By Lou Holmes, Product Manager at Progressive Insurance
Recent MBA graduates have a lot of opportunities in front of them and deciding which to take can be a real challenge. Beyond a salary and a benefits package, there’re so many factors to consider. Having been in those shoes and traveled down the post-MBA path, I can tell you that some factors feel more significant than others. Before you accept an offer, ask yourself these questions.
Does the company culture suit me? Be sure you have a good feel for what the company stands for and values because those are the things that drive big picture decisions and your day-to-day work; the things that determine what gets done and how it gets done. That varies for each person. For me, it’s important to work for a company that supports my development and career growth. Furthermore, it’s important the company demonstrate a strategic (and concerted) effort to build diversity and inclusion into the foundational components of the organizational culture.
Have an honest conversation with yourself about what drives you. Working for a company that aligns with your values—where you feel like you “fit”—makes all the difference in the world when it comes to loving what you do. And when you love what you do, you’re more engaged, more motivated, and more invested in doing it well.
Will I be challenged—in a good way—here? The coursework you’ve done has taught you a lot, but you’re going to find there’s still a lot to learn when you start applying that to real-world decisions. Pick a company where you’ll be surrounded by other bright people who know their stuff; people who will bring diverse thought to the conversation and ask you the tough questions in a supportive way that helps you grow. I love the ownership and responsibility I get in my job, but having smart people to collaborate with helps me succeed. Put yourself in a position where you’ll have the resources to get the best information and insight from others to make the right decisions.
Are there opportunities for me to grow within the company? Understand the career path options available to you at the company. There’s a good chance you got your degree to be a leader in an organization, so don’t be afraid to ask if the job you’re accepting is a pipeline to a leadership role. Likewise, find out if your skills will transfer around the organization and if there will be opportunities to expand into other areas of the company if you’re successful.
You’ve invested a lot in your education up to this point. Look for a company that helps you keep that momentum going long after the ink dries on your MBA degree.
Lou Holmes is a commercial auto product manager at Progressive. Progressive, in business since 1937, is the fourth largest auto insurer in the country. For more information on Progressive’s product manager role or to sign up to stay connected to the company, click here.
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