This is not only the title of one of my favourite marketing courses but, also what I have come to accept, is a large part of what the MBA is about. Very rarely is an MBA an effective tool for recruitment if no one knows what it is, or where it is from.
Last week I read that a very lucky chap from Stanford’s MBA programme was sitting on four job offers and waiting to find the ‘perfect’ role. I must confess that although I think waiting for the perfect role is the right thing to do, it is almost impossible for some people to do this because they have loans, rent and other financial pressures that cannot be deferred.
The article implied that job offers were on the rise. Opinions differ dependent on the source of information. Last week another article said that offers to MBAs had increased from 50 per cent of companies hiring, to 55 per cent of companies expressing an interest in hiring MBAs. If you ask me, that is a pretty poor percentage increase.
Having an MBA, as I have said before, means that one has a great tool set to use when returning to the world of work. There is no doubt, as a result of my MBA, that I will be a much better employee when I am back in the workplace.
I only wish that the provider of my MBA was as well established and as well known as others around the world. The fact that Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is ranked number nine in the world in the Financial Times MBA 2010 rankings is almost unknown. When asked what school I attend, HKUST gets confused with the University of Hong Kong – known as HKU. This is a cause of frustration for me and my classmates alike. Our programme is still considered relatively young and therefore un-established when compared with any of the ‘big names’.
Building a powerful brand for individuals and for schools is an important part of any programne and a side that remains relatively undeveloped in Hong Kong.
Companies in China and Hong Kong go as far afield as the US to source talent even though they have a plethora of candidates on their doorstep.
Building a brand for oneself is easy enough. The MBA is nothing if not a wonderful introduction to oneself (whether you like it or not!) but selling the programme is something all candidates and alumni need to learn to sell as well.