MBA students typically have a gap between the time they earn their undergraduate degrees and when they start their MBA programs. When the gap is years, MBA students often forget there are benefits available to them because they are students again. Sometimes, these benefits are unique to a program, college or university, while other advantages are available to any MBA student – no matter what his or her program affiliation. Accordingly, the following may serve as a useful reminder to current MBA students – or anyone contemplating enrolling in an MBA program – of the benefits that are available to them while they are MBA students.
Most of the rewards fit into one of the following categories: subscription programs, affinity programs, campus procurement programs, local area discounts or technology training.
Subscription Programs – Publishers often provide college students discounts for subscriptions to their various publications. Two of the more notable and widely advertised examples are The Wall Street Journal and the Economist. Current rates for these two publications are:
- The Wall Street Journal – The one-year student rate is $99.95 vs. $347.88 for other new subscribers. Each subscription includes a copy of the daily print edition, online access to WSJ.com and the smartphone/tablet apps.
- The Economist – The one-year student rate is $96.00 vs. $279.00 for other new subscribers. Each subscription includes a copy of the weekly print edition, online access to Economist.com, the Economist in audio, as well as the iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows 8, Chrome, Blackberry and Kindle Fire apps.
For other publications, students should ask if student rates are available before subscribing or renewing a subscription.
Affinity Programs – Colleges and universities often enter into relationships with vendors to provide some type of enhanced package of benefits or services for students who purchase an item or service from the vendor. For example, AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and Sprint each offer a 15% discount on monthly mobile phone services to students at Kennesaw State University. Check in your area.
Campus Procurement Programs – Many colleges and universities offer students access to discounted or free services or products through some type of campus procurement program. For instance, the University of Kansas offers students Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access and Publisher free when downloaded through KU’s Web Store.
Local Area Discounts – Often, retail stores and restaurants in close proximity to a college or university will offer discounts to local students. In most cases, students need only show their student identification and they will receive the discount. Alternatively, a student discount card issued by the college or university is required, as is the situation at Cambridge University, where the Students’ Union issues the cards to currently enrolled students.
Technology Training – Generally, academic institutions provide free technology-training workshops for enrolled students. Program offerings usually include self-paced, online learning; face-to-face classes; and one-on-one consulting. Illustrative is Indiana University, where students can enroll in a wide range of instructor-led courses and online training via lynda.com, an online service provider, which I have written about previously. Many of these programs lead to some form of technology certification.
The above text provides a sampling of what benefits are available to MBA students during their MBA programs. Perks will vary by college, university and even MBA program. Unfortunately, program managers and recruiters seldom tout these rewards during recruiting and enrollment activities or during orientation programs. Therefore, most MBA students will benefit by devoting a little time to searching their college or university website, visiting student services or talking with an MBA-program administrator to see what perks are available.
The MyeEMBA readers are likely to be aware of other value-added benefits that their college, university or MBA programs provide, which I did not mention. If so, please take a few minutes to share them by adding a comment below.
Dr. Rodney Alsup is the creator of the MyeEMBA blog. His goal is to help MBAs live and work smarter.