Career Change

Case 2

Sales & Marketing professional gets accepted into the world’s top Executive MBA program to accelerate his career. 

Everyone should have a career coach. Do what you do the best, outsource the rest. If you know you’re not good at something, make sure you have someone else help you do it. You don’t get a lot of chances in life, so I knew it was so important to make sure I was doing everything I could to make the most of each and every opportunity.”  (Hasnain)

What was your situation prior to entering the coaching program

My background was in business computing and business administration. I also held an MBA from Lahore School of Economics. To achieve the international career I wanted, it was important that I became more competitive in the North American market. I decided as a result of the flexibility of my current role that now was the perfect time to pursue an EMBA at a top Canadian school.

But, my age and years of experience were slightly lower than the average EMBA class member at the school I was targeting, so I wanted to make sure that when I sent in my application I had done everything possible to be a competitive applicant and would have no regrets.

I chose Diana as a coach for three reasons. First, she has an MBA from one of the top business schools in Canada. Second, she has a background in recruiting and experience on EMBA admissions committees. Third, she owns her own business and was working for a recruiting company that was focused in my industry. After talking with her during our initial consultation, I knew she would be able to help me at this stage in my career.

What steps did you take to differentiate your EMBA application?

Before we got going, Diana and I came up with a game plan for our coaching sessions. First, we identified the top schools together. Then, we looked at my aspirations in terms of the career I want to have. After, we had about five sessions to strategize on how I could differentiate my application. The EMBA process itself had three steps: sending in my resume, getting invited to an interview, and, finally, submitting a formal application.

The first step in the application process was to send in a resume and cover letter. To do this, I worked with Diana and a professional writer to make sure that my content would separate me as an applicant. I was then invited to an interview. During this stage, Diana and I did mock interviews to prepare for the questions they would ask. My interview was successful and I was then invited to apply to the program. I worked with Diana and the writer again during this phase to polish my essays.

To top it off, I was also able to get an alumni referral from a member of Diana’s network.

What helped me differentiate my application was the extensive preparation that I did for each stage of my application. By focusing on making sure that I was doing the best I could at every stage, I was able to maximize my chances of moving on to the phase after.

What was your success after exiting the coaching program?

I was accepted into my first choice – the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA program!

Do you have any advice for other professionals?

If you’re going to do an MBA or EMBA, select one of the top schools and then do a lot of research to understand what the program has to offer. Make sure it fits your individual skills, schedule, and priorities. As you grow in your career, you’ll have more responsibilities and it’s important that you make sure that the program will truly help you achieve your long-term goals. For me, I wanted an international career and it was important to me that I chose a program that was recognized internationally.

Once you’ve done your research, get professional help from a career coach to guide you through the process and make sure you understand each and every step. Having someone helping you is a great way to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.