Studying an MBA is a huge investment and given how much it costs, you want to make the most of it. You may think that after studying at undergraduate level, you already have a good idea of how to make the most of your university education. However, studying for an MBA is very different and requires a different set of skills and preparation.
How to make the most of the MBA experience
Applying for an MBA is often a very time-consuming process. MBA applicants need to research a number of MBA programmes, prepare for the admissions process, write several tests and possibly prepare for personal interviews.
With so many steps in the admissions process, it’s easy to forget that this is just the beginning of your MBA journey. To make sure you get the most out of your MBA, here are some tips:
- Come up with a financial plan
- Focus on a complete MBA
- Make contacts anywhere, anywhere
- Stay active while studying for an MBA
- Develop your career goals as you study
- Sign up for as many summer internships as possible
- Don’t be intimidated
However, before you get a place on your dream MBA program, you can do a few things in advance …
Talk to MBA graduates
No one knows MBA better than graduates, so try to talk to a few former students about their experiences. Given the relationship we all have to our alma maters, you would be hard pressed to find someone who would not be willing to share their experiences. Try to choose those whose interests match yours to give you an accurate idea of what might await you.
Find information online
Take a look at your public profiles before applying – how do you present yourself? Either make all your social profiles private or clean them so that you present yourself mature and professionally.
Start developing your contacts
A large part of MBA studies is the non-academic side of things. Networking is a major reason to study at business school, so take advantage of this opportunity. Introduce yourself to everyone you can and take the time to get to know your classmates and professors. Look especially for those who have different experiences than you. It is one of the best opportunities to meet such diverse people in life.
Think about your career
It’s easy to get carried away by your MBA experience, but don’t forget why you’re there: to move forward in your career. Take the time to explore your study opportunities early and make sure they help you achieve your goals. Contact the career department frequently and attend recruitment events to meet potential employers.
The part of the study devoted to internships is also very important for career advancement, so prepare thoroughly for it and choose the company you would like to work for – it may offer you a job after completing your MBA.
Practice your interview skills
Information interviews offer you the opportunity to get an idea of what interviews you will encounter after graduation. They also provide an opportunity to get to know different companies and introduce themselves to recruiters. Many MBA programs include classes that include information interviews.
Make sure you’re organized
An MBA course requires a considerable amount of juggling of assignments, events and lectures, so organizational skills are essential. Before starting the course, familiarize yourself with the tools you will use to organize your studies, including study applications, planners, and calendars. Once you start the course, make a schedule to plan your time and stick to it – procrastination is your biggest enemy. No period in your life will depend on your organizational and management skills as much as your MBA studies.
Get involved, but don’t force your opinion
Contributing to the lessons is essential, but that doesn’t mean you should lead the group. If you have something to add to the discussion, do it, and if you do not agree with something, make it clear, but do not try to control the discussion. You will learn more than listening and you will make more friends.
Find a way to relax
MBA courses are stressful, so make up for them by finding a healthy way to relax. For some it may be jogging, for others it may be running or reading. When you find out what works for you, set aside time each week.