If you’re gearing up to kick off your MBA studies later this year, you’re probably already buzzing with excitement. So many new opportunities and experiences await you, and you can almost taste your future success after graduation. The business world is your oyster!
Before you leap in, however, we’ve come up with a few tips to help you make the most of what can be an overwhelming experience. After all, why do an MBA at all unless you’re committed to getting the most out of it?
- Know exactly what you want to get out of your MBA.
There are many different reasons why people do an MBA. These can range from wanting to change careers, to wanting to speed up your career progression, to wanting to earn a higher salary. Whatever your particular motivations for pursuing an MBA are, keep them front of mind and clearly communicate them to your lecturers and career counsellors. The clearer you are on what you want out of your MBA, the easier it is for the school to help you achieve your goals.
- Make as many connections as humanly possible.
Remember, one of the biggest benefits of any MBA program is the opportunity to grow your network of business connections. Don’t be shy: introduce yourself to as many of your classmates and lecturers as you can. Take full advantage of field trips, internships, and networking events by getting to know the people around you. Strike up a conversation, have tea, go for beers, trade email addresses, and follow up. The people you connect with during your MBA could well be your future business partners or investors.
International MBA programs offer even better networking opportunities, so make a point of connecting with classmates from a range of different backgrounds. Your interpersonal skills—and your future career—will benefit from a global network of multicultural connections.
- If you’re doing your MBA abroad, take some time out to explore.
Why do an MBA abroad if you’re not going to bother exploring and enjoying your new surroundings? International MBA programs are based in some of the most exciting and interesting cities on the planet. Yes, time in the classroom is important, but allow yourself the opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and cuisine of the country you’re in. Booking sightseeing tours or weekend trips with your classmates is also a great way to bond and really cement those invaluable connections.
- Invest your time wisely.
The years you spend doing your MBA are going to busy—no doubt about that. There’s so much to squeeze in: field trips, lectures, projects, networking events, job searching, and student clubs. The best way to avoid overwhelm is to become a time management pro, so plan out how much time you need to dedicate to each activity in advance. That said, don’t be too hard on yourself. All work and no play is a foolproof recipe for premature burnout. Make sure you factor in downtime for socialising and self-care.
If you’re still on the hunt for the right MBA program for you, download our whitepaper How to find the perfect MBA In it, we unpack four key factors you need to take into account when choosing an MBA program. We cover the importance of answering the question ‘why do an MBA?’, picking a prime location, deciding on a major, and weighing up the costs.