How to get ahead with your MBA program before you’ve even started!

You want your MBA program to be worth the effort you put in and a little extra groundwork will make a big difference.

Here's a list of a few things you can to do before you even attend a single lecture to make sure you stay ahead of the rest. 

1. Start Networking

Use all of the networking resources available to you. Chat with your business school's alumni and find out what they found difficult or what they would have done differently when completing their MBAs. Have a good search through your business school's social media to find fellow students so you can start to get to know your future business partners and colleagues before the course starts. 

2. Use Reading Lists 

Getting through the reading list is tough so start early and read widely, and don't forget about journals and business magazines to get the latest news. You need to analyse and absorb all that you read so just skimming through a book isn't going to cut it. 

3. Have Good Time Management

Is your time management all it could be? If not, then you should be learning and reading about techniques to improve this essential skill. Plan everything you are going to do and build an efficient schedule to fit it all in. 

4. Do Internship Research

Consider companies in any industry that you are passionate about and begin your research early on to find a useful internship. If there is an application process, then getting to know what's involved and starting to apply before you start your course will increase the chances of success. 

5. Get Work Experience

If you have an industry in mind, then before you start your MBA or even before you apply, make a plan to get some valuable work experience. Not only will it improve the chances of your application to an MBA course being accepted, but it will also improve your experience on the course as you can analyse your experience while you learn. 

6. Gen Up On Tech Tools

Start learning about all those timesaving apps and programs that are out there. Brush up on your Microsoft Excel skills along with their other programs as you'll definitely need to have comprehensive knowledge of these systems during your MBA and afterwards. Loads of companies communicate with new cutting edge software, especially tech companies, so getting to know them will give you an advantage when you start your internship. 

7. Prepare Your Loved Ones

Do they really know what to expect from your long hours of study or are they just barely aware that you are about to start an MBA? Even if you are fitting this around your current employment on a part-time basis you'll want to have a frank discussion with those who will be affected (wife, husband, kids, parents, friends, etc) about the number of hours you can expect to be tied up with work and study. Make sure you've got their full support because you're going to need it. 

8. Push Yourself

Don't just pick courses and modules that you are familiar, with try to make yourself feel uncomfortable. Work hard academically and push yourself socially. Mix with different groups of people not only those you already know and remember you are just starting your MBA so you've got lots to learn.

9. Be Finance Savvy

Finally it is really important that you have the funds in place to study your MBA program, as this is the last thing you want to be worrying about once the course kicks off in earnest. Many business schools offer scholarships and bursaries for MBA students. You can also apply for a Postgrad Solutions Study Bursary worth £500 towards your tuition fees. For additional help with funding your MBA program, Prodigy Finance is a loans company that offers tailor-made funding for MBA students by assessing the students' future earning potential based on past achievements to determine your individual loan affordability. You can find out more about Prodigy Finance here.

Please note that the information here does not constitute financial advice. Prodigy Finance is one of many potential funding options for international MBA students. Other student funding options are available and Postgrad.com advises you to research all your options thoroughly before making such a commitment. Postgrad.com 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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