How do I find a new job while working on my MBA?
December 6, 2007 9:27 PM   Subscribe

I need a new job and have very odd and hard to explain experience, resume thoughts, job hunt thoughts?

I work for a small software company. While technically I am VP of Marketing and Business Development I feel like this doesn't mean much as I have no staff. I have worked for them for two years and this is the most typically business job I have had.

I also have worked as a daily consultant type for a another company doing product development, product positioning, etc. Essentially professional brain storming.

Before that I worked for a theme park for ten years in entertainment production.

I have an undergrad in motion pictures and am currently getting my evening MBA from a prestigious school in the Northeast.

The company I work for is likely going under because the guy in charge of raising VC hasn't been able to raise much for various reasons.

So I have experience in marketing, video, theater, etc...

What should I put on my resume for the current job? Isn't VP or even director of marketing a bit odd when I have no staff? I had a ton of ideas but most were not able to be implemented due to finance.

How can I leverage my not done for another 2 years MBA?

I don't usually deal well with very corporate environments and enjoy having as much autonomy as possible.

This is in the Boston area.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
freelancing sounds like it would be right up your alley
posted by davidmsc at 10:37 PM on December 6, 2007

I would put VP of Marketing and Business Development, and provide a few sentences about the things you have accomplished. It sounds like a start-up, so a lack of staff won't be a huge red flag. Not accomplishing anything will be. Did you bring any clients on board, extend any engagements with existing clients, create partnerships with other companies, define the feature-set or brand? Figure out a few things you can accomplish and start those pronto. Also, put some attention into your relationships with the people you work with or come into contact with. You may need them soon.

How can I leverage my not done for another 2 years MBA?
Well, that should go on the resume, too, but even better would be to pick one or two professors you respect and have done well with, and let them know casually that you're looking for a job. They may have some contacts or they may be willing to act as references. Your school probably has some student services for resume writing, no? You need to figure out the job you want after this one to be able to position your previous experience in its best light, and they can give some direction here.

So I have experience in marketing, video, theater, etc...
Don't think of yourself as having experience in marketing, video and theatre (those are industries); think of it as having experience in business development and product development. Also, companies want to hire real people, so your experience in entertainment won't inherently be a strike against you. Good firms like to hire interesting people and create a diverse employee group.

I don't usually deal well with very corporate environments and enjoy having as much autonomy as possible.
Yeah, be a consultant. But you will need a track-record of accomplishments to make this transition successfully. With your current experience, I recommend spending a couple of years at consulting firm that has some entertainment clients. You'll get invaluable training being around a group of smart, experienced consultants that'll go a long way if you decide to be independent down the road.
posted by cocoagirl at 3:37 AM on December 7, 2007

Just a word of warning...I tried the freelancing thing years ago and it is very difficult to get started without a ton of connections. To establish the initial client base can take a long time.
posted by UMDirector at 5:06 AM on December 7, 2007

Isn't VP or even director of marketing a bit odd when I have no staff?

No. I worked for a pretty large IT company in Stamford CT and VP's were a dime a dozen. So i guess that means it's not your title but what you can do/have done (and yes some of them did not have direct reports either).

Market yourself like the VP you are. Good Luck!
posted by doorsfan at 6:49 AM on December 7, 2007

Market the VP title. There are plenty of VPs and Directors that don't have reports, and those that don't are usually ones that are in Sales and Marketing at small companies. That is ok - titles (Director, VP, etc.) are critical in sales - people like to deal with decision makers. The title implies this and I imagine you were a decision maker or influenced strategic decisions.

Focus mainly on what you have delivered in your resume. Talk numbers. 1 million in sales growth first year. 200% increase in Midwest region. It is good to talk about ideas (to show that you come up with good ones), even ones that didn't work out, but limit the ones that didn't work out to one have one super idea that was not implemented - something like: Proposed Eastern expansion - blah, blah, blah. Be prepared to talk about your idea and what happened to prevent it).

Why not market the consulting as well? Make sure not to appear too fragmented (part-time VP doesn't look good - I would stress the consulting as a part-time gig). Make it short and sweet but it will give you a chance to highlight some of your other skills.
posted by gnash at 8:23 PM on December 7, 2007

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