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.
MBA programs provide significant learning opportunities for students. Yet, not all MBA students graduate from their program having had the same learning experience as their peers. One explanation is that not all MBA students know what to do to have a quality learning experience – both in and out of the classroom. While there are many things MBA students can do to get more out of their programs, I think the following eight items are worthy of consideration.
The purposeful action of enrolling in an MBA program can lead to unintended consequences or outcomes. Unintended or not, these outcomes can be a mixed bag – some positive, some negative, and some can even be perverse. Awareness on the part of MBA students can help mitigate the negative or perverse or leverage the positive. My purpose with this article is to increase MBA student awareness so they can better prepare for any unintended consequences of their enrollment in an MBA program.
The roles we play and our dedication to each should reflect what matters to us as individuals. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. More often than not, we find we are playing roles we did not select for ourselves or over time our roles and what matters to us changes. Perhaps of greater significance is that many of us incrementally add roles without taking into consideration the competing demands of our existing commitments. It is so easy to say yes to innocuous request such as serving on the church’s budget committee or mentoring a new hire. No matter the cause, the result is the same, a life where we subjugate roles that matter to those that matter less. MBA students often find themselves in this situation while concurrently pursuing their MBA degree, managing their career, and being supportive of their family. Proactively managing the roles one plays can help avoid this situation. Doing so starts by knowing what roles you are currently playing in your life.
This month, I want to introduce you to a program that I recently learned about, The Best Year Yet (BYY). The BYY program is an extremely simple model or system that helps you set personal goals, tracks your progress toward achieving those goals and helps you produce the results you want. While many goal-setting programs in the marketplace purport to do these things, for various reasons many do not. Although, I am a new adopter of the BYY program, I can already see how it can benefit MBA students and MBA alumni. Let me explain by introducing you to BYY, discussing why I think MBAs will benefit from its use and what I like about BYY. Click on the title to view the complete article.
Newly enrolled MBA students learn very quickly that not all of their MBA peers exhibit the same behaviors. While some differences are expected, others are surprising. It is these differences that make individuals interesting or that give a class its personality. From an individual standpoint, if properly managed, these differences can make you a standout among your classmates. More importantly, when classmates and faculty members view these behavioral differences positively, they become differentiators.
I believe the following behaviors, if properly handled, can become differentiators for most MBA students: