Manage Your Ego — and More Advice For MBA Students
“What is the best way to make the most of my MBA experience?”
That question is topping most others as the Class of 2019 streams onto campus. How can students enjoy the greatest return on the business school investment? Recently, Financial Times queried several top business school professors for their advice.
John Colley is associate dean and professor of practice at Warwick Business School. Colley says the best advice for MBA students is to manage their ego.
“Some MBAs arrive thinking they already know everything,” Colley says. “They are just doing an MBA to get the qualification to further their career. But eventually they learn there is more to it.”
Colley says the best way to get ahead is to know where you want to go with your career. But do so while managing your ego.
“In the classroom, there is always the issue of ambitious students jockeying for position,” he says. “Learn to get on with others and manage your ego. For many, this is a huge change.”
Tim Morris, professor of management studies, at the Saïd Business School of University of Oxford says, “Don’t look for instant gratification.”
For many millenials, this is challenging. With social media and the internet, instant gratification has become a sort of norm in the minds of the millennial generation. Morris says earning an MBA is a time for immersing yourself in education patiently.
“Too often students are very bright but not getting the most out of their MBA because they want instant gratification,” Morris says. “MBAs focus too much on the practical application of what they are learning. Instead, read hard material that is abstract, think about what it is telling or not telling you, and be patient.”
Morris’ advice goes along the lines of what many other professors suggest. An anonymous lead faculty member at Columbia Business School told Financial Times that “the biggest rewards come to those who try something different.”
“Once students get into the programme it is easy to be swayed by the crowd and lose sight of original goals for attending business school,” the faculty member noted. “Find activities, clubs, classes, and colleagues who can help you explore options, yet still keep an eye on long-term goals.”
An MBA is competitive. Often times, students see the MBA as a means to an end. Yet, leading professors suggest MBAs should think twice. With some patience and bit of ego-management, they believe an MBA can mean much more.