So, you finally made it to your dream B School. If you are in foreign land, you might be anyways having a tough time feeling at home. Amidst this tensed atmosphere, what are the things that you should keep in mind when you attend the first day of business school?
For students starting an MBA program, it’s a good idea to step back and ask yourself, what are you trying to accomplish in life. And when putting together a plan of action for a successful experience, it’s helpful to know the lessons learned by students who made it out successfully. So what are those lessons?
Your colleagues are the most important part of the entire experience. When you attend a business school, you have the opportunity to create a network of people from all over the world whom you can contact for everything from travel advice to job opportunities.
Getting to know them better and asking what they did before business school, their past experiences, etc. could influence your present experience at school. Many of those who come in with a lot of experience can help you make life-changing decisions.
A student of the Yale School of management said, “To learn about their experiences, challenges, and aspirations is inspiring and humbling at the same time. I think starting out with those emotions is helpful when beginning the B-school journey. It reminds you immediately to work hard and dream big.”
Build a Good Group
Knowing your fellow classmates is also important when it’s time to form groups for projects, which at some schools begins on the very first day. You need to choose your group wisely. It is always advised to think about personality types and to aim for a well-rounded group.
You should try to have people from different backgrounds, come out of your comfort zone and know people from different domains. Have someone from accounting, one from finance, marketing, IT, operations, etc. It’s very easy to gel with people from a similar background, such as, a group of engineers might get along very well, but when it comes to performing tasks, they will surely have sleepless nights because they have only one ability.
Contribute Whatever You Know
Earning an MBA is a collaborative experience. It’s important to recognize that the value of your education rests largely on how much you and your classmates are willing to give.
Most of the programs are case-study based and the most valuable students are those who can discuss a case while integrating personal work or life experiences into what they have to say.
Most MBA students have three to five years of work experience going into school. That means three to five years of unique encounters or problem-solving experiences, all of which should be shared to enhance the classroom lessons.
Start Job Hunting From Day One
Most MBA programs recognize that B-school students don’t give up one to two years of income and shell out a small fortune in tuition without expecting to make some return on their investment. So they offer career services from day one. Alumni suggest that new students take seriously the résumé review, the interview prep, and the one-on-one coaching many schools offer, attend company presentations, and talk to second-years who just completed their summer internships.
Even before your first day you should be reaching out through your personal network to find people in the industries you’re considering. This will help you get the true picture.
Take Notes, Lots of Them
Business schools are all about experience. You’ll meet many people over the course of your study. It is good to carry around one notebook solely for jotting down inspiring or insightful comments that you’ll hear over the next two years from professors, fellow students, and guest speakers.
Finally, make sure you do things that make you happy. That is the purpose of life anyways, right?