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How to Make the Most of Your Business School Experience


“These two years will go by so fast.”

Every alumni speaker delivers this line at orientation. After scanning your Financial Accounting syllabi, you can only hope they’re right. And when you picture everything else – interviews, trips, clubs, projects, workshops, classes, internships, community service – you almost wonder if it’ll take four years to get through all this, not two.

Business schools are known for overdoing it sometimes, right down to morning donuts and Friday cocktails. There are no dead times, even on weekends. They may as well inscribe “An idle mind is the devil’s playground” on the school shield (in Latin, of course).

So much will be thrown at you over the next two years. When you’re weary and weighed down, you might just mistake an opportunity for just another hassle.  That’s the theme running through Stacy Blackman’s latest “Strictly Business” column in U.S. News and World Report. A Kellogg grad who runs an admissions consulting firm, Blackman shares her secrets for identifying which activities will ultimately pay and help you grew. Here are some of her recommendations:

  •  “Get involved in extracurriculars: If you don’t get involved with some activity outside of the classroom, you won’t be reaping the full benefit of the MBA experience. There’s a multitude of ways to get involved, and you’ll learn as much from these activities as you will from your studies. Activities will also help you with networking and give you something to talk about in your interviews.”
  • Speak up when something bothers you: Most MBA programs are very flexible and constantly evolving. If you’re dissatisfied with some aspect of the curriculum or programming, don’t sit back and complain. Speak up and do something. Often, you’ll be able to initiate a new class, trip, club or conference.” 
  • Don’t put too much weight on grades: Your grades really don’t count all that much. Even if your school has a grading system, no one is going to ask about them after you graduate. So go to class to learn, but don’t study so much that you miss out on the rest of the experience.”
  • Take time to explore academic options: Even if you’re entering school with a firm idea of your career goals, use this time to explore a few options. Go to diverse corporate presentations, take classes in new subjects and interview with one company outside of your focus. You may be surprised at what you discover you like.”
  • Make friends with people of all backgrounds: You’ll probably gravitate to the people like you, who are from the same country or similar backgrounds. Your MBA cohort is an extremely diverse group. If you make an effort to get to know those outside of your comfort zone, your experience will be greatly enriched.”

To read additional advice, click on the U.S. News link below.


Source: U.S. News and World Report

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