In life, there are many hands that will support you to climb up the proverbial corporate ladder. And B-School gives you so many opportunities for building a professional network.
How do you build connections?
It starts in the MBA classroom- you will be interacting with a group of highly talented & successful people from all walks of life on a daily basis! And if you believe the alumni, your learning group members or section mates will end up becoming your life-long friends.
How else, you ask?
It could be through organizing a conference that has top industry leaders for speakers when you are part of the Marketing club. Or by taking advantage of a trip to the highest peak in Africa, Mt.Kilimanjaro with alumni, peers and faculty (yes, true story- happened at Ross!). It could be when you are setting up a non-profit in Tanzania. Or when you bump into a Fortune 500 CEO at lunch. Or through the international exchange programs in a country you always wanted to visit. Or avail the student ambassador network to find someone in your dream role. Or through the 1-week Immersion trip to Croatia.
Well, you get the drift!
B-Schools are designed to help you maximize your professional connections. The school also organizes many interactions through coffee chats with alumni and prominent leaders, webinars, alumni panels, Speaker series, et al to facilitate networking. The MBA Career Fairs is another great avenue to learn more about prospective companies & to network. Of course, social media channels like #linkedin are always there.
And you know what, there is also the larger university network that you can tap into for making those bigger leaps.
Leverage the alumni network
Alumni are key in helping the B-School achieve its mission and are torchbearers of the institution. The size of the alumni network is the pride of a B-School. Needless to say, the donations from alumni help the B-Schools a lot (some of them are named after alums!). The success of the alumni forms the aspirations of many. Find out more about how to leverage the alumni network in the comments below.
I recommend starting the networking now, right when you are planning for the MBA.
1.Connect with Current students
While alumni are great resources to know what they got out of B-School in the long run, connecting with current students can give you a feel of the current culture and the ground situation. You can learn which classes to take and which ones to avoid. You can ask more about the Affinity groups and learn from their experiences. More importantly, you can get some useful information for the essays & interviews!
2. Connect with admissions officers
How do you imagine the admissions officers to be? These gatekeepers are actually very approachable people who are genuinely interested in getting the right candidates to their schools and creating responsible leaders who will create impact for their communities.
Don’t believe me- check out some of the great Admissions blogs from Yale, Ross and Tepper. They are so full of insightful application tips.
And in today’s world, there are so many opportunities to meet with the Admissions Officers and ask deeper questions you may have about your profiles. So grab that chance through the virtual events today!
The perfect informational interview
Whether it is an alum or AdCom member or current student, you should always go prepared with the right questions. Remember that you are being assessed at every stage.