Corpcentre's Blog

February 7, 2010

Tips for MBA’s Seeking Work in Canada

It’s not easy. There’s a lot of competition out there, and every unemployed MBA, whether recent or not, is looking for a job. What’s the best job search strategy?

Recruiters and career experts offer the same advice to job seekers. Analyze your strengths and focus on your interests. Being an all-around expert in everything will work against you. Have a clear-cut idea of how to best sell yourself. Also, while you’re still in school, start making connections. Long before graduation is the time to start developing your network of contacts. Let the business world know who you are and what it can expect down the pipeline. You want business to be waiting for you.

Don’t be overly picky. As small, temporary jobs and internships come your way, take them. Each job affords you additional experience and contacts, both of which are vital down the road.

Another avenue to follow is temporary contracts. With a growing number of entrepreneurs starting businesses in Canada, many are seeking business consultants to help them in their start-up ventures. However, while ideas abound, money doesn’t. Many cannot afford to hire “top” consulting firms and would rather pay less for younger talent. While these contracts will rarely offer job security to a young MBA graduate, it will help establish credentials and afford opportunities to gain vital hands-on experience.

Current MBA graduates should be aware that patience would have its rewards. A large segment of today’s senior management is at the front end of the baby boom generation. Many will be retiring over the next decade, making way for the next generation to make its mark on the business world. Therefore, the time is right for “the next generation” to gather experience and be ready and waiting for the opportunities that are just around the corner.

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February 3, 2010

Emerging Fields for New MBAs in Canada

There used to be a saying in financial markets, “MBA – leads the way.” The question today is where that MBA is leading to. The times are changing and traditions are changing with the times. A student who put in long, hard years of study to earn a respectable MBA degree can still look forward to a rewarding career. But where will that career be?

Banking, long a natural employer of skilled, financial and business minds, has begun to offer new opportunities. The relative strength of Canada’s banks has allowed them to expand internationally. This translates into ripe opportunities for MBA’s with international experience, or those seeking to gain experience.

With more and more Canadian companies seeking outside, professional advice to help examine and assess their operations, in light of the effects of the recession, consulting jobs are providing prime employment for bright MBA students, especially those with knowledge of those industries that are going through tremendous change, like media, wireless broadband, and health-care.

For many other graduates, the time has come to think outside the box and forge ahead into uncharted territory. Public service is now seeking more MBA students that ever before. For example, the government’s stimulus funding for infrastructure projects has created many jobs and projects. These need the right people to administer and oversee these massive projects.

Growth in the non-profit sector has outpaced the economy. As the need for professionals has grown greatly in the “third sector” of non-profits and NGO’s, job opportunities for appropriately trained MBA students are continually available.

MBA students, with their fingers on the pulse, are also preparing themselves for careers in other budding sectors, such as sustainability and technology. A good deal of investment dollars is heading to these fields and many companies are seeking top, business minds to help them emerge on top not only financially, but ecologically and socially as well – the top business priorities of the 21st century.

There is one thing that an MBA student will not learn in school. When opportunity knocks – open the door. However, sometimes you have to search for the handle.

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February 1, 2010

Career Path for an MBA in Canada

It’s best to begin with the good news. Overall, on the global level, the Canadian economy is in much stronger shape than the American economy. That having been stated, life is still rather difficult at a grass roots’ level, especially if you are a recent graduate of a fine university, clutching the license to a successful career – your MBA.

This is not to say that an MBA degree is unimportant. Just the contrary! It is a degree well worth pursuing, especially if your career vision is targeted in the business or financial sectors. Unfortunately, though, the current employment market is not the most promising for new MBA’s. In the finance sector, traditionally the major MBA employment sector, career centres for MBA graduates report a decline in finance jobs ranging from 6% – 16%. In addition, graduate schools have reported a drop of on-campus recruitment of at least 10%. Furthermore, graduates seeking internships have encountered a serious reduction in available placements. Back to the good news, the dip in salaries in Canada was slight, compared to the major drop in 2002. Estimates are that salaries will return to the pre-recession level by late 2010 or 2011. However, if you can’t secure a position, the salary is irrelevant.

Recruitment has been on the rise in some sectors, though. More positions requiring MBA’s have become available in government, health care, non-profit, and energy. While these sectors comprise a relatively small percentage of all available jobs, it may cause new graduates to begin thinking in different career directions, away from the traditional employment sectors. Also, a growing number of recent grads have turned to entrepreneurial endeavours, as have many Canadians who have been unable to find employment.

