Ten Ways to Get the Most out of Your MBA

Ten Ways to Get the Most out of Your MBA

Doing an MBA is one of the most significant investments you are likely to make – both  in terms of time and money.

Ask any MBA graduate and they’ll most likely tell you the same thing. It’s an investment that can pay enormous dividends for your personal growth, leadership development and career prospects. But, like anything else, this also depends on how much you are prepared to put in.

An MBA is not just another degree programme. It should be a transformational experience. It should challenge, stretch and ultimately change you – in your approach, your thinking and your mindset.

An MBA is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to work and learn from next-generation change agents and trailblazers. It is exposure to many of the finest minds working in business and management theory.

So how do you get the very most from this extraordinary experience? How do you ensure that you make each and every one of your 12 months count?

Drawing on discussion with alumni, students, faculty and careers services here at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM), we have compiled a short list of the habits, attitudes, approaches and advice that some of our most successful students have embraced – men and women whose lives were definitively changed for the better by our MBA programmes.

Ten Ways to Get the Most out of Your MBA

1. Speak to alumni

No one knows more about the programme than those who have graduated. Seek out the opportunities to speak to ex-students about their MBA experience – what they learned, what they did, what they appreciated, what they might have done differently. At RSM we have an active and committed alumni community willing to share their insight and experience with you.

2. Work hard

What you get out of something is usually what you invest in the first place. An MBA is a challenge to take it further, deeper, broader than ever before. It is also costly in time and in treasure. So be prepared to make it count.

3. Listen always

Ask a great leader and they will probably tell you the same. Listen more than you talk. You are surrounded by extraordinary people, talent, experience, wisdom and insight. You may never have the same opportunity to learn from so many diverse sources again.

4. Mix it up

Business school is not just about studying every moment of every day. Sure, you will need to work hard, but remember to find balance. Try to mix your academic commitments – your case preparation, tests, reports – with social activities. Clubs, events and networking to help broaden your knowledge, experience and horizons.

5. Be organised

You’re going to be busy. Very busy. So figure out a personal system that works for you ahead of time. Whether it’s notebooks or apps, prioritise being efficient and being on time. In business as in life, if you say you’re going to be there, be there.

6. Take the plunge

Eleanor Roosevelt famously said: “do one thing every day that scares you.” Your MBA is a unique opportunity to grow, learn and explore in a safe and supported environment. It’s also a challenge to push your boundaries. Even if it’s taking a course you’re afraid you might fail – before you graduate, do one thing (at least) that frightens you.

7. Network, network, network

A lot of the value of your MBA is the network it offers, so take full advantage. Invest in building deep relationships with your fellow students and with faculty. Seek out diversity. And remember that the network you build now will last way beyond graduation.

8. Go clubbing

MBA clubs are an absolute essential. They break up your study schedule, deepen your knowledge and experience, introduce you to new people, and they impress employers. Try plenty of clubs out for size to find the right fit – but be careful only to commit to the few that genuinely interest you.

9. Get guidance

Most top-ranked business schools will offer great career resources. At RSM, the careers service accompanies you all the way through your MBA, helping you to identify strengths and weaknesses and navigate your way to the right job for you after graduation. This is an asset you can leverage at RSM and beyond.

10. Take a deep breath

Remember, it’s normal to feel a bit out of your depth when you first arrive at business school. You’ll be surrounded by highly dynamic, smart, successful and ambitious people. People just like you. Don’t lose sight of the fact that you aced your GMAT, your admissions process. Believe in yourself and enjoy every second.

If you are thinking of pursuing an MBA, why not contact our admissions team for an informal conversation about your expectations, ambitions and personal goals. We are here to talk through your questions and doubts and help you to make the right decision for your future.