4 Ways To Maximize Your MBA

The professional playing field is getting more competitive and many people are opting to pursue an MBA (Master of Business Administration) to get ahead. An MBA is more than just the leadership, innovative, and strategic skills you learn, it also can be an advantage in fast-tracking your career.

With that said, getting an MBA takes on average 2 years to graduate and is a big financial investment. That’s why it’s imperative to maximize it. Here are 4 ways to do it:

Connect With Your Alumni

Your peers and alumni will make or break your MBA experience. You’re not just paying for the lectures but the potential connections you’re making while attending school and post-graduation. There are different kinds of networking events that you can participate in to nurture these connections like industry conferences, alumni mixers, career fairs, and executive roundtable discussions. Stay connected to your alma mater to get updates when such events are approaching so you can add them to your calendar. 

When joining networking events, don’t hesitate to introduce yourself to fellow alumni and share your mutual connections. Make your introduction clear and concise, but include a brief highlight of your academic and professional background. Also, encourage a conversation by asking open-ended questions about their experiences and career paths and expressing genuine interest in the discussion.

Get Referrals For New Opportunities

Speaking of alumni, they can also be your way in at your next job. It may help to focus on companies where your alumni connections work.

Before sending your job application, get in touch with alumni who work at the company you’re interested in. Catch up with them and let them know you’re interested in joining their team. Your alumni connection may then go on to mention your name to their boss when they see your resume.

Having someone from the inside who supports you can make it easier for you to get noticed during the hiring process. And if you’re really lucky, the hiring managers themselves could be a fellow alumnus. Your personal and professional tie with them could give you the extra push you need to land the job.

Put Your MBA Skills To Use

An MBA is more than just a fancy title, it’s also proof of all the hard work you’ve put into learning valuable skills. Most programs provide a well-rounded curriculum that covers various disciplines that can be transferable across industries including project management, communication skills, and leadership experience. 

When you’re trying to find the right job, use your planning skills to look for companies that match what you want and what you can do. During interviews, wow your interviewers by sharing how you would handle difficult situations as a manager. And don’t forget to use your negotiation skills when sharing your salary expectations to get the best compensation package possible.

Keep practicing and improving these skills as you work, and you’ll find yourself climbing higher and higher in your career.

Embrace A Career Pivot To Pursue Your Passion

Getting an MBA isn’t just about following a trend, instead, look at it as a chance for you to pursue what you really want to do next. Maybe you’d like to change jobs, work in a different industry, or try something new. In the end, getting a degree should help you figure out what you love doing and the next steps to pursue it.

MBAs offer specialized concentrations that tailor students’ education to specific industries or function areas. Although the availability of concentrations differs across business schools, some of the most common ones include finance, entrepreneurship, operations management, and international business. Focusing on such fields could be your first step to changing your role and finding something that sparks your growth. You just have to find the courage to seek opportunities and be willing to learn new things (and also make mistakes).

If you’ve just graduated with an MBA and you’re open to new challenges, now is the time to spread your wings and take some risks. Brush up your resume, lean on your network, and go make your work in the business world. Rooting for you!

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