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Online MBA Program Career Services and Professional Development Opportunities

01 Nov
Confident young business professional in a modern office.

Success is not a solo endeavor. From the heroes of early legends through today’s luminaries, high achievers have always needed collaborators: Hercules had backup from Athena and Hermes, Nobel Prize laureate Marie Curie’s support team included Pierre Curie and André-Louis Debierne,1 and the ‘and’ in the name of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation speaks volumes.

As a graduate student pursuing an MBA, you have already experienced notable success. In working toward more, you’re not alone: Your peers and faculty members are your partners in academic accomplishment, and your university’s MBA career services and professional development opportunities are gateways to advancement after you graduate. Keep reading to explore the varied forms of career support that a strong online MBA program can provide.

Career Services in Online MBA Programs

According to the national employment site Indeed, university career services departments “exist to help students find the best jobs suited to their degree background[s] and personal skill set[s].”2 While the offerings will vary from one educational institution to the next, they’ll likely include help in these areas:

Career Exploration

With an MBA, you’ll be equipped to advance and flourish in many, diverse lines of work. Career services specialists, who you’ll be able to reach online, by phone, and in person, can advise you on which industries and pursuits best match your interests and help you find specific opportunities that align with your goals and expertise.

Resume Review

You’re a working professional in graduate school, so you’ve probably written and updated your resume countless times. You’ve been hired, so your resume must be solid. You may not think you need help with it, but in pursuing the right next position and your own long-term success, every bit of career advice can be valuable.

Resume styles change. The polished version you submitted in your last round of interviews may look outdated by the next one. While you’re honing your business acumen through MBA coursework, your university’s career coaches are staying informed about resume traits–content and form–that appeal to employers. These experts can help ensure that your resume and cover letter are marketable and working to your advantage.


A strong career services department connects you with employment opportunities through career fairs, job postings, and search portals. It also maintains partnerships with companies who are looking to hire and requesting information about candidates, so it’s a good idea to keep your updated resume on file with the campus office.

Interview Preparation

Like all other skills, your interview skills improve with consistent practice. If it has been a while since you were last interviewed, online or in person, you’ll want to brush up before returning to the job search. Your university’s career services department may offer help through seminars and/or one-on-one sessions. They’ll help you get comfortable and proficient at answering interview questions, modulating your vocal tone and nonverbal communication, and presenting yourself and your personal brand in the best possible light.

Financial Counseling

How realistic are your ideas of the salary you might earn after graduation? How skilled are you at conducting successful negotiation if an otherwise attractive offer comes with less-than-compelling salary numbers? How thoroughly have you budgeted student-loan repayment into your salary calculations? The career services professionals can help you with all of these considerations, so that you’ll be fully prepared to advocate for yourself and meet multiple financial commitments as you build your career.

For examples of the career support available to SCU’s online master’s students, tune in for the Silicon Valley Careers Info Session: Further Your Career with SCU Leavey’s Online Graduate Programs. To hear directly from one of the program’s graduates, spend two minutes with Alexander T., MBA ’20.

Professional Development Opportunities in Online MBA Programs

A quick online search for ‘professional development’ will yield definitions such as, “Professional development is improving yourself through learning and training to advance your career … [it] includes advancing skills, traits and competencies that contribute to your success in the workplace.”3 It is, then, exactly the reason why people choose to earn an MBA: to heighten knowledge and skills in order to become more successful.

In addition to instilling new expertise in finance, business ethics, analytical decision-making, and other areas addressed in your online MBA curriculum, your graduate school experience can include these opportunities for professional development:


MBA internships typically involve eight to 12 weeks of work during the summer between the first and second years of an MBA program. While the structure will vary from one company to the next—some MBA internships will be part-time, some full-time, some paid, and others unpaid—they give you the chance to gain hands-on experience, explore possible career paths, and improve your resume while completing your education.4,5

Networking Events

One of the vital resources of the MBA experience, networking is a way to strengthen your career development by learning directly from industry professionals. It’s also an important part of the job search process and, therefore, your career journey: a means to finding internships, job placements, and other opportunities. MBA networking events, online and in person, are gatherings for MBA students, graduates, faculty, and their professional contacts. They create informal environments in which attendees can share knowledge, build professional relationships, and explore career opportunities.

Leadership Development

Think about your past jobs and your current employer. If you’re lucky, you’ve worked for strong, supportive, proficient leaders; if you’re like many people, you’ve had sub-par bosses who made it hard for you to thrive and succeed in your work.

Now consider your professional future. Do you have the skills to be the kind of leader you’d want to follow?

Through leadership development experiences, your time as an online MBA student can help you gain, develop, and refine the proficiencies that are hallmarks of excellent leaders. From communication and crisis management skills to expertise in talent development, change management, and strategic thinking, you’ll be able to build capabilities that will make you stand out—to future employers and the people who report to you—as a leader of exceptional quality.

Join an elite community of Silicon Valley Professionals.

Santa Clara University’s acclaimed Online MBA program features a robust curriculum designed to instill thorough, insightful business expertise. Further, the Online MBA experience in the Leavey School of Business includes career services and development opportunities such as these:

  • Resume review
  • One-on-one career coaching
  • Webinar Resources
  • Job search resources
  • Our Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship offers the Entrepreneur Forum Speaker Series, Business Pitch Competitions, and Office Hours events with renowned entrepreneurs
  • Silicon Valley engagement: Career Treks and Information Sessions are arranged in partnership with alumni, allowing students to expand their understanding of roles, career opportunities, and different business models in the tech industry
  • Professional development: Seminars focused on career development and leadership skills are offered throughout the year by recognized authors, speakers, and industry experts.
  • Santa Clara University alumni panels: Alumni return to campus regularly to serve as panelists and industry experts offering insights on products and services, tech trends, successfully navigating career paths and their professional experiences as Broncos in the Valley
  • Career workshops/webinars: Led by the Graduate Business Career Management team, workshops on topics such as LinkedIn Profile Tips, Effective Behavioral Interviewing, The First 90 Days, Networking for Introverts, and Career Pivots are offered throughout the year

Become a prized hiring choice in Silicon Valley. Schedule a call with an admissions outreach advisor today.