The Masters Programs Office offers direct and personalized career development support to students throughout their MBA journey. We interviewed Senior MBA Career Advisor Leanne Anderson to find out more about the services offered through our Career Management Centre.
Ashton Paulitsch (AP): What is the purpose of your role?
Leanne Anderson (LA): As an advisor, I help MBA students navigate their personal and professional development by providing career coaching, interview preparation, resume/cover letter review and assessment services.
AP: How long have you worked for the Masters Programs Office?
LA: I joined the Masters Programs Office in August 2016.
AP: What was your background prior to joining the Masters Programs Office team?
LA: I previously worked for the Government of Alberta in building learning and development programs and strategies for three years. I completed my Bachelor of Science degree in Human Ecology from the University of Alberta and I also hold a human resources diploma from MacEwan University.
AP: What attracted you to your Senior MBA Career Advisor role?
LA: In my previous line of work, I used to create high level content that would be disseminated down to various levels of the organization. I really missed witnessing that one-on-one impact and application of my work. I was excited about the opportunity to see students develop throughout their educational journey.
AP: What’s the best part of your job?
LA: The best part of my job is helping students find their career path. I also enjoy assisting students with creating their personal story detailing who they are and where they’re going.
AP: What advice would you give to prospective MBA students?
LA: Be open to new opportunities, various career paths and the potential to meet a lot of new people. Don’t put yourself into a box when you enter the MBA program. Think about how you can apply your existing skills in a different way.
AP: What do you think is the greatest area of opportunity for MBA programs today?
LA: I think the greatest area of opportunity in terms of Career Management services in MBA programs is to help students develop a deeper sense of self awareness and emotional intelligence earlier on in the program which will aid in their workplace readiness.
AP: What’s your favourite interview question to ask?
LA: If you were a chicken wing, what kind of chicken wing would you be? I like this one because it usually makes people laugh and as an interviewer I get to see some of their personality. One of the more serious questions that I like to ask is “Tell me about yourself,” because the interviewee has the opportunity to give a snapshot of who they are.
AP: What’s the most important piece of advice you’d like to share with MBA students who are about to embark on an internship or job interview?
LA: Just be yourself. Give the interviewer a sense of your personal and professional side. Also, remember it is better to over dress than under dress!
AP: What’s been your most rewarding experience with our MBA students so far?
LA: One instance I found to be particularly rewarding was coaching a student in becoming more confident with small talk and networking in social gatherings. We worked on various activities together and I was able to see him apply what he learned first-hand in an impromptu social situation.
AP: My favourite question of all…what do you eat for breakfast?
LA: I eat a bagel and eggs while cuddling my puppy!
Interview conducted by Ashton Paulitsch