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Breaking into tech with an MBA

Even though you do not need to have a technical background to gain a role at a tech company, you need to have a great story and to be able to articulate why you are interested in tech today.

This is a guest blog post by Will Nash, Dell’s product marketing manager and MBA recruiter. He’s also a Consortium alumnus from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ross School of Business, class of 2012.

Many of the most successful and innovative companies in the world are within the technology industry. Tech companies are disrupting the way we live and need top talent to continue to compete and bring groundbreaking solutions to customers.

I’ve noticed that more MBA students are interested in pursuing a career in tech, but may be unsure how to proceed. Without a computer science or engineering degree, it may seem to be a daunting task.

You may be surprised to find out that you do not need a technical background to join a tech company. As a product marketer and MBA recruiter at Dell, I can tell you that tech companies need your diverse perspective and your transferable skills to make an impact in MBA roles across the business.

There are steps you can take to stand out, display your passion for tech and connect with the right people to be successful and break into tech with an MBA.

Have a Story

Even though you do not need to have a technical background to gain a role at a tech company, you need to have a great story and to be able to articulate why you are interested in tech today. Tech is innovative; cool will not do.

For me, I have always been a lover of all things technology and have focused my marketing and sales career on growing new product and business lines.

It’s up to you to connect the dots for recruiters and market yourself appropriately. Your interest in tech may have been sparked by a side project at work or through volunteer efforts. Perhaps you have always been interested in technology products and tinkered with computers as a child. Your story is your story and you should make sure it portrays your true interest in tech so it resonates with recruiters.

Do Your Homework

Which are the top tech companies to target based on your interests? What is their interview process? What business are they in and how do they serve customers? You have to do your homework and research the companies so you know who to—and so you can talk knowledgeably about their solutions.

It also helps to have a perspective on their business based on your research. In a marketing interview, you should not be stumped if asked a case question about their top tech product. Displaying your passion for technology will help you stand out and will demonstrate your interest in joining a tech company.

Use Your Network

Joining a tech company is competitive. You need all of the resources you have to gain connections and display your interest to top tech companies. You will have classmates, alumni or friends of friends who have worked at your target tech company. They can provide great feedback on their experiences to help you walk the walk and talk the talk.

Also, make the most of corporate presentations by tech companies and network with recruiters when they visit campus. The first time recruiters meet you shouldn’t be at a potential interview. Building a relationship is key when you are new to the industry and have a unique story. Set up informational chats as needed and mock interviews to practice your story. Be scrappy and leverage the power of your network.

After executing the largest tech integration ever, Dell continues to need top MBA talent across the business. We value all experiences and believe that your transferable skills and passion for tech mean more than a technology degree. Dell looks for collaborative candidates who are data-driven and operate well in ambiguity. Consider us as you explore this dynamic industry and take the steps above to successfully break into tech with an MBA.

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