Some graduates have begun looking for foreign employment, although the prospects abroad are also not very encouraging. For most, though, they will weather the storm in Canada, hoping for better times down the road because, when all is said and done, there’s no place like home.

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October 6, 2009

Living Week by Week: Rough Economic Times for Canadians

The results of a new poll released this week by the Canadian Payroll Association revealed some surprising statistics and facts about the average Canadian household. A one week delay in receiving a paycheque would render nearly 60 percent of Canadians unable to pay their regular bills. Moreover, the same majority group has little or no ability to set aside money for retirement funds.

These surprising results have shed new light on the financial condition of many Canadian homes during these rough economic times. Despite common financial advice that people should have an emergency cash reserve for three months of expenses, the majority of households surveyed admitted that they are happy if they can make it to the next paycheque, let alone save for retirement or emergencies.

The younger workforce is in greater distress. 45 percent of workers aged 18 to 34 are feeling the crunch and feel that they are having trouble making ends meet. A delay in being paid would spell disaster. 72 percent of single parents responded in a similar fashion.

Regardless of age, the survey revealed that half of all Canadian workers are unable to save more than five percent of their net income for retirement. Financial planners recommend that ten percent is an advisable amount. However, the recent fluctuations in the stock markets have made saving for retirement far more challenging. Nearly one third of Canadians are trying to save more money but they can’t. 42 percent admit that they aren’t trying at all to save more.

Despite the variety and wide array of financial products being offered to Canadians by financial institutions nationwide, many Canadians seem pleased if they can pay their bills after payday.

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October 5, 2009

Canadian Recovery Indicators

Recent economic records this summer seem to indicate brighter days on the Canadian horizon. Earlier, analysts had predicted a $100 million surplus in July. The reality, though, was quite different. Rather than a surplus, Canada experienced a near record deficit in July 2009 of $1.43 billion. This was surpassed only by the May 2009 deficit of $1.45 billion. Despite these figures, economic analysts seem buoyed by the surge in imports. The sharp rise in imports and exports seem to indicate that recovery from the global financial crisis is on the horizon.

Import figures for July reflected an overall 8.3 percent increase from the previous month. This positive figure included a 10.9 percent increase in machinery and equipment imports, an impressive 18.7 percent rise in automotive products, and a similarly encouraging 18.6 percent rise in energy products.

Exports rose by 3.3 percent in July, primarily due to increased shipments of equipment, machinery, and automotive products. 73 percent of all Canadian exports in July were to the United States but, due to the sluggish American economy, this figure was down a whopping 35.2 percent from July 2008.

In order to stimulate the economy, the Bank of Canada has promised to leave interest rates at their current record low. The recent trade figures have not caused the Bank to change its current position. Responding to the Bank’s announcement regarding interest rates, the Canadian dollar rose to 92.46 U.S. cents from 92.10 U.S. cents.

Analysts insist that the increasing deficit is not a prime cause of long term concern. The true indicator is the rapid acceleration in trade volumes. The rises in imports and exports indicate increased commercial activity and the true beginnings of economic recovery.

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July 21, 2009

Boomers as Entrepreneurs and Temps: Helping the Economy

As many of those in the baby boomer generation contemplate retirement, the workplace will definitely be impacted, but how? Many of them see they have less money saved than expected, be it in a 401K type of account or pension and see the need to return to or continue working.

Even as recruiters suffer due to fewer temporary workers being sought out, recruiting companies like Robert Half International (whose sales fell by 30% at the beginning of 2009) are going after the baby boomers. They are very skilled and ready to work once corporations go back to more hiring. This trend appeared in BusinessWeek as reported by Ali McConnon in their June 30 issue. A greater workforce of experienced individuals can turn around the recruiting industry, since their track record is proven and they need less training. The corporations are willing to pay more for them also.

As temps, the boomers are a worthwhile market for the recruiters since they are more likely to continue as part-timers as opposed to younger workers who just temp until they can find something full-time. As such recruiting companies are seeking out boomers through organizations like the AARP and CARP.

Entrepreneurial Start-ups

Like we have discussed in previous posts, small business looks like it has the potential to succeed in many ways despite the current recession. According to Tony Wanless of the National Post, many North American boomers are aspiring to start businesses as opposed to pursuing leisure activities in their retirements. On the whole they are healthy and have a strong drive to succeed in life. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation that studies entrepreneurship, even sees the 80 million boomers leading the way out of recession.

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