• Kushagra Shah

Give a head start to your MBA journey at B-School

Updated: May 16

"Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success. – Henry Ford"

Once aspirants secure their dream B-School admission, there are two categories of mindsets that emerge. Those who think that their life is all set now and start celebrating and others who decide to burn the midnight oil for the next two years. Irrespective of the category one belongs, after the first trimester on campus, almost everyone once again comes to the common understanding that clearing CAT and securing admission was just the entry gate, the real struggle, and the challenge starts after that. However, you will notice a handful of resourceful colleagues who have already begun to consciously put efforts even before entering campus and have already secured a head start among the best talents of the nation.

Even before you settle in your dorm, the placement committee will start asking for CV points; the PGP office will start shooting mails, and clubs will make sure your nights are not for sleep. The moment you start feeling a bit accustomed to the new routine, you will be thunderstruck by the announcement of summer placement. Dream offer in an MBA is at a distance now because you don't have even time to think whether you are prepared for it.

But where there is a will, there is a way. Following the below tips before you enter your dream campus will help you in securing a competitive advantage over your batch-mates:

Identifying your Career: Research thoroughly about the domain wise career options offered by your B-School. Broad categories are Consulting (General/Specialised), Finance, Marketing, Human Resource, Operations, General Management, and specialized ones such as Analytics, IT, Entrepreneurship, etc. Identify the pre-MBA requirements, job requirements/skillsets, career trajectory, placement scenarios, and current trends for each domain. For example, for a General Management role, rich Pre-MBA experience is a prerequisite. Map your personality and profile against the insights you gathered and mold your goal and career decisions accordingly. Get an idea of various competitions and certifications offered, which will help you in building your profile.

Clubs/Committees: Clubs and committees are there to take care of various students' interests and provide a holistic exposure at B-School. The decision to join a club or committee should align with your overall goal from an MBA. Understand the opportunities for honing your skillsets and the experience you will gain by contributing to any academic or non-academic club/committee well in advance. Having a right POR here can be a stepping stone in building your profile on campus.

Branding Yourself: Since MBA is a professional course, your image matters a lot. Networking is an integral part of B-school, and what perception you create is what people will remember about you. Therefore, make a conscious effort to build and reinforce your desired image across various social media platforms. Primarily ensure that your LinkedIn profile looks professional. Know yourself better through SWOT analysis. Keep your elevator pitch ready. In the end, however, be clear that nothing is above honesty and humility. Remember that the right image on campus can be a catalyst in your career.

Make your life easy: In the very first week on campus, you will be hustling for getting CV Points approvals/proofs from the concerned. To avoid this chaos, utilize the time before joining. Think about the points you would like to add to the CV. Create a two to three pages master CV with as many points as possible right from your 10th standard. Keep certificates or mails/letters from concerned authorities ready as a verification document of each of your CV points. Interact with professionals to build your profile. Get your hands dirty with Microsoft Office. Be quick and advanced at making PPT's, a skill that will be handy throughout your MBA journey, and even after that.

In a nutshell, life at B-school is all about burning the midnight oil for holistic personality development, knowing yourself better, and pushing your boundaries to new limits. And following the above steps before entering B-school will put you two steps ahead and maximize your gains from an MBA.

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