I hope you enjoyed a great holiday season with loved ones, and that your 2012 has gotten off to a fantastic start.
Looking back, I have to say: 2011 was great. I started writing for MBAchic and had the chance to meet many people who either find themselves, plan to be, or once were in my shoes as an MBA student. It’s been great to connect and share with each other over the past few months, and I’ve learned so much. Through social media channels (Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook), I also found a completely new world, full of bloggers, thought leaders and contributors who discuss technology, women in business, management and more. I’ve had the chance to interview and work with some awesome people, and cannot wait to share more of these interviews and features in 2012.
Some of you offered your thoughts and experiences through a guest blog. Some came by to comment on an article. Some shared MBAchic through tweets, reblogs and Facebook likes. Some are reading MBAchic for the first time, right now. I hope you are enjoying, and I want to say: thank you. Thanks for making 2011 great.
If you are an MBA student: best of luck in your job and internship searches, and I hope you are enjoying some time off before the spring term. If you are applying to business school: good luck! I hope you wind up where you truly belong, and that you have a great experience. If you’ve done all of this before, I hope you will consider sharing some of your experiences with us here.
We’re about halfway through the semester, and that means midterms, projects and typical MBA fun. As if business school was not busy enough? Between all the company information sessions, networking mixers, club meetings, parties and career panels, I have to find time to study? Clearly, I am kidding, but the fall seems to be a jam-packed, super busy season for everyone.
Like many of you, I’ve been busy — and I realized how easy it is to get caught up in the rush and let time pass you by. Keep rocking this semester (as per usual), but make sure you take a minute to reflect on what’s going on: call it a checkpoint.
This is a great time to take inventory because it has only been half a semester; you have a chance to make some changes. I needed to manage my time better and thought about why I am in b-school in the first place. I thought about the goals I set for myself and realized that I had to do some re-prioritizing. I had to make a pretty tough decision to leave a student organization on campus because I realized it was no longer tied to my goals. I was very involved with this group but when I looked at everything I had going on, it was overwhelming and I knew it was time to bow out (I literally wrote out a list of everything on a sheet of paper: the list was ridiculous). Continue reading →
Networking. It’s this bizarre word that describes so much of what we do at business school – socially and professionally, actively or subconsciously – but no one really likes the word, or the connotation that comes with it.
It doesn’t all have to be bad, but business school doesn’t teach you a lot about how to do it. But the truth is, building your network is critical to your success and your happiness as an MBA. And the one thing they certainly don’t tell you at the Career Management Center is that you should start networking the day you find out you’ve been accepted to business school.
Here are some reasons to start networking now:
People will believe that you areseriousabout their industry. Especially for those students who are looking to transition to a new career, start informational interviews before starting school, or very early on in the first term. It shows commitment to the industry, and it shows that you know what you want.
Also, it’s a way to differentiate yourself – you don’t want to be the twelfth person who asks someone for an informational interview during a heavy recruiting cycle – it will be obvious what you want, and it will be difficult to differentiate yourself from your peers. As they say, to be memorable, you want to be the first interview, or the last one.
What are you doing this September? Studying to kick butt on the GMAT? Maybe figuring out who will write you the absolutely, positively, most superb recommendation letter on Earth? Well, add this one to the list: attend Forté Foundation’s 2011 Forum: Inspiration, Opportunity and the MBA. Register online for free admission (or pay $5 at the door), and learn more about the MBA, hear from MBA ladies, meet fellow potential MBAs in your area and very important: meet representatives from top MBA programs. Be sure to bring questions, a great professional outfit (Keep It MBAchic) and a great attitude.
Here’s the schedule (note: events are planned for 6-9pm, so you can go after work!): Continue reading →
Networking. It’s the name of the MBA game and during a typical two year MBA program, the word will be thrown around so many times you’ll start to think it may actually be more important than finals. The truth is, making meaningful professional connections can create as much value for you as your degree, but there’s a right and wrong way to do it. Here are some tips on developing your soft skills and networking effectively:
It is quality that counts. Don’t go to every event, every speaker, and every dinner only to hand out your calling card to every person that glances in your general direction. Don’t follow quantity theory and hope that with all the cards you pass out, someone is bound to call you (this also applies to résumés). It’s a time waster for both parties and your potential professional contacts, professors, and classmates will sense your insincerity.