MBA Project Search

A job source for the wandering MBA

January 15, 2013: 3:10 PM ET

Daniel Mullaney's MBA Project Search offers B-school grads a glimpse into the freelance and consulting worlds outside the confines of their school's career services office.mba_project_search

By Lauren Everitt

(Poets&Quants) -- Daniel Mullaney's family joked that he would wind up pondering the mysteries of life on a mountaintop. He double majored in philosophy and premed at Georgetown University.

While Mullaney didn't exactly end up on the slopes of the Himalayas, his penchant for seeking answers led him back to Georgetown -- this time to the McDonough School of Business -- and eventually to the steel and glass peaks of Dubai for a class project. Here, Mullaney experienced his own kind of mountaintop revelation -- a website connecting MBAs to opportunities worldwide.

As part of Georgetown's required international consulting project, he'd teamed up with four other students to draft a business plan for United Arab Emirates communications provider Mobily, which was looking to expand into the business-to-business sector. Mullaney was struck by the expertise the MBA students brought to the table. His team researched the market, outlined opportunities, and drafted recommendations for the company.

He recalled his own startup venture in 2005, an automated mortgage qualification service that never took off. Maybe if he'd had a team of MBA students pitch in, the business could have succeeded. "I saw the type of work that was delivered from the projects, and I thought back to my own shortcomings in the previous startup," he says. "I could have used the type of … output that was provided by the students."

On the flip side, freelance gigs could provide MBAs with invaluable experience and extra cash. "I felt like there was an opportunity to align a startup with an MBA student base," he says. "MBAs are able to provide the expertise required and startups need that, and they also need it at a fraction of the cost." MBA Project Search was born.

Mullaney, 34, envisioned a site similar to Monster or Careerbuilder, but strictly for MBA students. It would reach businesses and business savvy registrants worldwide. Employers would post opportunities, from freelance projects and internships to full-time jobs. MBAs would apply for them, and the employer would select the best fit.

Mullaney wrapped up his MBA at Georgetown in May 2012 and then "jumped right in." He recruited four other Georgetown graduates, including his older brother. He's the only MBA among them.  "We wanted a multidisciplinary approach," he says. More

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