—and sometimes uncomfortable—process for incoming MS students. For some international students, it might be a totally new concept, as networking may not be a part of the job search in their home country. What are some ways the Benet Center team helps MS students build that important new skill?

KM: From the time we first meet students in person during Orientation, we start to emphasize building commonalities and the importance of small talk in US culture. We’ve seen some great success in recent years helping students to understand what small talk is, differences between home country and the US, and when it may be used. We practice conversation starters with the goal they will have identified some personalized strategizes that makes networking with alumni feel easy. 
Our MS Career Advisors also spend a significant amount of time in 1:1 appointments with students on networking topics. For example, a student may book an appointment and say, “I want to network, but I’m unsure of how to get started.” Within that session, we may talk through who the student wants to network with and what they are interested in learning from that individual. We like to start with what is the genuine interest in getting to know this person—is it something about the role they are in, or is it because they graduated from the program you are currently in? When first getting started, it does not have to be super complex. Being new to networking or even if it’s something that has not been practiced in a while, it’s great to have 1:1 support to talk through ideas, brainstorm, and potentially even role play in a safe space.

Stay tuned for part two of our conversation with Katie coming up in a few weeks! If you're interested in one of Simon's full-time specialized master's programs (Accountancy, Business Analytics, Finance, or Marketing Analytics), we have rolling admissions for those programs through July 19. It's not too late to begin your MS degree at Simon in 2024—apply now!

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