Why All Business School Students Need Practical Digital Skills [+ Bonus tips on Getting Into Google And/Or Startups]

1 February 2020

Are you prepared for the digital world after business school?

Whether you see yourself in a big tech firm, a disruptive startup, in strategy consulting or launching an entrepreneurial venture, you’ll need a solid set of digital skills to send you on your way.

While employees tend to love business school students, too many graduates fall short when it comes to practical digital knowledge.

Landing a dream job is a case of walking the walk, not just talking the talk. So, are you ready for a crash course in how developing your practical digital skills can kickstart your career after business school?

Join us as we explore what employees want from graduates and how you can land that dream job, plus exclusive bonus tips on getting into Google.

A Fish Out of Water

If you’re hitting the top grades at business school and you’re ahead of the game with your applications, it might feel like entering the world of work will be easy.

The truth is, transitioning from an intensive program of study into the new digital reality can be a steep learning curve.

As digital is the new language of business, graduates who don’t speak it are like a fish out of water or tourists in a foreign country.

Just as you would expect a florist to know a thing or two about daisies and lilies, companies nowadays like you to know all about how Google Ads work, the power of flywheels and network effects, Google Analytics and Conversion Rate Optimisation.

Why Are Practical Digital Skills So Important?

While ‘learning on the job’ is often a last resort solution for fresh-faced graduates, taking the initiative to develop your practical digital skills at university will dramatically boost your employment prospects.

The key to landing your dream job is confidence. If you’re sitting on a solid set of practical digital skills, you can throw yourself at new challenges and accelerate your career progression.

When your understanding of business is shaped by theoretical modules within a business school course, it’s easy to understand why many business school students see digital competence as their Achilles heel.

To land the top jobs and stand out from the crowd, you need to master both academic theory and practical skills.

To quote American Industrialist, Benjamin Brewster: “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.”

Let’s take a look at the benefits of boosting your practical skills alongside your business school studies.

1. Land the Hottest Jobs

Today’s graduates are fighting to jump aboard the tech train by working at the Google’s, Amazon’s and Facebook’s of this world.

The technology sector has now grabbed the top spot over finance and consulting as the most popular destination for business school graduates. Today’s tech giants dominate Fortune’s most admired companies and are the most valuable based on studies by Interbrand - see video below that demonstrates the tech sector’s rapid rise.

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Indeed, over 17% of INSEAD graduates are landing jobs in Technology Media and Telecoms (TMT). Whilst the careers service at Judge Business School Cambridge describe how the global tech giants are becoming “the status symbol employers that many graduates want on their CV.”

2. Become a Powerful Career Switcher

Many people go to business school to change careers, so it’s more important than ever to build a diverse set of practical skills that give flexibility and agility to explore multiple career paths.

According to a recent podcast, Michael Scott from the INSEAD careers team says that 26% of their graduates switch careers after business school, in both function, geography and industry.

Digital skills give you a universal toolkit that can be applied to all industries and across many functions

3. Make it as an Entrepreneur

Whether it’s launching a cutting-edge fintech or taking on Facebook with the ‘next big thing’, business schools can be the perfect testing ground to experiment with ambitious ideas.

According to a recent study, 10% of business school graduates end up setting up their own company. Knowing how to attract and retain customers through digital channels, and understanding how to digitally audit your competition will give any budding entrepreneur an advantage.

4. Be a modern Management Consultant

Management consulting remains a key destination for business school students. Although it’s an incredibly competitive job market, taking the initiative to develop your digital skills alongside your studies can give you the edge you need.

Crucially, today’s consultants must adapt to an increasingly digital world, which is why the big strategy houses are investing a lot in their digital practice (see McKinsey Digital, BCG Digital Ventures, Bain Vector).

McKinsey explains how the big consultancy firms don’t require “deep technical expertise” or demand “minimum requirements for technology experience” from prospective employees but instead are looking for “talented individuals from a range of backgrounds and experiences, who are passionate about technology topics.”

Nothing says ‘passion’ quite like taking the initiative to develop your digital skills on your own accord during your studies.

Improve Your Practical Digital Skills with Exactimo

While business school provides comprehensive training and incredible alumni networks, the existing curriculums find it hard to keep pace with the rapidly-evolving digital landscape.

To nail job interviews and on-the-job performance, you need to look beyond your core classes.

Exactimo’s 90-minute digital Bootcamp complements a traditional business school education. Students can fill any gaps in their theoretical knowledge and enjoy a crash course in digital to thrive in the modern business world. We have a proven track record at top business schools like London Business School, Oxford, Imperial, ESMT, IESE and INSEAD.

Bootcamp attendees get an injection of digital know-how by mastering 50 key concepts to build digital confidence. Our hands-on and engaging approach provides insider tips, shortcuts and nuggets of wisdom that will impress interviewers and coworkers.

We call these ‘sit up statements’ as they immediately signal interest and mastery of a given topic. Our pearls of wisdom have helped many attendees land jobs at Google, Facebook, Amazon, McKinsey, McKinsey or at startups.

