If you’re reading this article it’s probably safe the assume that you’ve recently received your MBA acceptance letter or have already accepted an offer, congratulations! You’ve already come so far, now it is time to focus on earning that MBA degree while keeping your sanity. School can be overwhelming whether you’re a mature student or a recent undergrad graduate, especially if you’re entering an MBA graduate program.
Though earning your MBA is exciting and will offer you rewarding opportunities in the future, you will experience the highs and lows; and with high expectations, it easy for one to feel stressed. For anyone who has gone through an MBA program (online or in-person) they know all the challenges that come with the first semester.
We’re so glad you stumbled upon our website because we want to help you survive your first semester of your MBA and offer tips that will help you succeed and will ultimately lead you to a better and brighter future.
1. Never Compare Yourself to Your Peers
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before but you should never compare yourself to your peers, no matter what program you’re in. This is especially true if you’re in a graduate program like an MBA as you’ll be surrounded by students with different educational backgrounds.
Though it’s a great idea to converse and feed off of each others’ ideas, it’s never a good idea to compare your progress in an MBA program against your peers’ benchmarks. It’s important to have your own goals in mind — as competitive as the MBA program may seem, it’s okay to have different goals in mind. Everyone is working towards their own specific career opportunities. Not everyone is coming from the same educational background, and even if they are, everyone has something to bring to the table.
If you avoid comparing yourself to your peers, you’ll take a significant amount of pressure off yourself.
2. You Don’t Have to Master Every ‘New’ Concept
When you’re starting a program like an MBA, the amount of information coming at you may be overwhelming, especially if it’s new information that you’ve never come across before.
They key here is that you’re learning. There’s no need to master every ‘new’ concept right away. Try your best to break down all the information that you are learning — if you focus strictly on trying to understand each and every concept right away, you will feel overwhelmed. Learning any new concept takes time and it’s okay to seek help from your peers or faculty members if you’re not understanding a certain concept.
3. Set up Mock Interviews Throughout Your MBA Program
At the end of your MBA, one of your goals is most likely to get a job in business or a salary increase at your current place of employment. To really get the most out of your MBA experience and to set you up for success after the program it’s a good idea to set up ‘informational interviews.’ Informational interviews are basically mock interviews to help prepare you for your career in business.
Try your best to set up this type of interview with an ‘expert’ in your field, and because it’s an informal meeting, you can usually ask these experts anything, including what they do, what they look for in an employee, and what advice they may have for you.
4. Attend Seminars on New Topics You’ve Never Explored Before
Many schools give students the opportunity to attend seminars on topics that will help to further their studies. Most of these seminars are free of cost to students. It’s important to get involved in your school community and seek out seminars that will help you grow as a student.
Attending different seminars on topics you’ve never explored before is also a great way to network. As an MBA student, networking is very important.
5. Find a Mentor
As a first-year student, it may be a good idea to find a mentor. A mentor can either be a student in an upper year or a working professional who already has their MBA (it is important to choose a mentor who has a deep understanding of how business works). Mentorship is a great way to ease the pressures of school and coursework.
Some of the key benefits of mentorship include helpful advice, understanding new perspectives, improving skills, networking, learning new methods and study strategies, and more. Mentors can help you to build up your confidence and they are perfectly positioned to help you get to where you want to be.
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