An MBA program is one of the most attractive areas of study considered by graduates across the world. Not only does it give one an immense amount of learning about how businesses are built, managed and run; It also opens the door to thriving career opportunities like getting higher level management positions in organizations, better paid jobs (compared to the ones offered after Graduation), opportunities to work in diverse industries other than the ones related only to the field of graduation of a candidate and an understanding of how to start one’s own business.
People who decide to do an MBA are ambitious; ambitious enough to join a full time MBA program which requires an investment of a good amount of money and two years of a lifetime. Many candidates leave their jobs and take an education loan to join the program. Even if that’s not the case, everyone wants to make the best of the time and money invested and come out with flying colors.
To go by the saying ‘Well begun is half done’, here are some DOs and DON’Ts for people who are about to begin this roller coaster ride of 2 years, that can be taken care of in the initial days of an MBA program.
1. Get out of your comfort zone and INTERACT: Do you look for people who are from your home state, graduated in your discipline, or worked in the same company as you? Please refrain from this habit now. You have entered in a B school where people from various cultures, educational backgrounds, work experiences and even age groups come together to study and learn from each other. Take it as a learning opportunity and interact with everyone keeping aside your presumptions about them. It will not only help you discover about the world, but also about yourself and your interests. Not only having a good network will boost your learning in college and post college, it will also shape up your personality for the better and hone your team work and leadership skills.
2. Enter your classrooms with an open mind: You may have joined college with preconceived notions about yourself being more suitable for or interested in a certain stream of courses like Marketing, Finance or Operations. While not completely disregarding your judgment, I would suggest embracing the lectures of ALL the courses with an open mind and trying to explore each. However this process should not stop and be followed for the entire 1st year of your MBA (including the summer internships). Who knows you might have thought of getting an MBA in Finance but would end up majoring in Marketing instead!
3. Take assignments/Quizzes seriously: No matter how much your peers and seniors tell you that a good academic performance is not needed for good placements, it is a reality that good grades however not being the only criteria of judging a candidate in placements; surely help to project you as a sincere and hardworking candidate in front of the recruiters. And yes, the biggest companies of the world do take the academic performance of candidates seriously. So why not display your capabilities in the Mark sheets as well? I must say that you are not there only for placements but also for learning and a sense of achievement. A sincere approach towards academics from the beginning itself will boost your confidence to participate in class discussions, enhance your credibility among faculty and students and ultimately save you from the stress during the term end examinations.
4. Create and Follow a Time Table: MBA is a hectic program, especially the initial days are very tiring for students as they are not used to attending classes from morning to evening and completing assignments and quizzes within deadlines. Moreover, academics are not the only area that should be a focus for any MBA student but also the overall personality development. Hence to create a time table is important so that you can not only complete your assignments on time but also create time for exercise, meditation, interacting with people, sports, hobbies, adequate amount of sleep and extracurricular activities.
5. Enjoy B School Life: For people with work experience, you have got an opportunity to be a student again and for everyone attending an MBA, you are most probably a student for the last time. Therefore enjoy everything about being a student. Rushing for classes on time, eating in college mess and canteens with friends, working in group assignments, performing on stage or a sports field, getting scolded and praised by faculty and preparing for exams. Take everything enthusiastically and enjoy these two years which are never going to come back.
1. Pretend: You will meet people from across the country whose lifestyle and upbringing are going to be very different from yours. While it is good to appreciate the difference and interact with people with an open mind; it is best to be in your own skin and not project yourself which you are not just to be a part of a group. For example, don’t try to be awake till late nights if you are a morning person, don’t wear clothes that you are not comfortable with, don’t speak in a fake accent or don’t spend more than your budget on group outings. Instead learn good things from others and walk proudly being who you are. People will respect and love you more.
2. Act Desperately in class discussions: Most of the MBA class sessions involve discussions where students can enrich the sessions with their inputs. Try to be actively involved and add value to the discussion; however, do not speak whatever comes to your mind and just for the sake of speaking. ‘Desperate Class Participation’ will attract annoyance from the fellow batch mates. Whenever you want to speak, think about its relevance to the topic being discussed and frame the thoughts in mind beforehand so that the class can understand your point and gain from your knowledge
3. Indulge in too much partying and outings: New life, new place and new friends. Anyone can get excited to explore the place, the city and to party. It is good to do all these things, but doing too much of it especially in the initial days of college is not advisable. Keep the initial period to understand the course, the academic calendar, the institute and its activities, the seniors and the batch mates. Plan outings and parties after getting familiar to all these to keep yourself rejuvenated and energized during the whole MBA program
4. Get too relaxed in your past glory: You may have converted the college of your dreams, but just getting into a B school of your choice was not your ultimate objective. Remember that you have joined the institute for a bigger goal and the journey has just begun. You should not feel too relaxed about getting admission in a good college, instead you should feel motivated from your past achievements and give your best efforts in everything that you take up in these two years. The world inside a B school is more competitive than it was outside it. And you should be ready for it.
5. Underestimate yourself: You will meet many brilliant students in an MBA college, instead of comparing yourself with them and feeling under confident, learn from them and try to improve yourself. Keep in mind that the reason you are studying with them is because you have a similar caliber and potential. Hence never try to underestimate yourself , always believe in yourself and your abilities