Staff Profile: Linda Szeto

What are some emerging trends in job recruitment? How can MBA students best prepare for their post-graduation career journey? MBA Career Advisor Linda Szeto fills us in.

Ashton Paulitsch (AP): How long have you worked for the University of Alberta?

Linda Szeto (LS): I’ve been with the Masters Programs Office for 1.5 years but I’ve been with the University of Alberta since 2008. Before coming to the Masters Programs Office, I was in the Faculty of Law as the Executive Assistant to the Dean and Vice Dean.

AP: I remember speaking with you about your really cool career path. Can you tell me a bit more about it?

LS: While I worked for the Faculty of Law, I was also the owner and operator of Terwillegar Pizza. Previously, I had worked as a Programs & Benefits Coordinator for ASEBP, an Investment Portfolio Associate with MD Financial Management and as a Court Reporter. I’ve been lucky to have diverse careers in so many different industries and areas.

AP: What attracted you to the MBA Career Advisor role?

LS: The opportunity to make a direct impact for students and helping them with services that I was interested in.

AP: What’s the best part about your job?

LS: When students come back after I’ve helped them with resume, cover letter or interview preparation and they tell me that they were successful in getting a job. It’s very rewarding and reaffirms that the work I’m doing in my role is making a difference.

AP: What advice would you give MBA students as they are embarking on their career journey?

LS: Be open to suggestions, comments and changes. Come with a mind that is open to all of the possibilities the program offers.

AP: What’s a resume “do” and a resume “don’t”?

LS: A resume “do” is to highlight your achievements and accomplishments. A resume “don’t” is to list daily responsibilities. These won’t set you apart!

AP: What are favourite interview questions to ask when you’re conducting mock interviews to prepare students for their job search?

LS: “What unique qualities will you be bringing to this role/company if you are the successful candidate?” is one of my favourites.

AP: What’s the most important piece of advice you’d like to share with MBA students who are prepping for an interview?

LS: Go in knowing the company. Do your research and make sure you understand the role. Logistically work out how you are going to get to the interview location and get there early!

AP: What’s an emerging trend in recruitment?

LS: I think the job application process will continue to become more digital and interactive. Video and audio submission along with social media will be used more to evaluate applicants.

AP: The final and toughest question of all…what do you eat for breakfast?

LS: Whatever is in the fridge–it doesn’t even have to be breakfast food!

Interview conducted by Ashton Paulitsch