To get a sense of what practical digital proficiency means, let’s take a look at how learning new knowledge and skills will help you impress in your next Google interview (or any marketing role for that matter).

Additionally, for those wanting to work at startups or set up their own ventures, we’ll take a look at some key take-home knowledge and skills that will boost your chance of success.

Sit-up Statements For Getting Into Google

The first rule of thumb for landing a job at Google is to understand who Google ids, how it came to be, and what makes them so unique.

In any interview scenario, understanding the foundations of a business is a tell-tale sign that a candidate is clued up and passionate about the company.

Knowledge: So, What’s the Story Behind Google?

If we rewind to 1996, an unassuming PhD project called Backrub by Larry Page and Serget Brin at Stanford University went on to become a trillion-dollar empire.

The two ambitious students released a ground-breaking research paper which focused on how to make information retrieval online more relevant. The Backrub paper talks about other search results not returning themselves (can you imagine!?).

Page and Brin were focussed on solving the problem of information retrieval online which for them was a huge humanitarian issue. How could society move forward if the information they were seeking was not accurate? The Backrub paper talks about search engines not returning themselves! I.e. Typing Google into Google and not getting Google back.

They were able to solve this problem by building a superior algorithm that measured relevancy. Their superior search results, attracted users which then attracted advertisers who could place ads in front of users who were searching for their product and service.

Their business model is therefore fuelled by relevancy.

Improved relevance brings more users; more users bring more advertisers; more advertisers bring more revenue; more revenue brings more R&D; more R&D brings improved relevance.

Mentioning Backrub, knowing how Google measures relevancy and how it informs its business model and products, are things that will make Google interviewers sit-up and take notice. This knowledge is also key to nailing any interview in the marketing sector as knowing who Google is and what it loves, means you can make a difference to any company’s commercial outcomes.

Practical Skill: Setting Up a Google Ad Campaign for Quality Score

Did you know that Google makes 85% of its revenue from advertising?

Showcasing your practical ability to launch a Google Ad Campaign for Quality Score can be music to an interviewee’s ears.

Quality Score is used to measure the integrity of an ad on a scale of 1-10. Google estimates the quality of your ad against three criteria:

  • Expected click-through rate. Google’s predicts the rate at which people who see your ad will click through to visit your landing page.
  • Ad relevance. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) involves identifying keywords in your ad to help users find the content they’re looking for.
  • Landing page experience. Google measure whether your landing page gives users what they’re looking for once they’ve clicked through from an ad.

A high Quality Score means Google’s algorithm views your ad and landing page as relevant. Knowing how to optimise Quality Score will improve the performance and effectiveness of an ad campaign and pull more customers through your doors.

Tips on getting into Google

Sit-up Statements For Start-ups

If you’re looking to build your own venture or land a job in a fresh-faced startup, knowing how to stay on the right side of Google’s algorithm can feel like a superpower.

Let’s take a look at two more examples of digital knowledge and practical skills you can take away from a 90-minute Bootcamp with Exactimo.

Knowledge: Why Does Website Speed Matter?

Slow loading times on your website can be a big red flag for today’s impatient and intolerant internet users. First impressions can be make or break, so you want to create a seamless user experience that leaves them wanting more.

What’s more, if you’ve understood the importance of relevancy and user experience to Google’s flywheel, you’ll see why it’s also a key metric used by Google to rank your website and will push the slickest sites to the top.

Helpful tools like Google Pagespeed audit your website and offer technical recommendations to clean things up. This is just one of many invaluable business tools you’ll learn about on the Exactimo 90-minute Bootcamp.

Skill: Learn How to Capture Knowledge Cards

An emerging opportunity for startups is to master the art of capturing knowledge cards. Have you ever noticed the small boxes that appear at the top of the results page when you browse Google?

Image displaying Google’s knowledge cards

Whether it’s asking about the cost of a flight from London to New York or the best mortgage brokers in Ireland, knowledge cards give internet users the answers they’re looking for on a plate.

Knowing how to capture these knowledge cards can be a powerful way for your brand to build a name for itself as a thought leader and a reliable source of industry information.

Exactimo’s 90-minute Bootcamp will walk you through how to capture these for your fledgling business.

Master Practical Digital Skills with Exactimo

So, are you ready for a crash course in fifty digital marketing concepts in just 90 minutes?

Build your confidence and master essential skills so you can walk into your next job interview feeling prepared?.

Experts with first-hand experience at companies like Google and Amazon will teach you the ropes. People that know what it takes to stand out from the crowd and get yourself noticed.

Exactimo provides an insider’s perspective that busts myths and reveals exclusive tips to give students a competitive edge.

Our bitesize training is specially designed for maximum impact so you can walk away from your 90-minute session feeling ready to take on the world of tech. Our interactive Bootcamp has been honed over years of practice to provide the highest possible career impact in the shortest available time. See short video below for attendees who now work at Google, Facebook and Amazon.

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Want Us to Deliver a Bootcamp at Your Business School?

Don’t get left behind — get digital fast.

If you’d like to get your hands on our exclusive training, fill in your details below and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours to arrange a bootcamp.

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