A master’s from LSE gives a powerful message to employers. It suggests you’re capable of higher level analysis and that you offer an impressive degree of specialisation. But how do you make the most of what you have to offer to prospective employers? Here are some questions to get you started:
What was my MSc about?
This may seem obvious to you but it can be useful to conduct an audit/make a list or mindmap that encapsulates all that your MSc has involved. This list might include: developing specialist knowledge, developing your research, analytical or presentation skills, plus quantitative and qualitative work.
What can I do as a result?
In addition to the above, broaden out the list to include some of the more indirect/transferable skills you’ve developed. This is potentially a very long list but could include: report writing, self-management, team work, project management, communication skills and cross-cultural skills. All these skills are very valuable to employers.
Who are the customers of your MSc?
Who are these employers we mentioned above? It’s important to map who’ll be interested in your MSc studies. This includes the courses you’ve selected as well as your dissertation. A quick look at the previous destinations from your course is a good starting point. It’s important to be creative – maybe your dissertation in particular has created new knowledge that is relevant to a particular group of employers.
How should I present my MSc to employers?
To think about this it can be worth asking yourself what you want the readers/listeners of your ‘MSc pitch’ to think, feel and do. This will then guide how you frame what you say. For example in a short networking discussion you want to have just the basic headlines and preferably the headlines you know will resonate with your listener. In the context of your LinkedIn profile you might like to link to short synopsis of your dissertation, maybe add a list of relevant modules and note any MSc skills to the skills section of your profile (eg. project management).
What should I say about my dissertation?
So far we have been stressing the need to generate lots of ideas. The next stage is to think about the way you talk about your MSc. When you were writing essays and sitting exams you were following the rules of academic study which are still important particular for academic roles. However it’s a good idea to think of ways you can simply explain or even translate your dissertation for different audiences. Looking back to your list of potential customers, how do you pitch your MSc to these different employers? What will they be most impressed by: the rigour, the depth of your knowledge, or the quality of your writing?
How can I amplify the impact of my master’s?
We’ve covered pitching and tailoring your message to different audiences. Finally think about ways that you can increase your exposure using your master’s. There are a number of ways but probably the most powerful is through your social media strategy. You could tweet about your MSc dissertation or write blog post – maybe through LinkedIn. You could also organise a seminar to disseminate your results or share ideas with colleagues. The important thing is to have a strategy. A master’s is a significant piece of work – deploy it well and it can open a wealth of career opportunity!
And remember, we’re open all year round to support you!