How would you, as an MBA aspirant, prepare for the program, after having invested a fair amount of money besides having sacrificed your regular job, salary and allowances in the hope of achieving career goals?
The best persons to know would be the current students and alumni. Accordingly, QS TopMBA talked to Radko Diev, Brian Steel, Kristen Rossi and Paul Fitzgerald, full-time MBA students of 2018–19 batch at the Warwick Business School in the United Kingdom.
Six Hot Tips On How To Prepare for Your MBA Program
1. Advance Planning for the Challenge
The MBA curriculum could be a daunting prospect for the best of minds. However, careful planning would help you to reduce stress, according to Radko. Self-discipline and hard work are essential for the duration of the program, says Brian.
2. Reading Case Studies and Other Relevant Materials
Paul recommends a serious reading of all the case studies as discussions in class would be focused around these for most subjects. It would also provide you with the best platform to learn with your classmates.
3. Do Not Shy Away from Seeking Support
Returning to School after being in the workforce for a number of years may be an unnerving experience for many. Do not shy away from seeking help for the student support services, classmates, the faculty, or your own family and friends, Radko says.
4. Networking Benefits
Stressing the importance of networking for MBA students, Paul says you should start making the effort from the first few weeks on the program to develop contacts with those with experience in the sectors or industries where you want to pursue a career.
It is also immensely useful to get in touch with the alumni as they will be able to answer specific queries about the program, student life and career advancement, he adds.
Kristen stresses the need to create an open and cooperative engagement with the cohort instead of competing with each other. You should also be aware that everyone has a different opinion and likes and dislikes. Over a period of time, some of them may become your closest friends if you make allowances for such differences and try to see the world from their viewpoint while remaining objective.
The MBA is also about making use of every opportunity for learning. Kristen, who had no prior experience in healthcare, signed up for the GE Healthcare Challenge at WBS. She confesses that in the normal course, she would not have signed up for such an event. Afterward, she was grateful for having such a “wonderful experience”.
5. Do Not Neglect Career Planning
The MBA is as much about career planning as it is studying. While focusing on earning the grades, consider the steps need to help you boost your career prospects, says Paul. Thus, you would be able to make the right choices in elective modules, events, dissertations, workshops and study trips.
6. Take Time Off from Studies
It is equally important to take some time off from studies and engage in recreational activities. Make time for your family and friends too, says Paul. He took six weeks off even before the start of the program and it helped him unwind. He was able to start off with a refreshed mind and body, he adds.
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