5 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your MBA’s First Month

If you're just starting your MBA journey, who better to get advice from than the MBA grads who’ve been there and done it?

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 also a way to have a break from the intense nature of an MBA. Johann Matthai, an HEC Paris MBA alumnus and a senior consultant at Deloitte, says it’s important to keep a good work-life balanceL

“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.”

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2. Embrace diversity

Diversity is a buzz word in the business school arena and for good reason—innovation stems from diversity.

Alexander Kern, a China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) MBA grad who works in the automotive industry in Asia says:

“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.”

diversity

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!

Adi Chhabra, a Lancaster University Management School MBA grad and tech entrepreneur says:

“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.”

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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.

Florian Gamper, a CUHK Business School MBA grad who’s founded his own Artificial Intelligence startup, found networking to be an important part of his journey:

“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.”

network

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.

Ben Tyrrell, a Bath School of Management MBA grad says: “Go into the MBA with an open mind. And be prepared to have your mind changed about what you’re good at, and what you might end up doing.

“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.”

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