First and foremost, congratulations are in order! Being accepted into an MBA programme at any business school can be life changing, so we commend you on taking the plunge. Whether you’re a first time student or returning to study after a break, there is no doubt that the journey ahead is somewhat daunting. It will be full of challenges and triumphs as you work towards the prestigious Master of Business Administration. If you’re like many students and are wondering how to approach your upcoming studies, we encourage you to consider the below four points. They will assist in getting the most out of your MBA experience and set you up for academic success.
1. Make the most of every MBA opportunity
When you’re accepted into an MBA, you start to consider the range of possibilities your life will now enjoy. The vast majority of MBA students undertake the degree to further their careers, with individual goals in mind such as a promotion or career change. To achieve these goals post-MBA, it’s in your best interest to seize every opportunity provided to you throughout. This includes participating in networking opportunities, actively connecting with your peers to build your personal network, as well as paying detailed attention to the subject material that you study. When people undertake the MBA simply for the ‘piece of paper’, they miss out on a lot of the knowledge that will actually further their careers. Your MBA requires great commitment, so it’s important that you get the most out of your hard work and investment!
2. Design a routine that works for you
As a busy working adult, there is no doubt that the time management side of your MBA degree will be a challenge. From the outset, you need to anticipate the predicted hours to set aside for your studies, and plan how this will fit in with your existing commitments. It is recommended to plan your week as you would in the workplace, blocking out key time slots for study. Like a meeting, it is bad practice to cancel last minute, so take your studies seriously and give yourself the time you need to succeed. It’s likely that your routine will change along the way, so be flexible and reshuffle your schedule when required.
3. Establish and familiarise yourself with support resources
Throughout your degree, there are likely to be instances where you require support – both personally and academically. When you’re accepted into an MBA, it’s a good idea to go through the requirements and commitment with your loved ones so they will understand the efforts required to succeed. You should also take the time to learn about the resources offered by your business school, from support staff and their roles, to online forums and libraries. When you know who can help you from the beginning, you will approach your studies with more confidence. You’ll also know who to turn to in times of need, making the experience far less stressful.
Your fellow students will also play an important role in your MBA journey. AIB has a range of online communities where students can connect and collaborate, discuss their subjects and support each other throughout the MBA and beyond. Visit the AIB Community Hub to explore the communities and study groups students can join.
4. Prepare yourself for the challenge ahead
If you breeze your way through the MBA programme without experiencing challenges, you’re either some sort of business genius, or you didn’t open your mind to new ideas and practices. Nine times out of ten, it is due to the latter. When you make the commitment to learn, you need to accept the fact that your current practices may not be the best. While you may already be a well-established business leader, if you welcome new ideas and ways of doing business, you’re likely to get so much more out of the programme. The MBA exists to expand your knowledge, challenge your current ideals and allow you to graduate with an innovative and real-world business education. Don’t be afraid to ask questions either – chat with your academics, peers, mentors and extended networks. Most of the best learning occurs when we challenge ourselves, so this is critical to MBA success and achieving post-MBA goals.
We’d love to hear from new, current and past MBA students to discover their tips for those starting their MBA journey. What do you wish you had known when you were first accepted into an MBA?
This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.