Curious about what MBAs get up to during their first few weeks of school? We’ve headed to Singapore, Switzerland and the UK to find out how the new intakes at St. Gallen, Manchester Business School, and Nanyang Business School are settling in.
The first few weeks are mostly about finding your feet, but getting to know your new classmates in a relatively relaxed atmosphere is a great way to start building your network! You never know who might be instrumental to your post-MBA career!
Getting introduced to the class
Meeting the people who will inevitably become your family for the next few months is the start of MBA life. 2012 Nanyang MBA participant Shilpa Ramesh Vaswani said that her excitement increased tenfold when she discovered the diversity around her. She discovered that diversity at Nanyang was about more than nationality and work experience.
Shilpa introduced herself as a citizen of India who grew up in Cameroon, obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Miami, Florida, and has worked in banking, retail and non-profits. Her colleagues come from 22 countries across five different continents and include software engineers, pharmacists, a dentist-turned-entrepreneur, accountants, stock traders, financial analysts, marketing executives, and the list goes on.
Over at St. Gallen, the newest intake have 23 nationalities but they've not necessarily lived and worked in those countries alone. Students also came from a variety of industries and academic backgrounds. A few of the male students were particularly excited to have a class that had 25% females!
Getting to know the city / your new home
You need to get comfortable with your new surroundings fast. So whether you live in a small city like St. Gallen or a busy city state like Singapore, getting your bearings is important and exciting.
The new class of St. Gallen MBAs describe the city as convenient, people friendly, diverse and picturesque. In addition to getting familiar with Swiss cheese and chocolate, they took the time to explore the local area. There were a myriad of museum trips including the beer bottle museum, the textile museum, nature museum, and the history museum. They soon saw for themselves why St. Gallen is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site!
In Singapore, the Nanyang MBAs had to get to grips with over 200 hectares of campus before heading into the city.
New Manchester MBAs took to exploring the surrounding areas, including a visit to the Brathay Trust in England's Lake District.
Preparing for the coming months by building relationships
Orientation week is also a time to learn about what the MBA has to offer. There are briefings on the academic programme, study missions on offer, extracurricular student clubs, internships and job search assistance. You clearly don’t want to miss that!
To kick off the year, Manchester Business School MBA student council president Akshay Joshi advised new students to make the most of the incredible resources available on the MBA to enhance their learning curve.
He also emphasised the value of networking with colleagues, and taking advantage of opportunities to gain professional exposure through consulting projects and internships. Akshay himself landed a summer internship at eBay through the Manchester Business School network and he is confident new students can repeat his success in their chosen field!