Monthly Archives: February 2017

Summer Internships Important

We know.  It’s already summer.  It’s never too early to think about opportunities for next summer—and maybe even a late-summer opportunity this year.

Why are they so important?  It’s simple.  Internships give you valuable experience that can help you secure a job you want.

Let’s look at six in-depth reasons why internships are critical for success—and how you can maximize your chances of finding the right one.

1. Discover the real world.

Working as an intern gives you hands-on professional experience.  You’re not just there to do errands and make coffee—you’re there to work.  Bigger companies, like Facebook and Microsoft, for example, have internship programs in place to ensure that interns earn real experience.

Interested in interning at a smaller company?  No worries.  You can do that, too.  Just make sure you have someone to guide you through the process so that you can gain as much real world experience as possible.

2. Create your network.

While the internet is here to stay, there’s something to be said for face-to-face contact.  By interning, you begin to create that professional network.  How?  You interact with people.

Not only is it critical to your professional success, it will make an impact on your personal choices too.

When you intern, you gain opportunities to develop professional connections that could be beneficial to your career.

Yes—you can attend a networking event without doing an internship.  While that’s good, the internship gives you a more intimate understanding of companies and organizations—and the people in them.

3. Top up your resume.

A great resume is a key to unlocking your chance for that interview you want..  Think of your resume as an initial handshake with a company—it’s their initial impression of you.  A solid internship will prevent your resume from ending up in the trash heap.

A summer internship or a longer one will show a prospective employer that you mean business.  Be sure to add it to your experiences and ask your supervisors if you can list them as references.

 

Analytical or Creative Management

Think a Master of Business Administration (MBA) is your only choice if you’re looking to position yourself for a successful career in business? Think again. In fact, another degree is coming on strong with many aspiring future business leaders: The Master in Management (MIM). Forbes recently heralded the “rise and rise” of this up and coming MBA alternative for its win-win potential for “bachelor’s graduates who are keen to differentiate themselves, and with recruiters who want to hire young managers with greater maturity and a global mindset.”

But choosing to do an MIM is just the start. Your next decision? Whether to focus on the analytical or the innovation side? Here’s a closer look at the difference between the two, along with a “best of both worlds” option.

The Importance of Analytics

We are living in a data-centric world. It follows that managers with the ability to leverage this data into actionable insights will be increasingly in demand moving forward.

A MIM with a specialization in data science helps students hone analytical capabilities across a number of different measures, including breaking down problems into solvable, smaller parts; gathering and evaluating information (AKA “information literacy”) which enables the ability to sort through and prioritize information; effectively massive — and growing — quantities of information; generating and assessing alternatives and solutions; and comprehending and implementing difficult concepts and putting them into action.

Specifically, these skills can help business managers effectively and accurately define problems; reduce cognitive bias and support high-quality strategy development; support quality assurance and improvement; document work and processes toward further analysis; setting and following through on goals; and learning new skills in order to adapt to rising challenges in the workplace.

In its recent report, “The Analytics Advantage: We’re Just Getting Started,” Deloitte urges forward thinking companies to start acquiring talent in this field immediately. “It’s clear that talent for analytics and big data is already in short supply, and the shortage will become even more pronounced over time. In the survey, access to talent was listed as one of the greatest barriers to building analytical capability.” The takeaway? Focusing your MIM on analytics and data science is a smart way to make your resume irresistible to employers.

The Importance of Innovation

The contemporary business landscape isn’t a stagnant pool; rather, it’s more like an unpredictable rushing rapid in which those at the helm must be able to anticipate what’s coming around the next bend, along with what tools they’ll need to navigate the waters. Says Harvard Business Review, “Creativity has always been at the heart of business, but until now it hasn’t been at the top of the management agenda.”

Echoes Digital Marketing Expert Scott MacFarland for Huffington Post, “Every business must innovate to compete. They must create new products and services for new markets. They must be creative, and come up with new ideas that never would have been thought of before. This is the new management paradigm….The proven management tools, techniques and clichés once embraced, are being challenged and shelved for a new set of rules and a new way of doing business. The management style of the future is no longer command and control. That ship has sailed. Today, in order for businesses to succeed, management must trust in the technologies and open leadership styles that are sweeping boardrooms, the C-suite, office suites and cubicles everywhere.”

InnovationManagement.se (IM) points to three main skill pathways essential to innovation: thinking, including constructing creativity and problem-solving skills; talking, including the vital skills of communicating and collaborating; and doing, the process of building something and bringing it to market. In other words, while innovation is a mindset, it’s also a process — one which can be taught and nurtured. Enter the MIM.

Read Before You Study in Finland

1. Purge by Sofi Oksanen

When it comes to top honors, this book by Finnish-Estonian writer Sofi Oksanen pretty much took them all. Not only was it the first-ever novel to win both the Finlandia and the Runeberg prizes, but it also claimed the Nordic Council Literature Prize.

What makes this one so remarkable? For starters, Oksanen’s unique background (childhood in central Finland with summers in Estonia) uniquely qualifies her to write about “the real Soviet Estonia,” AKA “what Westerners weren’t supposed to see.” Specifically, this original novel spans 60 years while telling the story of two women from different generations both of whom suffer extreme violence while trying to survive in harsh conditions.

Says The Guardian of The Purge (the title, a reference to the deportation of Estonians to the gulags during the German occupation in World War II), “The purge is pivotal for the family at the centre of her story, but Oksanen also moves beyond the bitter dilemmas of collusion and resistance to deal with the more private horror of sexual violence during both peace and war.”

Not yet comfortable with your Finnish? No worried — Purge has been translated into 38 other languages.

2. The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna

Thanks to a (literal) run-in with a rabbit, a man suddenly realizes what’s important in life. While it may sound like an unlikely plot for an internationally bestselling novel,  author Paasilinna is a master of dark humor.

While any of Paasilinna’s 29 novels are worthy of a read, The Year of the Hare — which the New York Times declared to be “a skewed and skewering look at Finland” — earns its spot on this list for being the author’s favorite.

3. Under the North Star Series by Väinö Linna

Okay, so we cheated a bit by picking this three-in-one, but you won’t be disappointed. Spanning 70 years, Linna’s compelling trilogy, comprising Under the North Star, The Uprising, and Reconciliation, follows an ordinary Finnish family through multiple wars thereby giving voice “to hitherto silent actors on the stage of history as it offers a comprehensive account of the social and economic realities reflected in the hopes, dreams, and experiences of Jussi and Alma Koskela and their children in the rural village of Pentti’s Corners in south central Finland,” according to Goodreads.

Not only is Under the North Star widely considered to be the most significant work of Finnish literature published during the country’s independence, but it also boasts an opening line that’s to Finns what “Call me Ishmael” is to English readers: “In the beginning there were the swamp, the hoe – and Jussi.”

Want more of the same when you’re done? Don’t miss The Unknown Soldier, which covers many of the same events and shares a main character with the trilogy.