10 ways to get the most out of your MBA
Doing an MBA is one of the most significant investments you can make – both in terms of time and money.
Ask any MBA graduate and they’ll probably tell you the same thing. It’s an investment that can pay enormous dividends for your personal growth, leadership development and career prospects. But, like anything else, this also depends on how much you are prepared to put in.
An MBA is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a significant investment
An MBA is not just another degree programme. It should be a transformational experience. It should challenge, stretch and ultimately change you – in your approach, your thinking and your mindset. An MBA is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work and learn from next-generation change agents and trailblazers. It is exposure to many of the finest minds working in business and management theory.
So, how do you get the very most from this extraordinary experience? How do you ensure that you make each and every one of your 12 months count?
10 ways to get the most out of your MBA
Drawing on discussions with alumni, students, faculty and careers services at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM), a short list was compiled of the habits, attitudes, approaches and advice that some of RSM’s most successful students have embraced – men and women whose lives were definitively changed for the better by RSM’s MBA programmes.
1. Speak to alumni
No one knows more about the programme than those who have graduated. Seek out the opportunity to speak to ex-students about their MBA experience – what they learned, what they did, what they appreciated and what they might have done differently. At RSM, there is an active and committed alumni community willing to share their insights and experiences with you.
2. Work hard
What you get out of something is usually what you invest in the first place. An MBA is a challenge to take it further, deeper, broader than ever before. It is also costly in time and in treasure. So be prepared to make it count.
3. Listen, always
Ask a great leader and they will probably tell you the same. Listen more than you talk. You are surrounded by extraordinary people, talent, experience, wisdom and insight. You may never have the same opportunity to learn from so many diverse sources again.
4. Mix it up
Business school is not just about studying every moment of every day. Sure, you will need to work hard, but remember to find balance. Try to mix your academic commitments – your case preparation, tests and reports – with social activities, such as clubs, events and networking to help broaden your knowledge, experience and horizons.
5. Be organised
You’re going to be busy. Very busy. So figure out a personal system that works for you ahead of time. Whether it’s notebooks or apps, prioritise being efficient and being on time. In business, as in life, if you say you’re going to be there, be there.
6. Take the plunge
Eleanor Roosevelt famously said: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Your MBA is a unique opportunity to grow, learn and explore in a safe and supported environment. It’s also a challenge to push your boundaries. Even if it’s taking a course you’re afraid you might fail – before you graduate, do one thing (at least) that frightens you.
7. Network, network, network
A lot of the value of your MBA is the network it offers, so take full advantage. Invest in building deep relationships with your fellow students and with faculty. Seek out diversity. And remember that the network you build now will last way beyond graduation.
8. Go clubbing
MBA clubs are an absolute essential. They break up your study schedule, deepen your knowledge and experience, introduce you to new people, and impress employers. Try plenty of clubs out for size to find the right fit – but be careful, only to commit to the few that genuinely interest you.
9. Get guidance
Most top-ranked business schools will offer great career resources. At RSM, the careers service accompanies you all the way through your MBA, helping you to identify strengths and weaknesses and navigate your way to the right job for you after graduation. This is an asset you can leverage at RSM and beyond.
10. Take a deep breath
Remember, it’s normal to feel a bit out of your depth when you first arrive at business school. You’ll be surrounded by highly dynamic, smart, successful and ambitious people. People just like you. Don’t lose sight of the fact that you aced your GMAT and your admissions process. Believe in yourself and enjoy every second.
Join the Open Day
If you are thinking of pursuing an MBA, why not join the MBA Open Day on June 30 and meet with admissions staff, alumni and students to talk about your expectations, ambitions and personal goals. RSM is here to talk through your questions and doubts and help you to make the right decision for your future.