Top Five Tasks to Complete Before Starting Business School
Congratulations, you’re heading to business school! As you start your journey, you may be wondering about your next steps. To help, tick off these five professional to-do’s before coming to campus:
- Thank you notes. Send hand-written notes to all in your professional network who supported your journey, and let them know your next steps. Gratitude and a quick update can lead to stronger connections and support for your eventual internship and job searches.
- Research. If you know what type of function or industry you want to pursue after your MBA, then begin researching LinkedIn for people in those areas. Identify the skills and experiences in their profile and match them to yours. Are there gaps? Research the elective and core classes in your MBA that can fill those.
- Connect. Now that you are a student again, use that to your advantage. Connect within your network—or even through cold reach-outs on LinkedIn—to those in your interest areas. Ask for a few minutes to share both their journey and any essential insights for success in that arena. Remember to take notes and follow up with a thank you message.
- Resume. Most MBA programs request you to submit a resume using a specific template. These MBA style resumes are necessary as most National Career Fairs occur in the fall, with registration requiring an uploaded resume beginning in summer. Use the profile section in your resume to highlight your skills and technologies and for your objective note that you are looking for an internship or similar position. Be sure to also include the educational institution for your upcoming MBA.
- LinkedIn. Updating your LinkedIn profile is now essential and will be throughout your career. Highlight the job you want in your header, along with your status as an MBA student. Update your summary section, outlining the next steps for your career goals. Fill out the experience section with successful projects. And add any media (videos, slides, etc.) that can be publicly shared and will showcase your work experience. This creates texture and builds credibility. The more robust your LinkedIn profile, the more likely for recruiters and future colleagues to identify your talent as a good fit.
When you do start your MBA program, enjoy the journey of learning and growing. Make strong and lasting connections with your cohort—along with co-workers and managers throughout your career. Be open to all opportunities and say yes to leaving your comfort zone. And remember that the lasting rewards of an MBA program will far exceed the initial financial boost you may achieve in the next step of your career.