Interacting With The Alumni: An Important Step Before You Plan Your Admisision

If there’s one legacy which any school carries forward, it is its students. That’s one connect which keeps the old students bonded to each other; connect of being an alumni and walking the same legendary corridors.

Alumni of management schools assume crucial importance in the brand building and development of the schools. Many students excel in researches which guide theories across the globe; some head multinational corporations while others contribute to the development of management excellence wherever they work. Entrepreneurs move a foot ahead and deeply connect with their school network because that’s where the first corporate support system lies.

There are four primary reasons why as a management degree applicant, you need to interact, connect and network with the alumni of the school you’re looking to get into. Let’s have a look at each in detail.

The Specialization

Top management schools across the world work with a focus; the focus to deliver the best to their students. In the continued efforts to do the same, world class faculties, corporate developed curriculum and research initiatives are given primal importance. Over the years, schools gain specializations in particular fields. Sometimes it is because of their location, faculty or research development, these schools become known for those specializations. Alumni best suits to help you with this question. If am looking to make a career in retail brand building or corporate economics, or am focused on devising a technique to build analytics for VCs investment to return in start ups, it is very important that I look for the right school for these specializations. Alumni with help you with the teaching methodology, faculties and focus on specializations, which will help you make an informed choice.

The Industry Name

Come summer or winter, economic upheaval or a double digit growth, top management school students are always in a big demand to turn around the status of corporations affected by this volatility. And what build the brand name of these top institutes in the corporate sector? Their alumni. Before you plan to finalize the top institutes for admissions, apart from the rankings published by leading magazines and news corporations, it is vital that you take the first hand review of the stature the school holds in the corporate sector. And it is not always an overall good name that you should look for. Here again specializations can be guided.

Networking never fails

By far the most important reasoning of all is networking. Even in the worst case scenario that you’re not able to get a clear picture and details from the alumni, you get in their network. And networking with the right people at the right time in the corporate sector always pays off. Whether it is that PE funding that you may require when you plan to start up after school or the big fish you need to get for a deal to finalize, if you’re in a network, I won’t say it becomes a cake walk but it does become very helpful.

Entrepreneurial Kick off

Planning to start up your own venture after school? Connecting with the alumni can be your biggest blessing. There are three sub-factors in here:

Funding
Alumni and their network of top management schools work in a close knit circle of corporate membership where funding capabilities and readiness is available. The opportunity to strike a decent PE funding or even a recommendation becomes big and you can hit the nail on the head for your entrepreneurial dream.

Ideation
Either you’re looking for an idea or have an idea; the well versed corporate alumni will always have a valuable suggestion or two for you. Whether it is about how to plan your product or service offering better or basically what you can start up with, alumni is the best source of critics, productive critics.

Co-Founders or Advisors
If you’re starting alone and you share your idea (on a lighter note: keeping the secret sauce recipe with you) with the alumni, you stand a good chance of getting co-founders or advisors on your board from the alumni of your school. Let’s call spade a spade, the well-heeled generally form the board and most of them at some point or the other have stepped into leading business schools.

All in all, the basic point is to connect, as it is helpful not only in career development and management but also personal management. When we as students pass off from management schools and step into the corporate world, then the realization of the unknown comes. The unknown facts of peer pressure, job performance, work-life balance amongst others slowly start seeping in. It is nothing out of this world and is a part of corporate grooming but nothing talks like experience. And again the alumni suit the laid criterion of how to deal with all said above.

Even if you forget the business school choice and work and focus only on your personal life, alumni can work as mentors for your personal development as well. Many sitting at the top of management ladders have mostly gone through what you might be going through right now.

So the next time you’re working on your management degree plan, do remember to do a detailed search on the alumni of the schools you’re aiming for. Search them on LinkedIn, alumni websites and even on Twitter. Try connecting with them and the bridge to your dream school will be much firmer than before.

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