We asked past MBA students and business leaders for their best advice to help you start your MBA. These are 10 things you should know before you start your MBA.
The Marketing Industry: Current Technology Trends
As an MBA student at Arizona, I had an amazing experience. Before I started my MBA in August 2018, as an international student, I wish I had known the latest trends in marketing technology in the United States and around the world. My perception was that technology was only required for the development and testing of products or services. Through my coursework, I discovered that many cutting-edge technologies like SEO, Deep Learning, and NLP, help build unique marketing. This knowledge would have helped me not only in my choice of electives but also in the pursuit of my career after graduation.
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Also, check out India’s #1 Executive MBA in Mumbai for Working Professionals and Entrepreneurs by IIT Bombay and Washington University in St. Louis.
Communicate Your Professional Goals to Your Current Company
Before I started my MBA, I was not aware of the importance of communicating my professional goals with my employer. My employer was extremely supportive of my earning my degree. But, I didn’t communicate clearly that I was looking for a promotion or a new job after I had completed my degree. It is important to communicate your professional expectations once you have completed your degree and your goals for your future role.
It is worth waiting to get your MBA
while you gain more professional experience. My MBA class was younger than mine, and I noticed that those with more experience were more able to translate what they learned into practical applications in the workplace. They were also better at adding real-world perspectives to classroom discussions than I was. This helped them greatly when it came time to recruit.
Prior literacy in Accounting and Finance
Before I started my MBA, I was enrolled in a leadership program. When I started my MBA in finance and accounting, I wish I had more prior literacy.
As a founder of a Silicon Valley startup, and as a member of the core team that created the company’s identity today, I could have added material wealth to my portfolio by making more investments. In a nutshell, having some knowledge of the courses in an MBA enriches your experience and helps you get more from it.
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Existing Career Paths After Graduation
I wish I had more information about the various career options that I could pursue the following graduation. Anyone who is interested in an MBA program should be able to see what a successful outcome looks like after graduation. This is based on past experiences and how realistic that outcome is. To help me achieve my goals, I spent lots of time speaking with alumni and current students at different schools. I was able to understand my options and eliminate some career paths that weren’t right for me.
Support for Your Cohort
I wish I had known how supportive my cohort was during and after the program. To reinforce the lectures and material for recall later, I attempted to do my coursework and readings by myself in the beginning. I was overwhelmed. It was only after I started to connect with my classmates that I realized how important it was to fill in the knowledge gaps between us. My MBA experience was a team effort. We kept each other focused, organized, and driven. We kept each other alive. We keep in touch with each other and celebrate the milestones of life (we have had certificates, promotions, job moves, marriages, and even babies).
Keep your mind open
My initial intention was to get my MBA in order to grow my current career, but I discovered that the MBA opened up new opportunities. My MBA taught me how to work with different types of people and helped me understand the opportunities available in my career. I learned skills that took me beyond what I knew before I started my MBA. It showed me that my career is not a ladder. Instead, it’s a jungle gym where I can take on new roles and challenge myself.
It changes the way you think
Before I got my MBA, the one thing I wish that I knew was how it would change my thinking. For instance, I thought like a marketer before I got my MBA. Now I think like a business leader and a marketer. My primary distinction is that I now concentrate on creating marketing programs that support and integrate with a larger corporate strategy, rather than a single success metric such as sales. My MBA has made me a subject matter expert and able to lead a division.
Ask the Right Questions
Entrepreneurship is more than just finding answers. An MBA will equip you with the tools to ask the right questions and find the answers. An MBA was key to my transformation from Cybersecurity Specialist into CEO of online learning business. My MBA experience was crucial to my entrepreneurial success.
Ask for support
After serving in small units as a US Air Force military officer, I decided to pursue an MBA. To any prospective student, I would advise them to never be afraid to ask for help during their MBA experience. Your professors, teaching assistants, as well as fellow MBA students, are there to help you make the most of your academic experience. Depend on those around you to make the most of your academic experience.
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