In this Applicant Question, Amy Duckworth, director of admissions at Imperial College Business School, gives her top tips on making the most out of your one-year MBA program.
There are many benefits of doing a one-year MBA program, starting with the fact that it only requires 12 months out of employment.
A one-year program represents a high-energy, accelerated learning environment, so it’s important that students are ready to hit the ground running.
There are several things you can do to make the most of what can feel like a very intense and enriching period in your life. Here are three top tips.
1. Plan ahead
Firstly, you can give yourself a head-start before the program even begins by engaging with your future classmates, alumni and the careers service, which can help you maximize the value of your program.
At Imperial, our admitted students can access the careers service several months before the program starts, so you could be having a one-to-one with an Imperial careers consultant well in advance of officially joining us in September.
This is particularly important if your post-MBA target role and organization has an early application deadline.
Similarly, if you talk to current students and research the opportunities available before you join the program, you’ll have a good idea of what activities you’d like to get involved in.
2. Use your time wisely
Secondly, prioritize your time. There is so much on offer at your chosen institution that it’s simply impossible to take advantage of every opportunity.
I would encourage you to think about what you really want to get out of the experience and ensure that you allocate your time accordingly.
At Imperial there’s a huge amount on offer, and our students also have access to opportunities within the wider College, for example with Imperial’s Enterprise Lab and the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment.
We also have a wide variety of careers clubs and student leadership opportunities. There’s often a temptation to say yes to everything for fear of missing out, but students who do that run the risk of spreading themselves too thin and becoming overwhelmed.
It’s important to manage your time well and be realistic about how much you can take on.
3. Be adaptable
The ability to adapt your plans and priorities is vital. Being at business school could open up possibilities that you didn’t know existed.
We have just updated our Full-Time MBA program so it now offers more opportunity for personalization and specialization, with a reduction in the number of core modules and the introduction of Flexcore modules, so you can really tailor your learning journey.
You may join the MBA with an initial plan, but as you go through the program this could change and your electives will give you the opportunity to expand your horizons and explore new areas.
Similarly, when it comes to your career goals, you might start at Imperial convinced that you want to join one of the big consulting firms, but end up dedicating time to developing a business idea at the Enterprise Lab instead.
It’s important to keep an open mind and try out new things.
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