Continuing the awesomeness that is our series from the trenches – Advice From Those Who’ve Gone Before – we now have a second post from the 6-month-out MBA grad who started us off with Making the Most Out of Business School.
What Kind of Life Do You Want?
“Relax and rest up before school starts,” our student life director warned us at welcome weekend. “Once it starts, it’s nonstop for two years.” At the time, I thought it was an odd thing to say to folks transitioning FROM high-stress jobs. I would come to realize how right he was.
Business school is like drinking from a firehose. Unless you are very focused in your approach, close-minded against trying new things, very good at prioritizing tasks, or all of the above, you will be overwhelmed by the sheer number of events happening at the same time or things competing to demand your attention at any given moment. It is pedal to the metal for two straight years. There is really no break in the full calendar year. Even in your time away from school there will be programmed events. Your schedule will become jam-packed with classes, socials, recruiting events, trips to other cities or countries, workshops, club activities…you get the idea.
With all these going on constantly in the background, your ability to manage your schedule and carve out free time becomes very valuable. Time is the most valuable resource you have at business school. It is easy to get swept up in the tidal wave and go along with the current without thinking for yourself, coming out of business school feeling like you didn’t make the most of it, or ending up in a job that you weren’t so excited about to begin with.
Take the time before school and during school to think strategically.
Take some time off before school starts. Travel, relax, and start thinking about how to make business school work for you in achieving your goals. Talk to alumni and current students and find out what they are excited about and their take on maximizing their time at business school. I wish I had done more of this. Alumni in general are busy but glad to make the time to chat.
Take the time to think before school starts because once school kicks off, your free time will be at a premium. Think about your vision and your goals. Write down your goals before business school starts and check in with yourself periodically to see if you are working toward or away from your goals. It’s OK if your goals change.
Thinking and planning ahead will allow you to develop a focus or a hypothesis on what you are interested in and what you want to try out. Make the time to talk to people and gather as many data point as you can. Until you actually try something out yourself, you just never know if you will truly like it or not. However, talking to many people with differing perspectives will help inform your decision.
(To Be Continued…)
This one went a little long so we’re going to break it here – though we will mention before we go that we have an Admitted Student’s Guide to Getting In which also covers some very important and practical post-admit / pre-MBA strategies, for those who are in the happy position of getting ready to go to bschool in the future.
Please come back for the second part of this awesome post from the BSer Who Went Before.