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MBA Career News
Volume 3 Issue 11 :: October 21, 2011

Upcoming Events
MBA Power Lunch
Scott Beck ('94)
President and CEO, CHG Healthcare
Friday, November 11th, 11:30 to 1:00
Alta Club
Don't forget to RSVP!

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Conversations and Connections
Join representatives from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney including 2 Westminster students/alumni as they talk about opportunities at this well-established financial firm. 
Thursday, November 17, 4:30 to 6:00
Gore 134

MBA Evening of Networking
Network with employers who hire at the MBA level at the year's must-attend event. 
Save the date!  More details to come.
Thursday, January 19th, 4:30 to 7:00 pm
Davis Conference Center

HBR Management Tips of the Day
3 Networking Traps to Avoid  (October 3, 2011)

Not all networking is created equally. In fact, developing certain kinds of networks can impair your career rather than bolster it. Here are three networking personas to avoid:
  • The biased leader. Don't solely rely on advisers who are similar to you. They only reinforce your biases. Look for people who have different backgrounds or values and will encourage you to make more informed decisions.
  • The superficial networker. A common networking mistake is to engage in surface-level interaction with as many people as possible. A bigger network is not a better one. Be sure your relationships have depth.
  • The chameleon. Don't change your interests, values, and personality to match those of whomever you're talking to. You'll end up more disconnected than when you started. Be true to who you are.
Read more
Today's Management Tip was adapted from "A Smarter Way to Network" by Rob Cross and Robert Thomas.

How to Really Get Ahead  (October 11, 2011)

Many people think that careers should follow an upward trajectory. In reality, the majority of jobs moves don't involve a promotion. Most successful careers involve a mix of lateral and upward movement. People who stay in one function or one industry may move up quickly in the beginning of their careers but often reach a ceiling later when they become too specialized. Don't be overly focused on a promotion as your next career move. It's easy to be distracted by a better title, more direct reports, or other trappings, but focus on the long-term. Ask yourself whether a promotion will give you the skills and experience you need and whether a move to a different part of the organization may serve you better.

Adapted from Harvard Business Review on Advancing Your Career.
Ask for a Favor  (October 25, 2011)
Entrepreneurs and executives often hesitate to ask for help because they worry about being intrusive or appearing needy. The truth is that it’s innately satisfying to assist others, and most people want to help. Next time you want to make a connection with someone, ask them for a favor. Request that they serve as a reference or provide a testimonial of your work. Hit them up for new client referrals or job leads. Don’t be shy about it. Asking for favors can be a powerful way to get people to like you, because they become invested in your success.

The Interview is NOT about you!
From Marc Cenedella, President and CEO of The Ladders:

What's an interview about? It sure feels like it's about you, but it's really not.

An interview is actually about how you can help your future boss and future employer succeed. It's about finding out what their requirements and hopes are and matching up your background and experience with what they need.

Overlooking these basic facts about the interview is all too easy. There's so much else going on in your work, in your life, and in your job search, that you can forget to look at the interview from the interviewer's point of view. And that's a shame, because, after all, you need the interviewer to walk away from the interview thoroughly impressed.

With that in mind, I've updated my collection of my twenty best interview questions below. My aim here is to arm you with easy-to-ask, revealing-to-answer questions for you to take with you into an interview.

Asking these questions, which focus on the needs, traits, and preferences of your future boss and future employer, allow you to discover how you can contribute, and also demonstrate that you are somebody who is genuinely interested in the well-being of others.

And with that, here are my twenty best questions to ask your interviewer:

1. What's the biggest change your group has gone through in the last year? Does your group feel like the recession is over and things are getting better, or are things still pretty bleak?
2. If I get the job, how do I earn a "gold star" on my performance review? What are the key accomplishments you'd like to see in this role over the next year?
3. What's your (or my future boss') leadership style?
4. About which competitor are you most worried?
5. How does sales / operations / technology / marketing / finance work around here? (I.e., groups other than the one you're looking to work in.)
6. What type of people are successful here? What type of people are not?
7. What's one thing that's key to this company's success that somebody from outside the company wouldn't know about?
8. How did you get your start in this industry? Why do you stay?
9. What are your group's best and worst working relationships with other groups in the company?
10. What keeps you up at night? What's your biggest worry these days?
11. What's the timeline for making a decision on this position? When should I get back in touch with you?
12. These are tough economic times, and every position is precious when it comes to the budget. Why did you decide to hire somebody for this position instead of the many other roles / jobs you could have hired for? What about this position made your prioritize it over others?
13. What is your reward system? Is it a star system / team-oriented / equity-based / bonus-based / "attaboy!"-based? Why is that your reward system? What do you guys hope to get out of it, and what actually happens when you put it into practice? What are the positives and the negatives of your reward system? If you could change any one thing, what would it be?
14. What information is shared with the employees (revenues, costs, operating metrics)? Is this an open-book shop, or do you play it closer to the vest? How is information shared? How do I get access to the information I need to be successful in this job?
15. If we have a very successful 2012, what would that look like? What will have have happened over the next 12 months? How does this position help achieve that?
16. How does the company / my future boss do performance reviews? How do I make the most of the performance review process to ensure that I'm doing the best I can for the company?
17. What is the rhythm to the work around here? Is there a time of year that it's all hands on deck and we're pulling all-nighters, or is it pretty consistent throughout the year? How about during the week / month? Is it pretty evenly spread throughout the week / month, or are there crunch days?
18. What type of industry / functional / skills-based experience and background are you looking for in the person who will fill this position? What would the "perfect" candidate look like? How do you assess my experience in comparison? What gaps do you see?
19. In my career, I've primarily enioyed working with big / small / growing / independent / private / public / family-run companies. If that's the case, how successful will I be at your firm?
20. Who are the heroes at your company? What characteristics do the people who are most celebrated have in common with each other? Conversely, what are the characteristics that are common to the promising people you hired, but who then flamed out and failed or left? As I'm considering whether or not I'd be successful here, how should I think about the experiences of the heroes and of the flame-outs?

