Offbeat Careers


Choosing the right career is one of the most important decisions in life. It involves combining one’s interests with qualifications that translate into a career choice. An individual spends most of the time in the office everyday: 8-10 hours per day. So it is important for an individual to be enthused with the job of their choice. Otherwise, in the long run, they might get bored of the work. This would translate into lower productivity, leading to pay cuts and no bonuses, and possibly of a forced resignation from the job.

Last week we saw an article about choosing the right career based on motivation type. This week we will see a few career choices that are unusual but very interesting. Graduates from engineering and business schools have started looking into career choices that are more unconventional and closer to the heart. Though the common career choices as investment banker, management consultant, brand manager, operations manager are still the chosen one for many, there is an increasing trend of students choosing an uncommon career path. One of those choices is:

Startup Company/Entrepreneurial Role:

Many of the MBA graduates choose a career in a startup company or choose to start their own company.They seek work with startups, non-profits and companies whose products and services “create benefit to the society” in some way or the other. When asked, Susanna Schick, 2009 MBA grad from UNC – Kenan Flagler says that she chose to join Carrotmob, an innovative startup over a traditional marketing job because  “it totally fits with my values, and my passion for saving the planet through conscious consumerism. I get to use what I’ve learned about entrepreneurship, sustainability, marketing, and also tap my large network from b-school. It’s great being with a small and dynamic company where I can be myself.”

There is an increasing trend of students who tap the alumni network from their business schools to fund their new ventures. Another graduate Dan Wolchonok, from the Yale School of management, used the school’s entrepreneurial institute to start PrepWork, a software-based service that acts as a personal research assistant.

The Association of MBAs 2010 Career Survey shows that 26% of British MBA graduates have started their own company. The average salary of MBA graduates in the UK is £64 000 (median) and £73 000 (mean) and MBA entrepreneurs who still own their company, report a median average salary of £92 500 and a mean average of £89 505. Lucile Lafaurie of INSEAD also reports that about 45% of the alumni from this prestigious business school become entrepreneurs at a certain point in their lives after graduating.

Though this path may be risky, it depends on one’s personal interest and preferences. Lots of startups incubate every year. Few go on and become the next big venture like the  Pebble Watch, which was funded by Kickstarter, a crowd funding platform while few others, may not be successful. But the whole journey of planning, arranging funds, marketing and launching a new venture make one to use all the skills learned in the business school to a fruitful purpose. Thus an interesting journey altogether.

References and Further Reading:





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