If You’re Starting Business School in 2021, Read On
If you’ll be starting business school this fall, congratulations! It may seem like years ago that you first began work on your applications, or you might feel like the whole process flew by. Either way, you now have just a few months left before you head to campus and take your first official steps toward earning your MBA. And we guarantee that those remaining weeks will go quickly.
So, what you should do between now and then?
Obviously, everyone’s situation is different. Some future students choose to work up until they leave for school. That way, they can save as much money as possible for the endeavor. Others have already given their employers notice and plan to spend quality time with friends and family they haven’t seen much of this past year. And some may choose to follow the growing trend of participating in a pre-MBA internship.
You probably already know how you’re going to spend the bulk of your time before starting business school. But here are a few items to put on your To-Do list, just in case.
Thank your recommenders.
Big time. Meaning, take them to dinner, get them a small gift, or at the very least write a heartfelt thank-you note. Don’t underestimate the role your recommenders played in helping your candidacy—their glowing praise and memorable examples of your accomplishments might have been what convinced the adcom that they just had to have you in their program.
Thank the rest of your support system.
You likely had someone else read over your essays or spell-check your application. You probably also had some good friends who listened patiently as you stressed out about everything from the GMAT to interviews to Notification Day. Make sure you let them know how much their support meant to you. Even better, return the favor the next time they need help with something.
Get your finances in order before starting business school.
Even if you know where the majority of the money is coming from that will fund your MBA—be it personal savings, student loans, scholarships/grants, or assistance from your family—now is the time to think about a monthly budget for your months on campus.
There will be no shortage of opportunities to spend money over the next two years! You should prioritize what’s most important before everything and everyone starts competing for your time.
Would traveling for an industry trek be more important than going on spring break with section mates? Would you want to hit the slopes with your program’s Ski Club or participate in an international opportunity?
If you know you won’t be able to afford it all, start thinking about what you definitely don’t want to miss out on and prioritize from there. Your savings account will thank you later.
Make new friends, but keep the old.
Start getting to know your new classmates through your program’s intranet, message boards, and if possible, local meetups. It’s a great feeling to already have a few acquaintances before you even step foot on campus. But don’t forget about the co-workers, friends, and family members you’ll be saying goodbye to.
Yes, there are tons of ways to stay in touch with people these days so it’s not like you’re going to totally drop off the face of the earth. Except that you kinda are—at least for a little while. Business school is intense. You’ll be mentally and physically exhausted during your first year (in a good way, we promise). So get some quality time in with those you care about now and forewarn them you may be a little less communicative than usual this fall.
Most of all, before starting business school make sure to enjoy this unique period in your life. One chapter is closing and another (very exciting) one is beginning. Take some time to celebrate your huge accomplishment before classes start!
Think of it this way:
Just because your MBA application journey is over doesn’t mean we have to say goodbye! Come on over to the Blacklight, SBC’s awesome weekly newsletter for professionals. At the Blacklight, we share fascinating research and wisdom from top business school professors to help your professional and personal life run smoothly.
At the Blacklight, you’ll learn stuff like:
- Smart Tips for the Reluctant Leader
- Why you should Stop Striving for Work-Life Balance
- New Ways to Network During the Pandemic
- What You Wear Affects Your Behavior
- and this super important, research-backed tip—Don’t Be a Jerk at Work
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