If you're just starting your MBA, who better to get advice from than those who have been there and done it?
At BusinessBecause, we speak to a lot of MBA graduates who have already accomplished some pretty impressive things. What they all have in common is that they made the most of their MBA experience early on.
Whether you’re looking to make a career triple jump—changing industry, role, and location—or hone your business skills to realize your entrepreneurial dreams, here’s five ways to get the most out of the first month of your MBA:
1. Make time for extracurricular activities
Whether it’s joining a sports team, the debating club, taking part in movie nights or tearing up the dancefloor, extracurricular activity is where socializing happens and relationships are built.
“It’s easy, and understandable, to get overwhelmed by the pressure of daily assignments and the looming uncertainty of that elusive job. However, you do yourself a great dis-service by letting this take away from what will arguably be the most memorable time of your life. This sounds clichéd, but it is indeed the experience that will stay with you for long after you’ve left the hallowed halls.
“I found the time to pursue theatre, music and a whole bunch of other extra-curricular activities while at school and found myself on the train to different cities in Europe every time I had the chance. If I could go back and do it again, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
2. Embrace diversity
Diversity is a buzz word in the business school arena and for good reason—innovation stems from diversity.
“Diversity helps you work on great things that would have not been possible if you’d worked on them independently. Because everyone has a different angle, everyone has different experiences and different skills and ideas. If this all comes together, then the sky is the limit.”
3. Make mistakes
The supportive nature of business school is the perfect time to do the things you would consider too risky in the real business world. It’s the time to go a little off the wall!
“Make as many mistakes as possible. It’s not always easy to learn from other people’s mistakes and experiences. You have put yourself in uncomfortable situations and try different things. There are amazing people to guide you and mentor you. In the end, you’ll learn more about yourself.”
4. Build a network
Undoubtedly, this is one of the most important elements of an MBA. Your current MBA colleagues could be your future business partners.
“A big part of the MBA is about networking, so that you can contact other MBAs in the future and do business together. I’m close to, and still in touch with, some of the grads from my year and we push each other to develop and innovate.”
5. Keep an open mind
The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. MBA students need to stay flexible and open to new opportunities.
“If you go into the MBA saying: ‘I’m an accountant. I want to be an accountant with an MBA.’ Then that’s what you’ll end up as. If you go into it saying: ‘My passion is accountancy, and an MBA might broaden my horizons to do all sorts of things.’ Your doors will always be open.”