How To Prepare For The MBA As An Undergraduate Student
As an undergraduate student, it will always be important to consider your next steps so that you can adequately plan ahead during your studies. For some, this means gaining the relevant work experience to then apply for a particular role, and for others the next step may be a Masters qualification. You must remain flexible as plans can change, but it’s a great idea to have an indication of what you’d like to do after your Bachelor’s degree and how you might get there. If you’re an undergraduate student who is interested in pursuing the Master of Business Administration (MBA) later down the track, there are a number of things you can do to prepare yourself now.
Consider your career goals
Throughout your undergraduate degree, you will be exposed to a number of areas of professional practice. Your experiences will shape your career preferences and you will begin to set the goals that you would like to work towards. If you decide that you’d like to pursue a particular industry, it’s a good idea to consider a specialisation in your MBA. You can prepare for your MBA specialisation by undertaking relevant work experience, allowing you to gain an insight into that industry before committing to it. Considering career goals during your undergraduate degree ensures that you’re on the front foot of your career, and limits missing any opportunities along the way.
Take your study seriously
Whether you’re pursuing an undergraduate programme or a postgraduate programme, the investment is likely to be significant. As such, students should make sure they are getting the most out of their studies and giving their best efforts throughout. Often, undergraduate students see the degree as a means of getting a job but don’t value the importance of gaining an education and working for a high GPA. This can impact suitability for the MBA programme, so needs to be considered right at the start of undergraduate studies. The phrase “P’s get degree” no longer has much to stand on in today’s highly competitive market, so it’s important to give it your all from the beginning.
Understand that your decisions influence your options
As an undergraduate student, it’s important to recognise that a decision can lead to a number of pathways, while also limiting access to others. If the MBA is your end goal, it’s a good idea to understand the entry criteria required of you before committing to prior study. When you prepare for your MBA, just remember that your decisions can shape future options, so it is worth doing your research before making a commitment.
Consider relevant work experience
When you prepare for the MBA, you should consider the entry criteria specific to your business school of choice. For many, relevant work experience is a means of entry into the MBA, so it’s a great idea to choose wisely when seeking a job. Work experience is also beneficial for undergraduate students as it allows them to blend theory with practice as they undertake day-to-day tasks. This practical experience is exactly what is valued in the AIB MBA, so undergraduate students are encouraged to proactively seek these opportunities.
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.