If you’ll be earning your MBA as part of the Class of 2020, chances are that right now you’re enjoying your first days of class.
During the months you toiled over your applications and then waited to hear back from admissions committees, you probably spent a lot of time anticipating how you’d fill your days at business school.
And once you had your acceptance letter in hand, we’re sure you gave some thought to what you want to get out of your experience. But we still have a few last tips for you!
Leverage your student status as much as possible.
We’re not just talking about things like student discounts. We’re talking about the fact that everyone loves students, and everyone loves giving advice to students. So if there’s an alum, a local businessperson, a politician or community leader you admire, use the fact that you’re a student to try and set up an “informational interview” or an informal meeting over coffee. You’ll be surprised at the kind of access you may receive that you otherwise wouldn’t.
Listen to as many visiting speakers as you can.
At least a few big-name CEOs and public figures will give talks on campus, and everyone’s going to turn up for those. But we encourage you to also consider going to hear what lesser-known business and political leaders, entrepreneurs and nonprofit executives have to say — especially some of the younger ones. In a decade you just might find yourself bragging about how you rubbed elbows with someone who became internationally respected.
Choose your extracurriculars wisely.
Repeat after us: it’s impossible to do everything. Don’t sign up for 20 clubs in the first week only to end up regretting that you can’t meaningfully participate in any of them. You will feel totally overwhelmed by how many cool things you’ll have the opportunity to get involved with outside of class.
So before you attempt to do everything, think long and hard about what you really want to learn and what’s important to you so that you can focus your efforts accordingly.
Don’t forget that the “real world” still exists.
Don’t get us wrong — being in the b-school bubble is a thing of beauty. Except for when you’re especially tired and stressed (think interview season, exam time, etc.). That’s when you need to reach out to your family and friends back home, talk a walk or drive into the nearest city, or do whatever else you can to put things back into perspective. The campus will still be there when you’re ready to resume Student Mode, and you’ll feel reenergized.
Find out what HBS Dean Nitin Nohria always ask MBA hopefuls (and don’t miss a quote from Stacy Blackman, too!).
As Round 1 wraps up, inspire yourself with this amazing success story featuring one of our clients.
Until next time,
The team at Stacy Blackman Consulting
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