How to Maximise Your Online MBA Student & Alumni Network
The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is known to be rich in networking opportunities; opportunities that can be beneficial while studying and long after completing the degree. Though networking is not a formal part of the MBA curriculum, the opportunities it can create are limitless, making the network you build one of the most beneficial components of the MBA experience. Whether you’re looking for support from your peers, a new career opportunity, or guidance from a mentor, the connections you make during your MBA journey can be invaluable. If you’re wondering how you can maximise your alumni network throughout business school and beyond, see the below points.
Join or form study groups
When students pursue online degrees, they often assume that there will not be scope for study groups or regular interactions with peers, but this certainly isn’t the case. For AIB students and alumni, there are a range of active social communities which welcome new members. These support networks already exist across Facebook, LinkedIn and Skype, with groups for general study discussion, subject and topic debate, local networking, career support groups and more.
Should you enjoy interacting in-person, face-to-face study sessions or social catch ups could be just for you. Use the AIB student and alumni groups to connect with others local to you and coordinate catch-ups. The study networks you form can and often do result in lifelong connections – an opportunity that should not be overlooked.
Read more: How to Collaborate During Your Online MBA
Leverage LinkedIn Career Insights
Have you listed your study with AIB on your LinkedIn profile? It seems simple, but doing so will add you to the school’s career insights page, which is like a directory of the AIB network on LinkedIn. You can search for fellow students in your field or location, or connect with those you’d simply like to get to know professionally. LinkedIn is a great way to maximise your alumni network on an international scale, as you’re not limited to local opportunities. So don’t be afraid to connect with others and put yourself out there – as students and alumni of a business school, you’ll already have one thing in common.
If you can, attend your graduation ceremony
Aside from the ceremony itself, attending graduation presents a number of unique networking opportunities for new graduates. There is the chance to meet up with those you’ve long communicated with throughout your study journey, and connect with as many fellow graduates as you can.
In addition to the ceremony, graduates and their families have the opportunity to attend the graduation dinner – a celebratory evening where you can meet, mingle and cap off your study journey in style.
You can make the most of your graduation experience by bringing along business cards, and connect with those that you meet on LinkedIn afterwards. Although your business school journey may be coming to an end, the network you build can keep you connected for years to come.
Stay in touch
Once you’ve gone to the effort of meeting new people and building relationships, it’s important not to let that go to waste. If you haven’t spoken with a fellow alumni in some time, send them a message or email to touch base and see how life has been treating them. AIB students form strong bonds while they study as they share the experience with their peers, and these connections regularly lead to valuable friendships.
It’s also worth staying in touch with your business school to learn of any future events, opportunities or news that could be relevant to you. Join student and alumni social groups, follow the school on social media and engage with the content they are sharing – this provides further learning opportunities for you and means you remain an active member of the alumni network.
Give it back
Those who have been active networkers would have experienced great benefits from this. Just as a fellow student or graduate may have supported you throughout your business school experience, it can be rewarding and mutually beneficial to return the favour. Remaining an active member of your alumni community and pursuing mentoring opportunities can also be valuable for your professional growth and personal brand. So pay it forward!
Read more: Navigating Your Career After The MBA