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5 Things MBAs Should Be Doing This Christmas

Successful MBAs reveal how to put your Christmas break to good use

By  Business Because

Tue Dec 20 2022

You’re driving home for Christmas. You can’t wait to see those faces.

And to pass the time away...you’re going over financial modelling, quantitative analysis, Intrapreneurship, and the Four Ps of marketing.

Oh, to be an MBA candidate at Christmas! Your friends and family are kicking back and relaxing with little regard for your mental well-being.

But these are the most important few years of your professional life. Can you put Christmas to good use?

Here’s five things MBA students and candidates should be doing this Christmas:

1. Get MBA Job Ready

“At least plan where you want to get your job and see where the next networking events are,” says Christine Blin, an MBA graduate from Copenhagen Business School.

In Denmark, things tend to close down around Christmas. But wherever you are, the festive season is a chance to perfect your resume, set your New Year's Resolutions, and think about the next steps in your career.

Make a list of some of your target companies so you have in mind what you're working towards next year. Some of the world's top companies are among the biggest recruiters of MBA graduates.

2. Build your MBA Network over the Christmas break

Christmas parties generally mean food, drink, and merriment. But for MBAs, festive season revelry can also bring opportunity. 

“It’s definitely helpful to start building your network,” says Sudipta Kundu, an MBA grad from the UK’s Cranfield School of Management. “Find out who the relevant alumni are, and what sort of jobs they’re in.”

It can be as simple as reaching out to someone on LinkedIn and starting a conversation.

3. Consider Specializing after your MBA

The MBA is a generalist’s degree. Depending on your chosen career path, you may want to gain specialist knowledge in a particular area to really stand out to employers.

Vincent Chevalier is a Chicago Booth MBA graduate who runs his own digital advertising agency in Silicon Valley. He recommends that MBAs who want to work in tech learn additional practical skills through online courses.

“Any way you can show that you’ve been running a bit more miles to learn something more technical makes a huge difference,” he says. “For instance, to have some sort of a concept of HTML and SQL makes your life so much easier in the tech environment.”

To upskill before your MBA, GMAC offer courses in Business Fundamentals or you could try LinkedIn Learning courses.  

4. Ace The GMAT

The GMAT is one of the biggest stumbling blocks in the MBA application process, but taking the GMAT is important. MBA applicants will need to study hard, even through Christmas.

“I ended up sleeping at work two times a week and studying almost all day,” says Patrick Davis, a recent MBA graduate from the University of Hong Kong. “For me, it was a test [for the MBA]; to see if I could put myself through it.”

You could even add some GMAT Test prep books to your Christmas wish list. 

5. Take A Break

Even MBAs are human. You need to use your time wisely, but sometimes a break away from it all can be just as beneficial. At Christmas, in the middle of his MBA, Patrick went on a three-week, 900-mile cycling trip from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok.

“It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day rat race of the MBA,” he says. “If you get time off, get away from everything. For me, the best thing was to get some time by myself, some space and perspective.”

Found some free time to focus on your application?

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