Getting the Most Out of Your MBA Degree
Whatever stage you are at in your studies, it is important to always be getting the most out of your MBA degree. This could range from effective learning and implementing changes in your workplace through to utilising your degree in networking situations. As a current student or alumni, there will be a wide variety of options available to you . The following five points contain some useful tips for both past and present MBA students in ensuring they get the most of their investment.
Plan your time
You will hear this time and time again throughout your career, but good time management is essential for success. If you are smart with your time from the beginning of your journey, chances are it will result in you getting the most out of your MBA degree. Good planning and organisation will allow you to make time for the important things, and effectively prioritise tasks. Getting in this habit will also be of use to you once you have graduated from your MBA – time management and the ability to prioritise is a skill that many employers look for. Perfecting it during your degree will pave the way to great organisational skills outside in the workplace.
Network, network, network!
Whether you have experienced the benefits yet or not, networking is the gift that keeps on giving. Many MBA graduates highlight that one of the most important aspects of their degree was the networking. This occurs both during your degree as well as after with opportunities such as alumni networking events(//www.aib.edu.au/blog/5-important-business-lessons-learnt-matthew-michalewicz/9). During your degree networking opportunities exist in the classroom, on online forums, in independently organised study groups as well as at events. Even as a distance learning student there are a number of networking opportunities presented to you – in fact you will experience a unique international networking environment and can connect with business leaders around the world.
Apply your knowledge
Whilst you are studying, take the time to analyse how the course content could be applied in your role. Some education providers focus mostly on theory, whilst others such as AIB (www.aib.edu.au) incorporate a practical aspect to it. Regardless of the approach, you are encouraged to be proactive and apply your new knowledge in your career. Many AIB graduates indicated that when working and studying simultaneously, they were able use what they learnt almost immediately. As an MBA student you will undertake subjects from all areas of business so it is also advised to sit back and observe how other departments outside of your own operate. By applying the content from relevant subjects you may learn more than you expect about both the business environment and your own organisation.
Recognise the investment
Along your MBA journey there will be challenging times and situations where you are lacking motivation. An MBA requires a significant financial and time investment, so it’s important to always recognise this investment and remain focussed on the end result. It could be helpful to write down your goals, such as ‘complete a minimum of 10 hours of study per week’ and when you feel you are getting off track refer back to these goals. The investment should not be overlooked and a focus on this will help you in getting the most out of your MBA degree.
Challenge your views
If you are going into your MBA degree with a view that your ideas will not be challenged, then think again. If you are truly interested in getting the most out of your MBA degree, you must be open to new ideas and alternate views. During your studies, put yourself outside your comfort zone – elect to study subjects which are unfamiliar to you. You will benefit most from challenging your current ideals and learning from your peers.
What do you think?
Are you a current or past student of the MBA? What advice can you add for new students? I would love to hear your views and experiences so please feel free to share them below.
This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.