The transition is complete: from hi-tech. to consulting
Posted by Manish on 26 November 2007
I came to B-school to shed my baggage. My baggage comprised of 2 technology degrees and ~5 years of work in the high tech sector. It was good work and good money but I give you my official story line - "I was rapidly narrowing into a niche which I was not comfortable with" (rights not reserved).
The journey through B-school was meant to be my 'wash and iron' which would allow me to develop and market my skills as a non technology business person. And it has turned out to be a premier cleaning service :-).
Mind you it is a difficult and often depressing process. No matter how convinced you are, companies will always start by looking at your background (education and work experience) and the moment they see 2 high tech companies on your CV, it is thrown into a pile with other geek CVs. It's a fact and I reconciled with this very soon in the recruitment process.
For those of you who find yourselves in a similar situation, here are the things that I think have helped me cross the line:
1) A solid CV with almost no technical buzz words (I would say any thing more technical than hardware, software, database would be red flagged). Your future employers do not care that you used multithreading and ajax for developing something cool. They want to know how much money your company saved/made from your work. They want to know the business impact, not the technical impact. Secondly you will see all your peers have achievements in each bullet while you as a technologist do certain things everyday because that's what you do at your job. I had this problem but you need to make every bullet in your CV speak of an achievement.
2) A solid internship in your area of interest: This is the bigest hurdle but one you mustn't compromise on. If you do an internship in your area of interest, you can build a convincing story about your aspirations.
3) Serious Involvement in clubs: To show your commitment to the area you are gunning for.
4) Something extra: Language skills, passion for things outside school etc. When 300 of your peers are all overachievers, often recruitment decisions boil down to marginal things and this is where your "other" skills come very handy.
This would not have been possible without the catalyst that B-school has provided to my case. I at the other end of the transformation process and like many of you reading this, was in quite a dilemma about my life as a technologist when i'm 40. It was scary. Now i moving onto a more universal area of business which will bring its own challenges and keep my occupied for the next several years to come.