It’s been over four months and, while I’m doing contract work, I still haven’t found full-time meaningful employment. So I’ve come up with a new plan: a bounty.

That’s right! If you are the person to help me find a good, solid, full-time job, you’ll get a brand-new iPod nano in the color of your choice.

This offer won’t last. Hurry and act now!

(Offer only valid for the job I accept, and you must notify me prior to the job offer.)

Well, as this site nears the end of it’s update-able life, I’ve decided to move it. You might notice that in the address bar now says mba.burtonsimmons.com instead of www.burtonsimmons.com or just burtonsimmons.com.

It is my intention - when I finally get a job and move out of Salem - to start a new blog based on new experiences. (The implication here is that I’m not entirely employed yet, despite having graduated three months ago.) Still, when that day comes… watch out!

The old addresses will forward here for the next while, but eventually this will just be a glimpse into the past and nothing more.

I upgraded to Wordpress 2.6 today, while debating how best to archive this site.

My dedicated reader(s) will recall that, during my tour of duty in the Willamette MBA program, I was editor-in-chief of and contributing writer to Atkinson Management Today. AMT is, of course, our humble semi-annual publication of interesting and relevant business articles written, edited, and published entirely by volunteer students.

So it is with great pride that I announce the availability of my second article for AMT, entitled “We Got Lucky“. The gist of it is that Oregon is, by and large, in a pretty good place to ride out the housing crunch and resulting fallout. I wrote it several months ago, though, due to time constraints, the current editorial board is just now in the publication process.

Anyway, give it a read and tell me what you think, please!

I started this blog with the intention of capturing my MBA experience and its immediate aftermath. While I’m still unintentionally unemployed, eventually the purpose of this particular blog will no longer exist. My loyal reader(s) might be wondering, “what’s next?”

The answer, as it so often is, is “it depends”. At some point I’ll be archiving the “Adventures in Business School” and starting a new project. I enjoy blogging, and I’ve enjoyed capturing my thoughts and feelings as I’ve gone through this process. When I move to Portland (which is where I really want to be) I’ll probably find a new theme to start writing about. My goal is to make this particular blog permanently accessible, though, for anyone else who might be thinking about an MBA.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this. I still have a few entries yet to put in (as the job hunt continues) but the blog will be winding down. Thanks for following my adventures!

It’s been over a week since graduation, and I’m still unemployed. Apparently I’m not alone, though. As of last week, only about 40% of our graduating class had found positions, which is significantly lower than in previous years.

So let’s talk about my job hunt for a minute.

First off, there are two kinds of rejection. There’s the explicit rejection, where some company is good enough to tell me that no, they’re not interested. Or they’re looking for something else. Or they’re not filling the position. Or the salary I’m looking for isn’t in the range of what they’re looking to pay.

I can deal with explicit rejection. It provides a nice closure, and at least there’s feedback.

What I’m experiencing a lot of, though, is implicit rejection. Implicit rejection sucks because there’s no feedback whatsoever. I just don’t hear back from a company. I put a lot of work into my resume, a cover letter, and putting all my information into their database online (which asks for the same information that’s in my resume, which they also want a copy of), yet they won’t do me the common courtesy of returning any of my follow-up phone calls or emails. Many companies just have a wall and a “don’t call us, we’ll call you” attitude which is, quite frankly, extremely disrespectful of the time I put into try to find employment there.

So job hunting is unpleasant. It’s unrewarding. It’s frustrating to call a company to try to follow up and hear, “Oh, our recruiting department usually handles that… and they don’t take phone calls.” (Yes, that’s an actual quote.) It’s painful to try to get feedback so I can modify my search and search behavior… but I can’t even get an echo from the void.

Job hunting sucks a lot. That’s all I’m going to say.

In the speeches we listened to during our commencement, we were showered with the advice of others. Everyone from Tom Brokaw to Theodore Roosevelt:

You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.
-Tom Brokaw

and…

To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.
Theodore Roosevelt

Let me offer my own quote for posterity. Please, somebody, quote me on this view of education:

Give a man a fish and you’re out one fish; teach a man to fish and you can charge him for the education.
- Burton Simmons

… it’s a business model.

And I officially have my MBA. It started in August of 2006 and, this morning, ended when I was hooded and handed my diploma.

I’ve been asked several times if it was “worth it”. I can’t answer - I simply say that there has not been enough time to put the experience in its proper historical context. I can say, however, that I would not have finished had it not been for the support of my family and friends - and that I’ve made even more good friends while being here. To all of them, I can say “Thank you.”

In my regalia

El Diploma

Next step in the adventure: Find a job, which has thus far been eluding me.

As I mentioned in my Final Grades post, I’ve achieved some level of scholastic awesomeness. I thought I would take the time to post a couple of the certificates that I’ve received.

Beta Gamma Sigma

Pi Alpha Alpha

Yes, I was given these, a couple pins, and a couple sets of colorful ropes to wear at graduation last night at a nice little reception. There were great hors d’oeuvres, fun stories, and - the staple of any successful event - free bottles of beer and glasses of wine.

In other news, graduation is on Sunday (just two days away) and I’m eager to get my diploma. Unfortunately, however, Sunday is when I go from “being a student” to “being unemployed”.

My final final grades have come in:
Data Mining: A
Operations Management: A
Leadership: A-

GPA for this semester: 3.90
Cumulative GPA: 3.76

This means that, on average, I have received slightly better than an A- in all my classes. I’m pretty happy with that, especially considering my undergraduate performance oh-so-many years ago.

I have also been invited to join two separate “honor societies”: Pi Alpha Alpha, which requires a 3.7 GPA for graduate students, and Beta Gamma Sigma, which requires one to be in the top 20% of his or her class.

Sweet.

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