The MBA Exchange Blog
Career Planning for New MBA Admits
Congrats! You’ve been admitted to your dream business school. Classes don’t begin until fall, so you now have a number of different options for how you’re going to spend the next few months:
1. Remain in your current job.
An MBA education is going to be expensive, so continuing to earn a paycheck makes good sense. However, as soon as your boss and others know that you’ll be leaving to attend b-school, you instantly become a “lame duck.” That means you’re less likely to get interesting, satisfying assignments that would enhance your experience and resume.
2. Enroll in some classes.
You have a one-time chance to indulge in coursework that interests you. It might be a second language that makes you feel more worldly, or perhaps it’s a quant course that helps you prepare for the rigor of the upcoming MBA curriculum. But, the fact is that such studies don’t need to be full-time. You can probably accomplish this through evening classes or maybe even online programs completed at your pace.
3. Take a lengthy vacation.
The sunny beaches of Tahiti, the cosmopolitan buzz of Shanghai, maybe trekking across Europe with a backpack. As enjoyable as those journeys sound, the fact is that they’re very expensive. Furthermore, extensive leisure travel won’t do much to bolster your resume. And, the fact is, most business schools offer even more attractive, valuable and cost-effective travel opportunities with MBA classmates after enrollment.
4. Consider a pre-matriculation Internship.
Working this summer for two months in an industry, company, function and location of your choice could be the perfect way to make the most of your time and talents before starting MBA classes in the fall. Even if the internship is non-paid, you will strengthen your resume, avoid “lame duck” frustration and boredom, forge valuable new relationships, position yourself for a future full-time job, and expand your personal and professional perspective.
If you already have contacts at target companies that offer pre-matriculation internships for MBA admits, reach out to them now to get the ball rolling. However, if you find it challenging to produce opportunities that align with your specific priorities, then consider engaging a professional placement service, such as that offered by The MBA Exchange, to identify multiple positions for you to consider.
5. Start networking… now.
The day that MBA classes begin, you will be consumed by classwork, student clubs, and new friendships. But, before you know it, the pursuit of summer internships will be underway. So, why not get a head start now in exploring new industries and making yourself known to management at top companies? Here are two ways to help make this happen. First, attend a free webinar on “Job Search Prep for MBA Admits” on February 15, 2017, sponsored by The MBA Exchange and Poets & Quants. Second, register for the amazing “PreMBA Networking Festival” in New York City on May 11-12, 2017. These resources can help place you well ahead of your future classmates in being prepared, focused and connected on day one.
If the broader topic of “career planning” makes you feel somewhat overwhelmed, no worries. As an MBA admit, the number and variety of professional options that await you are almost infinite. If you’d like to have an expert in your corner, to help you anticipate, prioritize and pursue the best of those options, our career advisory professionals are waiting to hear from you. These former career services professionals and top MBA grads have been in your shoes and are eager to share their experience and expertise as guidance.