Determining whether or not you need a concentration is a career decision. Yes, academics will be involved in course selection, concentration requirements and graduation planning, but this is primarily a decision related to how you will market yourself for the job search. In general, it is recommended that everyone complete a concentration to clearly show your career interest and focus in a particular field or functional area. However, if you have work experience or a prior degree in that functional area, a concentration may not be necessary.
Who Am I?
Is a Concentration Recommended?
|MBA||2+ years unrelated to your area of interest||Yes|
|MBA||2+ years specifically related to your area of interest||It depends on your specific job function or industry. Meet with the CRC to discuss your career goals and options.|
|BS Business/MBA||0 years||Yes|
|BS Engineering/MBA||0 years||Yes, but it depends on your long-term career goals. Meet with the CRC to discuss.|
(focus in another career area: law, medicine, social work, etc.)
|Variable||Not usually, but it depends on your long-term career goals. Discuss with the CRC during your introductory appointment.|
Work with the Career Resource Center. Begin by making some career decisions and take a systematic approach to selecting a concentration. This involves several steps in the career development process.
Read job descriptions for various level positions
Conduct informational interviews with alumni and friends of the School of Management who work in your area of interest. You can use the Mentor Program to identify those contacts
Meet with a CRC staff member to discuss your career goals and concentration selection. (First-year MBAs will accomplish this through their introductory CRC appointment in their first semester)
Attend networking or educational events, including Executive Speaker Series, Realistic Job Previews and alumni networking events like Network New York and Network Buffalo
Join School of Management clubs or national and local professional organizations to learn more about your areas of interest and network with those already working in those fields
Plan to complete at least one MBA internship in your concentration area
You should start this process during the first semester of your program because there are many factors involved in your decision. Do not wait to take courses to decide which area interests you. This is an important decision that can have a major impact on your job search success. Taking one course will typically not give you enough information to make this decision.
Work with the Graduate Programs Office. After you have narrowed down your area of interest and feel confident about your career goals, your next step is to formalize an academic plan. Use the MBA handbook, talk with faculty, current students and recent alumni to better understand what courses will align with your career goals. If you need additional assistance with your academic plan, schedule an appointment with Jill Phinney by visiting the Graduate Programs Office in 203 Alfiero Center or calling 716-645-3204. Jill can assist you with your course selection, sequencing, academic plan and graduation success.