In just a few short months, a new cohort of prospective students will head to campus to start their MBA program and open the doors to advancement opportunities, career changes, professional skill development, and higher earning potential. Whatever your reason for investing in business school may be, it’s important to take time to prepare for your transition back into academic life. The summer before your MBA program is the perfect time to position yourself for success before you become quickly busy with academic projects, class activities, and networking events this fall.
Here are five things to do the summer before your MBA program to maximize your experience.
1. Land an Internship
Completing an internship prior to starting your MBA program is a great way to test your interest area, gain relevant skills, expand your network, and introduce yourself to a future employer. Aside from the obvious benefits to your career, internships are valuable in the classroom as well. It’s a good environment to learn and experience first-hand the business problems that you could read in case studies or present on during your upcoming semester in business school.
2. Be Ready to Network
Throughout the program, you will have the opportunity to network with business professionals, industry leaders, MBA alumni, other students, and faculty members. It’s a great way to increase your visibility with potential employers and create meaningful relationships that could help you land your future job. Think of networking as a learning tool that provides the knowledge and advice that you need to make informed career decisions.
To make the most of the conversations with networking contacts, we recommend putting together your ‘elevator pitch’ highlighting your background, interests, and value proposition.
Before you start your program in the fall, try to define your career goals, and start researching industries and companies. You never know who your class guest speaker might be or what employer will attend a networking event. By identifying your targeted fields and positions in advance, you will make the most out of those networking opportunities when they come your way. Even if you’re not 100% certain on your career path, taking the time to reflect on your academic and work experience prior to this point will help you discern your interests and start you on the right path.
3. Read about Business
Next time you want to read a new book, consider opting for a business book that’s relevant to your career goals or professional development interests. By reading business books, students enhance their business vocabulary, learn business strategies, challenge their beliefs, and pick up on insights to help gain necessary skills for their career. Regardless of the book topic, the lessons learned from business books can be directly applied to the conversations and assignments you can expect to see in your MBA program and throughout your career. Here are six books MBA students should read to prepare for business school: https://mbaschooled.com/2020/07/17/books-mba-students-should-read-to-prepare-for-business-school/
Not a bookworm? There are hundreds of podcasts, news outlets, and thought leaders you can follow to stay current on industry trends and business conversations. You should make habit of regularly checking these sources throughout the summer so you’re on your A-game when school starts in the fall.
4. Prepare for Job Searching
When the time comes to start applying for jobs, you want to be able to hit the ground running with a polished LinkedIn profile and an updated resume. Before starting business school, make sure your resume is formatted correctly and your information is up to date. Doing this before-hand will make it easy for you to simply add your experiences and involvement from the MBA program along the way. It’ll also make your first meeting with the program’s career advisor more productive and position you for success in the job search process.
To get a clear idea of the career coaching you can expect from the LSU Flores MBA Program, check out our career development page: https://www.lsu.edu/business/mba/resources/employment/career-development.php
“Set up a meeting with Seth Thibodeaux once classes start. If you have an idea of the career you’d like to pursue, he’s a great resource for connecting you with alums in either your desired industry or area of geographical location! Having conversations with those alums are a great way to gauge if a particular career is right for you.”Marit Schroeder, Full-time Flores MBA student
5. Consider the Essentials
The summer before business school is a good time to consider the costs of your program and plan how you will finance your master’s degree. Be realistic about the expenses and account for fees beyond tuition, including cost of living, books, club fees, and business wardrobe. Research different options for financial assistance and work opportunities such as graduate assistantships, so that you start your program with the security and confidence you need to succeed.
The LSU Flores MBA Program provides you with a flexible path to advance your career. Our nationally ranked program currently administers a traditional, two-year, full-time program, a one-year, full-time program for business majors, a part-time online (no residency requirement) program, and an Executive MBA Flex. For more information, visit mba.lsu.edu.