Parent Information

Welcome to the University of Montana School of Business Administration (SoBA) and thank you for visiting our Career Development Program Parent Page.

Working to Prepare and Connect

In 2005, the SoBA Career Development Program was created and funded by SoBA alumni serving on the school’s Business Advisory Council who saw the need for students to develop a career focus while in college, including job search training and network building. Our program focuses on preparing students for their careers and on connecting employers and students.

Why SoBA? Employers and alumni turn to SoBA Career Development when they're hiring because we have great, hardworking students; excellent faculty; an excellent curriculum; and we make it easy for them to spend quality time with students and make smart hiring decisions.

SoBA's Career Development program typically brings more than 60 companies into the building each semester, offering a myriad of networking opportunities for all students. One of the lauded strengths of our program is the quality one-on-one time we offer employers and students. We strongly encourage building a strong resume and a strong network while at UM through course work, internships, and other activities. There are also many benefits to being a SoBA alum.

Donor-funded. We are proud to report that the Career Development Program relies 100% on donor funding and benefits more than 1,000 students each semester.

Why the focus on networking? Employers are relying less and less on the pool of resumes and more on personal knowledge to hire employees. Meeting potential hires in person, or getting personal referrals, has become the preferred way to fill positions. Recruiters visiting the business school are looking to get to know students beforethe interview. In addition, we have a strong alumni network that is eager to mentor SoBA students and bring them into their own network circles. Our events help facilitate these relationships.

Goals. We’re sure that one of your goals for your student’s college education is to enable him/her to pursue a successful and rewarding career. We want to help toward that end by offering your student the opportunity to participate in career development events during their four years at SoBA. We have structured our program to follow a logical career development progression, with a host of workshops and events offered every semester, and assignments embedded into four required classes; one at each level. However, the required curriculum is just the tip of the iceberg. We always tell students that it's up to them to take the initiative, develop their network early, and utilize everything that we have to offer. Start early, and chances are they may enter their final semester at UM with a job offer.

Freshman: Assessment

UM Career Services office has career counselors who are available to work one-on-one with students to develop a career plan, résumé, cover letter, and other personal marketing documents.  Additionally, this office offers various interest assessments to help students determine where their interests lie.

Sophomore: Investigation

Assignments in the required Managerial Accounting course help students discover their career interests and research different industries and positions within organizations.

  1. Have your Résumé/Cover Letter critiqued by an employer during one of the 15-minute SoBA Employer Résumé Critique Sessions.
  2. Participate in a Practice Interview with an employer during one of the 15-minute Employer SoBA Practice Interview Sessions.
  3. Talk with employers at SoBA Employer Information Booths to learn about their organizations and industries, as well as possible internships and job opportunities. Designed to help business students build a network of professional contacts and learn about different careers, this is similar to a mini job fair held right in the GBB.

Junior: Preparation

Assignments in two required courses help students learn job search skills for life. Each semester more than a dozen programs are held to help students prepare for the job search process. Workshops range from résumé writing to dining etiquette, to dressing for success and negotiation. In addition, several networking events are held each semester to give students plenty of opportunity to practice their skills, meet employers and begin building their professional network. 

Senior: Commitment

This is the year "the rubber hits the road.” Students are encouraged to take advantage of all the career development activities that they can during their senior year and execute their “exit strategy.” This is the year for action – students must utilize all the tools in their job search toolkit in order to land their first job.

How can you help your student prepare for his/her career?

In her book, Getting from College to Career, author Lindsey Pollak provides helpful recommendations for parents. We highlight some of her insights below.

DO

  • Encourage your student to participate fully in all of SoBA’s career development activities
  • Review personality inventories and assessment results with your student and help him/her understand anything confusing
  • Proofread your student’s résumé and cover letter
  • In addition to good grades, promote the importance of membership in SoBA clubs, student chapters of professional associations, campus organizations, and community volunteerism
  • Encourage your student to develop career-focused job skills through an internship
  • Ask to see their transcripts – just as an employer will
  • Introduce them to any of your contacts who may be helpful
  • Practice interviewing techniques and questions
  • Assist your student with the purchase of his/her professional attire
  • Push your student to tidy, set tight privacy settings, and post an acceptable photo on their Facebook page

DON’T

  • Write your student’s résumé or cover letter
  • Send out a résumé /job application on their behalf
  • Contact employers/recruiters/faculty/career counselors on their behalf
  • Attend career fairs on their behalf
  • Accompany your student to a job interview.

About Career Development

Thanks to our donors, SoBA’s Career Development Program is preparing students to participate and fully engage in the job search process using top notch marketing documents, a high level of professionalism, strong networking skills, well-prepared career plans and options, lifelong job search skills and a sense of direction.

We hope you will encourage your student to actively participate in our events and to begin planning and building their career as early as possible. Waiting until their senior year or after graduation is not a plan for success! A recent survey reports that 95% of employers look for internship experience as a factor in hiring, and candidates with internship experience were paid an average of 6.5% more than those without experience!

If you have any questions or would like to volunteer your time to our program as an employer to conduct résumé critiques, mock interviews, panel discussions, or presentations, please contact Estella Anderson at 243-6621 or estella.anderson@business.umt.edu