I could go on for a while, but I trust that gives you a good idea about how to make the interview about them, not about you. I'd like you to look through this list and pick the questions, and the phrasing and the wording with which you're the most comfortable and make it your own during the interview process.

I'll throw in one more bonus question — it's the best one I've got — in honor of my brother Matthew and my wife Angela on their milestone birthdays (thank you for being there for me throughout the years and always)!

And that bonus question would be to ask your interviewer:

What can I do to help you (my future boss) get a gold star on your review next year?

This question has been tried and tested by thousands of TheLadders subscribers over the years and never fails to get a big response. Try it yourself.

Headlines to Watch
Groupon is a Disaster - NEW YORK (AP) -- Only a few months ago, Groupon was the Internet's next great thing. Business media christened it the fastest growing company ever. Copycats proliferated. And investors salivated over the prospect of Groupon going public. Today, the startup that pioneered online daily deals for coupons is an example of how fast an Internet darling can fall.

Six Careers for Curious Types that like to Snoop - We’re all raised on the idea that curiosity killed the cat. Yet a natural inclination toward nosiness can be a fantastic asset for certain jobs. SnIf you’re intrigued by the prospect of digging for dirt — or just fascinated by other people’s business — here are six jobs that will keep you snooping to your heart’s content.

How Netflix Lost 800,000 Members, and Good Will - Reed Hastings was soaking in a hot tub with a friend last month when he shared a secret: his company, Netflix, was about to announce a plan to divide its movie rental service into two — one offering streaming movies over the Internet, the other offering old-fashioned DVDs in the mail. “That is awful,” the friend, who was also a Netflix subscriber, told him under a starry sky in the Bay Area, according to Mr. Hastings. “I don’t want to deal with two accounts.” Mr. Hastings ignored the warning, believing that chief executives should generally discount what their friends say.


National RE - Sr. Credit Analyst

Zions Bank has a great opportunity for a Sr. Credit Analyst with a degree in Accounting or Finance would like to work in an environment of excellence with our National Real Estate group located at our Head Office in Salt Lake City.

Key Information:
It is very strongly preferred that applicants for this position have a degree in Accounting or Finance. This position is great for a recent graduate with a degree either of the above referenced areas.

Conducts credit investigations and analyzes credit information pertaining to loans Investigates all available sources of credit and financial information, including reporting services, credit bureaus, other companies, main office files, and branches.
Analyzes financial statements and related material.
Analyzes financial conditions and trends; reviews and reports non-compliance with loan covenants.
Determines cash flow using appropriate tax analysis.
Prepares summaries, presents facts, and offers opinions concerning credit-worthiness.
Provides credit information and references for customers, loan officers, or other agencies as requested.
Ensures that all credit files include current financial statements, agency reports, etc.
Maintains control over current accounts, noting payment progress, watching for any developing problems, and keep loan officers informed.
May assists with projects as needed.
Other duties as assigned.

Please apply online at

Req (Job) Number 6327

Access Job and Career Data

For more information on these positions and to many more, visit Employment Wizard on the Career Center website. 

Business Improvement Project Lead

Dyno Nobel (Job ID 23147 on Employment Wizard)
* Support the North American explosives & drilling businesses to deliver on business improvement and gap closure targets by assisting business partners to identify, evaluate, plan, manage, track progress for, and verify benefits from continuous improvement projects.
* Direct and coach business partners to organize, manage and direct project team tasks to assure proper application of appropriate business improvement methodology (e.g., Lean, Six Sigma) standards, tools and methodologies to deliver on project charter.
* Coordinate with other program office team members and business improvement teams; leverage their expertise and resources.
* Provide visibility of program/project status to stakeholders
* Support business leaders to embed business improvement as a way we do business
Dyno Nobel is looking for a recently-graduated MBA student (or current student with full-time availability) who has completed Six Sigma:
Black Belt Certification to fill a position as our Business Improvement Project Lead. This individual should be prepared to review Dyno Nobel's current business practices and develop action plans to improve processes and procedures to increase efficiency.

Role Competencies Required:
* Excellent interpersonal skills and relationship skills (influencing at all levels, teamwork, empowerment, managing conflict/resolution)
* Strong analytical and problem solving skills
* Strong financial understanding of P&L, Balance Sheet and financial metrics
* Excellent written and verbal communication skills
* Ability to effectively lead and coach others to plan and manage implementation of business improvement projects
* Proficient knowledge of Lean Six Sigma methodology and DMAIC framework
* Ability to develop and lead others in project charters, Pareto analysis, value stream mapping, VOC, and cause-and-effect analysis.
* Knowledge of explosives customers, industries, and of the market place (or ability to develop this knowledge)
* Knowledge of distribution business processes and the chemical process

2795 East Cottonwood Parkway, Suite 500, Salt Lake City, Utah 84121, USA
Office: +1 801 328 6474 | Fax: +1 801 328 6580
mail to:


Westminster College | 1840 S. 1300 E. | Salt Lake City, Utah | 801.484.7651