The tuition fees for a two-year full-time MBA at the prestigious London Business School (LBS) for the program commencing August 2014 is £64,200. This does not include living expenses, which can be substantial in a city like London. Altogether, one can expect to pay over £80,000 for a MBA from a top institution.
With such high fees being the norm rather than the exception, it is vital that every student make the most of his/her MBA experience. Although a MBA from a top-tier program does open up a lot of doors, getting a solid ROI on your MBA degree requires a bit more than mere admittance to a top school.
Some ways to get the most out of your MBA degree are:
1. Network, Network, Network!
For all the business knowledge and case studies you will churn through in your two years at business school, the real value of a MBA still lies in the networking opportunities it affords you. By virtue of being a student at the same B-school, you get access to a vast alumni network of successful entrepreneurs, executives and investors. Networking with seniors, alumni and professors will open up doors and give you access to jobs, investments and mentorship opportunities you'd never get otherwise.
2. Be a (Social) Butterfly
The obvious question following point #1 above is: just how do you network? Fortunately, MBA programs offer plenty of networking opportunities for even the most introverted of students. Most campuses will have dozens of clubs catering to different interest groups, societies where you can interact with fellow-students, and other events where you can mix with alumni and professors. Besides these, you also have access to digital networking opportunities through social networks, especially LinkedIn. You can also try the easiest option: going up to fellow students and alumni and simply introducing yourself!
3. Build-up Skills Outside the Classroom
You'll learn a lot in the classroom, but there are some crucial skills you'll have to work on your own as well. This includes technical as well as interpersonal skills. For example, a knowledge of MS Excel will set you apart from a lot of your peers and will come in handy in virtually every job (if you specialize in finance, be prepared to live and breathe Excel). Knowing how to code up a web page is another crucial skill, as is writing crisp, clear prose. An MBA is also a great opportunity to work on your interpersonal skills such as public speaking, listening skills, etc.
Essentially, you must consider a MBA as an opportunity to learn and grow as a person. This means pushing for that extra bit once the class is over and the lights go out.
4. Intern As Much As Possible
A MBA is a practical degree. That is, it arms you with practical knowledge you can apply to an actual business from day one. This is why doing as many internships as possible is crucial to getting the most out of the MBA experience. Try to intern at the places you'd like to ideally work at after your MBA. While you're at it, try to apply lessons from your classroom to the business. This will give you much needed insight into how an actual business is run – and how your MBA can help run it better.
5. Be Proactive
Lastly, getting the most of your MBA means being proactive. Whether it is networking with alumni or interacting with classmates, being proactive will open up new opportunities and make you a much better candidate come job hunting season!
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 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.