In this economic climate, competition for jobs is stiff. What should a smart, hardworking recent graduate of a business school program do to try to get a job that will give him the experience he needs to diversify his skill set?
I've got an engineering undergraduate degree and 2 years of related work experience and now an entrepreneurial business master's degree that I want to utilize to work on the sales/marketing side (as is recommended in other posts). However, it seems like no company is willing to train someone when they have so many applications from others with more experience.
Work at the smallest company you can find.
How do you get hired with no experience? Combat with enthusiasm. Combat with a good reputation score on this site to prove that you're thoughtful and curious.
You have an entrepreneurial master's degree and want to help companies on their sales/marketing, and you have 2 years of professional experience? It sounds to me like you are in a great position to advertise yourself to companies all over the country as a sales/marketing consultant. I see you already have a blog with some great content, as well as an impressive LinkedIn profile. Perhaps you could start another blog to target a niche market that you feel comfortable in. Your personal blog appears to speak to colleagues rather than potential customers, and I can't say for sure, but companies may not be eager to hire you (as a consultant) just because you write on your personal blog. Take my advice with a grain of salt, as I haven't been in the same position as you. (I skipped college and have never had a shortage of work.)
4a. Write an ebook/free guide written to solve a problem within your niche. Give it away on your website for free when they submit their information. Now you have leads!
4b. Start a blog on this new company website and create valuable posts. Interview industry experts, post videos of yourself, and write commentary about news, conferences, etc. in the niche. Repeat no less than once a week.
4c. Join the http://www.inboundmarketing.com community and take all the IMU classes for some really great education that will be relevant to your new service offerings.
It's a competitive market out there. If you have the entrepreneurial spirit, you may find a much more fulfilling future by being your own boss.
Easy: help out one of the 30 startup ideas here : make a difference, make one of them successful. That will get you noticed.
If nothing else, it will force you to apply theoretical skills (business school) to real-life situations. Nothing like good old fashioned experience to make you valuable quickly.
This is basically the same concept as joining an open source project for a developer seeking experience, but more geared toward building businesses.
Look for companies that can benefit from all of your skills combined. You've got an education and some experience in engineering. Look for a technical firm that needs help on the sales side. Perhaps they need a sales engineer or a pre-sales consultant.
Rather than jumping directly to sales and marketing, work on migrating from your current resume to the resume you'd ideally like to have.
If you target a hybrid position like this, you'll stand out from all those people that might have more experience in sales but little grounding in technology. Your diverse experiences can be a strength in the right context.
Your advantage over other people with more experience is your willingness to work harder for less money. In this economy, where everyone is looking to save a buck, that means you either work for someone not able to pay for a more experienced employee or someone that can afford to have employees that are not as productive as long as they are cheap. The first would be a small startup before a major round of financing; the second would be a large business that has a team that does what you plan on doing, so that they can afford to have you be an intern. Due to minimum wage laws, you cannot intern for free, and either way you will require some managerial attention, which is not free for that business.
I know I am being harsh, and describing a situation where you are completely without any experience, but if you can find a job under those conditions, any experience you do have can only be to your benefit.
As for the entrepreneurial masters' business degree you have, it is good when you are looking to start your own business more then when looking to work for others. If you cannot find a job, this might be the perfect time to start a business. It is better to have a small business with a small income then to have no job and no income :)
Volunteering for non-profits is a great way to get experience and to meet people. It can also help balance your life/priorities.