Career Planning and Development: Interview with Career Coach Wendi Zhang (MBA/MPP 2013) – MBA

HBS Career Coaches are committed to helping MBA students and alumni realize their unique career visions. They are trained to assist with all aspects of the career development process, including self-assessment and career vision, developing job search strategies, networking, and preparing for interviews.

Wendi Zhang (MBA/MPP 2013) is a Career Coach at HBS and has over 15 years of professional experience in high-tech fields such as Big Tech, Startups and Venture Capital to learn more about Career Coaching at HBS. have experience in Among her many successful roles, Wendi also served as her recruiting captain at HBS Her On-Campus from 2014 until she left Google to join a startup in 2020.

What is HBS Career Coach?

HBS Career Coaches are trained and experienced business professionals who guide students and graduates through the career development and job search process. The coaching experience is unique to each individual. Coaches help students and alumni assess what they need to move forward, work with them to address specific obstacles, and direct them to other helpful resources.

Who Should Choose Career Coaching?

Everyone can benefit from career coaching. Even if someone isn’t entirely sure what to do, or seems to be exactly where they want to be, one thing is certain: when it comes to life/career plans, it’s just always changing. Life is dynamic, and as a result, our tastes and needs naturally change over time. Career planning is an ever-evolving process, and coaching is always beneficial, not just during times of big change.

What Makes a Good Career Coach?

I believe that a good career coach listens well and is able to ask the right questions to help individuals better understand themselves. We have found that the logistics for Career coaches believe that it helps individuals break through outside distractions and noise that impede their ability to reveal their true selves. A good career coach also guides individuals in defining goals and action plans that align with their true values ​​and fit their unique circumstances.

What are some things students may not know about Career Coaching at HBS?

We have over 50 incredible HBS Career Coaches spanning a wide range of industries, experiences and expertise. HBS students receive unlimited coaching sessions, but it doesn’t stop there. HBS partners have access to career coaching, and HBS graduates receive 6 free sessions each calendar year. That’s an amazing lifetime benefit!

How has your MBA experience influenced your career path?

My HBS MBA education gave me the following opportunities.

  • Explore many career paths: The case method allowed me to learn vicariously about various functions and industries through classmates, professors, and cases. Thanks to HBS’s vast array of resources, you can do in-depth research on your interests, receive career coaching to help you understand your career plans, and decide which offer is best for you at that time. I was able to clarify and support my entrepreneurial endeavors through the program. Such as those offered by i-lab and Rock Center.
  • I have made many dear friends: The lifelong friends I made during my time at HBS continue to play an important role in my life today. They were my best friends during major career (and life) decisions and changes.
  • Making Meaningful Connections After HBS Graduation: I remain involved with HBS after graduation and frequently meet new alumni, staff, faculty and students who bring unique and interesting perspectives to help develop and evolve their career paths. can meet

Do you have any advice for students who are thinking of changing jobs?

Career changes are relatively common and can lead to significant personal and professional growth. It is also often accompanied by anxiety and stress. HBS has many resources to help you transition, including HBS Career Coaches.

If you’re looking to change jobs, it’s important to understand why you’re thinking of changing jobs. Ask “why” over and over again until the personal values ​​that are largely driving your decisions become clear.

How should prospective students prepare to succeed at HBS?

Over the years, classmates and students who have come to HBS with curiosity, an open mind to new perspectives, and a willingness to be vulnerable to themselves have found the most out of their experience at HBS. I have observed that it tends to grow.

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