Charlottesville, VA- Recently, there has been a growing amount of MBA students who seek career opportunities outside of the traditional tracks. Unfortunately, while the current methods for recruiting MBAs have grown 16% annually over the past three years, the MBA recruiters still are unfulfilled. Sarah Rumbaugh, a rising second year MBA student at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, has identified the need by MBAs and those who recruit them for “a service that goes beyond traditional capabilities and complements a more consciously progressive capitalistic society.”
To fill this need, she founded RelishMBA, a new online professional service and employment tool for MBAs, MBA recruiting companies, and Career Services at MBA schools. RelishMBA matches MBA talent with industry types, company capabilities, and recruiter requirements. One of the ways that RelishMBA goes beyond traditional capabilities is that it is attempting to fulfill students who “are looking for social impact, conscious capitalism, and opportunities that progress society in a meaningful way,” Rumbaugh says. She is spending her summer building out RelishMBA in the University of Virginia’s Innovation Laboratory (iLab) at the Darden School of Business.
Rumbaugh attributes much of her success thus far to “interacting with potential customers from day one to find out what their pain points are.” She also emphasized the importance of being “flexible, adaptive, and open to alternative solutions.” Being an MBA student at Darden has certainly helped her as well with leveraging resources and connections. This has enabled her to have customers involved prior to the official launch, including “Darden MBAs, Darden Career Services, and 15+ of the biggest MBA recruiting companies.” Having these stakeholders involved early on has given Rumbaugh the ability to incorporate their feedback and figure out the most essential customer features for the official launch, which is expected for the fall of 2014.
How did she get involved in entrepreneurship? After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in the winter of 2009, she went on to management consulting to help the US government with cyber security solutions. As she prepared to attend Darden for her MBA, she knew she wanted to try out entrepreneurship. On that, she said, “I like solving problems, and since I was little, I’ve always wanted to create things that I thought should exist. Business school is a way for me to test out a business idea as well as benefit much more – being surrounded by tons of really smart people, learning from outstanding faculty, and forming invaluable connections. I’ve also always wanted to be my own boss!”
On the topic of her experiences with entrepreneurship at UVA, I asked her a few questions:
What is your view on student entrepreneurship at UVA?
“A lot of great organizations are manifesting an increasingly entrepreneurial environment at UVA and in the Charlottesville community. I’d say it’s healthy and thriving like cilantro in your garden – it starts out small and takes a while to grow, but when it does, it cross-pollinates with other plants and does so much good for your garden at large.”
What was it like at the University of Pittsburgh during your undergraduate days?
“You know, I wasn’t really involved in the entrepreneurial environment in Pittsburgh. But I know it’s grown a lot recently. I’d love to be involved in the future.”
What could be improved to help students pursue entrepreneurship at UVA?
Better collaboration between the different UVA schools. Also, more for-credit independent study classes where students solely work on entrepreneurial ideas.
In your opinion, what are the most valuable resources that UVA and Charlottesville offers student entrepreneurs?
Is entrepreneurship a popular thing amongst Darden MBA students?
Yes, and it’s growing.
Do Darden MBAs ever work with undergraduates in an interdisciplinary way?
Yes, but Darden students and the undergraduates have to form the connection independently, for now. We’d love to work with the undergraduates more! There are so many Darden students who would love to help undergraduates take an idea to market. Darden students know UVA is a great school in general that is filled with tons of incredibly bright students.
If you’re an MBA student or a firm that recruits them, don’t hesitate to check out RelishMBA!