Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Career Interviews

I was reading Robbie's MIT MBA blog and he had a brilliant idea.

Robbie is doing his MBA from the SDM in MIT.

What is the SDM?

The System Design and Management (SDM) program was created at MIT to educate future technical leaders in architecting, engineering, and designing complex products and systems and to give them the leadership and management skills necessary to do that successfully across organizations.

Robbie has 10 yrs of experience hence he is suited for this course. Where can he go from here? He says:

my career path is leading me to be a CIO, CTO, VP of Engineering, or CEO/Founder. But how do I pick the one I want to do? The CIO role is typically quite different than CTO or VP of Engineering.

He faces a fundamental problem which is true at any level. What exactly does a particular job consist of?

Even with all the classes I attend and the speakers I listen to, I get very little information on the specifics of what it is like being in a particular position at a company.

When I decided upon "business model innovation" as my career choice sometime back I had trouble understanding what exactly that the job would be in terms of a day-to-day profile.

I found this great blogger who calls himself "yes". He wants to remain anonymous but provides some valuable understanding into his job. He is a technical guy with a PhD who is into "business development".

He starts off with a post on What to do with your Phd?

You spent some years in Lab (because I know nothing outside of Biology Ph.D.'s, No idea what the rest of you do).

Now what?

He then goes on to provide a list of options for the job possibilities including Business Development, Marketing and Sales.

His blog provides me a good understanding of what it means to commercialize technologies and various nitty gritties like the legal stuff, tech transfers from Universities etc.

Now coming back to Robbie, he comes with a brilliant solution:

So to help me decide what position I'm best suited for, I'm doing several "career interviews." I'm cold-emailing various executives around the Cambridge area and asking for an hour of their time to talk about their job and career. I'll ask a variety of questions about their role, the skills and commitment required, how they obtained the position, among others. One of the last questions I'll ask is if they have any recommendations for additional people I should contact. This also will be a good networking opportunity.

I think I need to do this. There is a good number of tech firms in Adelaide. It has a Tech park and the MSTC Commercialization course which means that a lot of people in the "innovation game" will be attending it.

My Marketing Professor, David Corkindale, provided me the avenue to jump into this field. As I was working on a Marketing Individual project he provided me the idea to do a project on business models for tech firms which conviced me that this is the career I need to pursue.

I can use this help in finding the right people to talk to. Will update you soon on my "Career Interviews". Thanks Robbie.


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