If you’ve been admitted to business school, the first thing to do is celebrate! You made it, and all your hard work paid off.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t work still to be done!
Before committing, you want to research the school you’ve been admitted to in depth to make sure you know exactly what you’re buying. If you haven’t visited yet, visit now so you can meet students and faculty, sit in on classes and see what things are like on campus.
Even if you have already visited, take advantage of admitted students events. They’ll give you a chance to meet your potential classmates and find out more about the school.
Once you’ve decided on the school, you don’t have to wait to start getting to know the other people in your class. Your school will have ways for you to connect with other new students online and through social media.
Consider meeting up with people in your area who will be attending the school next year, or people from parts of the world you want to build networks in. You never know what connections will turn out to be valuable.
As you’re meeting future classmates, it won’t hurt to keep an eye out for potential roommates either.
You’ll want to start figuring out your living situation well before you arrive on campus, and part of this is carefully choosing who you’re going to live with. Your roommates can shape what kind of experience you have, and you want to make sure you don’t have to deal with bad roommates.
Students aren’t the only people you can network with after being admitted to business school. Now that you’re in, you can reach out to faculty doing work you’re interested in. Similarly, you may be able to start taking advantage of the alumni network.
The early bird gets the worm, so as long as you do things in a way that’s appropriate and respectful, you’ll never regret having too many connections by the time you arrive on campus.
That said, it’s not just about making new connections but about keeping the ones you already have. Be sure to exit your job in a gracious way. Make the transition as easy as possible for your company, by volunteering to train your replacement for example.
If at all possible, try to leave some time between when your job ends and when school starts. Seek out some new experiences, travel to a part of the world you’re interested in for the future – this is a good time to combine work and play. The last thing you want is to start B-school burned out!
Some people like to use the time before business school to do a short internship as well. This can be helpful for gaining experience in a different area, especially if you’re looking to change careers.
Just like you don’t want to burn any bridges at work, you should acknowledge everything your recommenders have done to help you. Thank them. Give them gifts, like some paraphernalia from your new school or a nice bottle of wine.
This is also the time to address your weaknesses and get up to speed on any skills you’ll need for B-school.
If your English skills have room for improvement, invest time to brush up your English skills using resources like Rosetta Stone or Toast Masters. You want to be ready to jump in and participate in your classes.
Along the same lines, if quantitative skills are your weakness, sign up for an MBA math bootcamp, a financial analysis class, a statistics class, an accounting class, etc. This preliminary exposure will help you hit the ground running when you get to business school.
In addition, take stock of your financial situation and make sure everything is good to go. Check on your savings, and make sure you’ve thoroughly gone over all the paper work for your FAFSA, student loans, etc.
Your education is going to be a big investment, so having a realistic budget will go a long way to keep you on the right track. You will be surprised how quickly the bills can pile on and the temptation to spend frivolously can be curtailed with a pre-planned budget ahead of time.
It’s tempting to think you’ve reached the finish line when you’re admitted to an MBA program, but doing all this prep work will set you up to excel when you start school.
I wish you success with your business school journey!