An MBA is a degree that has been designed to allow you to show employers that you have the skills and ability to help them drive their business forward along with your career at the same time. Apart from the obvious; career prospects, increased earning potential and job security, what else will you get out of undertaking a rigorous program such as an MBA?
There are three main areas that you should enhance greatly during the process of and in graduating from an MBA: Hard and soft management skills, contacts and recognition.
Hard management skills include human resources, finance, marketing, operations, management, and accounting. Soft skills include communication, teamwork and leadership. Students undertaking an MBA will gain these skills inside a classroom, but will need to demonstrate some of them early on in the application process in order to stand out from the crowd, especially if they have some work experience already under their belt, in which case they will be expected to be able to conduct themselves in a manner which shows a level of understanding from a real world perspective.
Being in an MBA program provides students the chance to network with a wide range of other students and tutors from all kinds of backgrounds and levels of experience. Apart from the obvious breadth of shared knowledge that this offers, establishing a network of contacts can also be extremely helpful when it comes to seeking employment after graduation, or in increasing business relationships with potential clients and customers.
Having the letters MBA after your name is a form of instant recognition among business and industry that says something about you before you even walk through a door. It shows that you are the type of person that can be relied upon to show prowess in many aspects of management and leadership. In addition, the actual school and specialism of your MBA program can also ensure that you gain recognition based upon reputation and relevance.
The lack of available positions has meant that more students have tended to opt for a business school program to gain professionally-recognized qualification while seeking employment. However, an MBA is a degree which incorporates and relies upon demonstrating real world experience possibly more than any other graduate program. Work experience in whatever form it takes, is therefore crucial to making a real success of your MBA program, whether it be in the form of an internship or voluntary position.
Try to make the most of any international opportunities that your school may offer for MBA students, such as overseas partnerships with business schools around the world, study abroad or immersion trips or even working abroad during college breaks. International experience will not only help you to make the most of your MBA program while you are studying, but also in the long term it will enhance your resume when you are looking for suitable positions.
You will need to quickly get your mind-set adjusted to cope with research, studying, essay-writing and completing project work as part of your MBA, so the earlier you can make this mental switch the better, and the more you will get out of the whole experience of studying. You may think this aspect will be easy, but it sometimes proves to be the most daunting thing for a graduate student to realize the changes needed to their current lifestyle and habits to accommodate undertaking a program of this nature and magnitude.
As you embark upon your studies, it is also wise to look for improvements and development rather than perfection and getting it right first time, especially when you are working towards a qualification that you could construe as being totally related to your work experiences to date. It is worth reminding yourself constantly that this is as much a learning journey as it is about the destination.
So try your best to enjoy the process as much as you know you will enjoy the spoils of achieving your goals, otherwise you will be focused on the end result throughout and some of the enjoyment of studying will be taken away or pass you by. Highlights of your studies may not just be centered around completing and graduating but should also be around listening to the experiences of your tutors and peers and gaining invaluable advice and guidance along the way.
Find out about the SBBCollege MBA Program.
Further MBA reading:
- Rachel S, BSBA, SBBCollege Graduate 2013