If you’ve been thinking about earning a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), you have probably already done a basic level of research on the topic and as a result you’re confident in your career path. However, there are most likely some factors that you haven’t considered or prepared for yet. Luckily, you’ve found the right guide to help you get ready for the most beneficial educational experience possible. With that said, here are eight tips you can use to make sure you’ve done the maximum due diligence before embarking on your academic journey:
1. Attend an MBA Tour Event to Compare Schools
An MBA Tour event is essentially a match-making event where aspiring students and schools can get together with the world’s top business schools to discuss important issues and make decisions about what programs are right for them. Basically, you can attend one of these conferences to make contact with prospective program providers, which is a more hands-on way of conducting a comparison than simply visiting the website of each school. If you’re interested in registering for an MBA tour, you can find more information here.
2. Be Ready to Stick to a Schedule
Before you sign up for a fully online program thinking that your educational efforts aren’t going to have a significant impact on your everyday life, it’s important to be honest with yourself about how quickly you intend to graduate and how many hours per day it will take to achieve that goal. The lackadaisical “I’ll just study in my spare time” approach may seem appealing at first, but it’s certainly not going to be the most productive route.
3. Consider Using Software and Web Platforms for Organization
Although most online programs will have decent built-in tools for organizing your studies, you may want to look into third-party project management platforms and student dashboards to have a more personalized means of staying on top of your assignments. Likewise, it’s a good idea to compare scheduling and time management apps to help with the previous tip.
4. Focus on Course Certifications on the Side
The typical MBA program will take roughly two years to complete. However, during that time you could earn a significant number of certificates by taking accredited courses online. Many of these courses will only take a few weeks to complete, so hypothetically you could have dozens of certifications in topics related to business management and entrepreneurship by the time you’re finished earning your MBA. Of course, these extra credentials will serve to make your resume even more appealing.
5. Make a List of Potential Jobs You’re Aiming For
Browse popular job sites and search for openings that are looking for MBA graduates. Make a comprehensive list of job opportunities that look interesting to you. This will give you something to base your educational and career efforts on after graduation, as you’ll already have a number of employment options in mind. It’s always good to have a solid idea of exactly where you’re headed so that you can stay focused on a specific mission rather than putting it off until later.
6. Come Up With a Few Business Ideas
Although using your MBA as a career credential to improve your chance of being hired by another company is the most common approach, completing an MBA program will also give you the skills needed to manage your own business endeavors. Thus, you might as well go ahead and start coming up with business ideas that could give you a more self-sufficient and profitable outcome than simply settling for standard employment.
7. Consider a Secondary Degree Program
Having two degrees is usually better than only having one. If you don’t have many other obligations taking up your schedule and you intend to focus full-time on your education, it might be wise to start to enroll in a secondary degree program that will complement your MBA.
8. Be Careful with Student Loans
Finally, another tip that all MBA students should heed is to be wary of taking out too much student debt. This is especially important if you plan on launching your own business, as having mounds of debt and poor credit certainly won’t help. If you do have to rely heavily on student loans, it’s best to create a comprehensive debt repayment plan that you’ll be able to keep up with over the next few years.
Preparation is the Key to Building a Lucrative Career
Regardless of which path you choose, being adequately prepared will always help because you’ll have all of your pieces in place before the game even starts. Positioning yourself for success is all about taking the steps necessary to obtain the necessary credentials, knowledge, and experience. Since an MBA program and the tips above will take care of the first two, it’s up to you to put in the work and gain the experience needed to become an appealing job candidate or effective entrepreneur.