How to Get the Biggest Return on Your MBA Investment
“You’ll only get one shot at this. Do it right.”
Sound like a hackneyed line from an action movie? Maybe, but it’s also good advice for aspiring MBAs. Regardless of what you’ve heard, you probably won’t end up living on skid row if you pick Tepper over Tuck. In fact, you’ll learn a lot and build a great network either way.
That said, business school is all about fit. Ever wonder why stars – from hedge funds to hockey rinks – are wildly successful one place and then stink up the joint at the next. It’s all about comfort, feeling valued, connected, and confident. The same is true of business schools. Do you learn best doing group projects? Wharton and Kellogg will probably get the most from you. Love to read? Head to Darden and Harvard. Looking for a strong community feel? Tuck is perfect – if you can brave the winters.
You may get out what you put in, but you first need to know where you’ll thrive – and why. Place yourself in an environment where you’ll succeed – and the money and opportunities will come. Business school is all about the return. In a recent piece on MBA.com, Aimee Akimoff, director of recruitment, for the Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University, shared some steps to take to get the most from your business school experience. Here are a few of her thoughts:
“Participate fully in all aspects of the program. A great MBA experience is about much more than knowledge. Knowledge is a given (it must be developed), but what makes you a successful MBA student and professional is the ability to build your knowledge and the professional tools needed to help organizations and people meet their missions.
- Build your resume of professional experience and confidence in your decision-making by actively participating in client projects and internships.
- Develop your network and professional tools by participating in networking, mentoring and leadership programs.
- Be an active team member, give presentations, communicate with others, and push yourself outside of your comfort zone to build new tools.
- Choose courses to support broad strategic management decision-making as well as developing expertise in one or more functional areas.
- Constantly utilize the career services and career management program.”
“Understand the paradigm and expectations of an early career MBA program. In an Early Career MBA program, your career and professional reputation start on the first day of the program, not at graduation.
- Actively contribute to your teams and fully meet your responsibilities.
- Learn to accept and grow from that feedback.
- Contribute to the learning of others and learn from everyone you meet.
- Pay attention to your online and social media professional reputation.
- Challenge yourself and expand your comfort zone.”
“Choose the program type designed to support your goals. Full-time MBA programs and part-time MBA programs are designed to meet different goals. A match between your goal and program type is the first step in ensuring your MBA ROI. If your goal is to achieve your first professional position or career change, choose a full-time MBA program that builds your knowledge, experience, network, and career management skills. Most part-time programs are not designed for you. They are designed for experienced practicing managers seeking career advancement or enhancement.”
For additional advice from Akimoff, go to the MBA.com link below.
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