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Posted Aug. 18, 2016

Getting the most out of your MBA: what to do beyond your classes

MBA beyond classesCongratulations! You made it to the MBA course – give yourself a pat on the back. You can now sit back and wait for the opportunities to land at your feet… Well not so soon my friend, as now is when the hard work begins.

One of the primary goals for most MBA students is to get a great job. However, you are one amongst the thousands of other MBA students that graduate out of business schools every year. There are some simple yet solid steps you can take that can set you apart from the rest and help achieve your goal. 

From networking during your course, to making the most of your contacts after your MBA, there are a few co-curricular activities that we think could work for you whilst you are on your intensive MBA program:

Leveraging business school resources during your MBA course

Career service and development: It’s never too early to start the process of career research and development. Identify the universities’ career services for MBA students and meet with your career counsellor or mentor soon after you join. Think of what motivated you to do the MBA in the first place and focus on the end goal. Some universities provide self-assessment programs that can help analyse your strengths and weaknesses and prepare you for the career change. While others will help you with the basics on the job search process including providing support and advice on CV/cover letter preparation, mock-interviews, etc.

Internships: Another way to secure your dream job is to do an internship. Many companies see internships as an extended interview where students can test their newly gained skills and prove their worth. The relationship you build here will be a long lasting one, so do make the most of it.

Tutor support: If you are pursuing an online or distance learning MBA program, then it is crucial to have access to tutor support and interaction. You can use these sessions to understand your own strengths or weaknesses and assess your long-term career goals based on your performance on the course – give importance to feedback on your assignments.

Networking events: MBA schools may conduct networking events that can be attended by current students and alumni. This is the ideal place to talk to alumni and exchange cards.

Leveraging business school resources after graduation

Alumni networking: Networking events are great places to get leads on a post-MBA job hunt. Most recognised business schools have a well-established alumni network that allows for interaction between MBA alumni. Your alumni colleagues would have gone through the similar quest of finding their dream job through an MBA. Their experience and knowledge on industry sectors and job functions, providing job search strategies and career advice can be invaluable advice that you can get exposed to while you consider career transition or establishing new contacts within an industry. Keep a look out for various seminars and alumni events posted by your university and be prepared with questions for your fellow alumni who happen to work for the same job/industry that you are pursuing. Remember, it is about relationship building.

Job fairs: Universities may also conduct jobs fairs where recruiters come to the university to provide jobs to potential graduates from the university. Often MBA students and alumni are invited to attend, so your focus would be to stand out from the crowd of MBA students as you would already have an MBA degree. Most recruiters are not necessarily looking for someone with a first class or distinction, but what you have learnt through your work experience and if you are in a position to apply it to real work situations. Here your preparation from your MBA course with a career counsellor will come in handy in securing your dream job.

Promotional activities: You may be invited by your institution to participate in events as an MBA alumnus to talk about your experiences of MBA. This can be a good opportunity to meet prospective new students and develop contacts. You can also forge relationships with academics and offer help through your company on project activities that you may find would help not just your company but also the university in promoting a particular topic.

Prodigy FinanceFunding Your MBA Program

If you need some help funding your MBA program, Prodigy Finance offers loans for MBA students with competitive interest rates, based on future affordability without the need for a co-signer or additional collateral. Find out more

Prodigy Finance is one of many potential funding options for international postgraduate students. Other student funding options are available and advises you to research all your options thoroughly before making such a commitment. accepts no responsibility for your choice of loan and does not endorse or support Prodigy Finance. Prodigy Finance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and entered on the Financial Services Register under firm registration number 612713.

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