Full-time MBA participant, Paul Fitzgerald, shares some useful insights into studying an MBA and his advice for future students.
If you are about to embark on your MBA journey, let me first congratulate you on undertaking one of the most challenging, yet, rewarding years of your life. Here are a few tips for your year ahead:
Relax before you start
Before you start your MBA, make sure to take plenty of time off, it’s an incredibly intense year with little time to rest and relax or take holidays. I was lucky enough to be able to take about 6 weeks off before I started; it was hugely beneficial to me so that I could hit the ground running.
Plan your time as best as you can. Don’t let the MBA completely take over your life! You will have an intense schedule, but it’s important to make time for your family and friends, and for yourself to recharge. I was lucky enough to have my incredible wife and family supporting me during my MBA, make sure you make time for them too.
There is a lot of pre-reading required during the year. Make sure you read all of the case studies set, as discussions in class are focussed around these for most subjects. It will give you the best platform to learn with your syndicate group and your classmates. Most of them are incredibly interesting and can set you up nicely to learn from when doing your assignments and exams.
For those travelling from overseas, make sure to get accommodation sorted ASAP if you haven’t already. It’s also a good idea to get to the UK a few weeks before you start, to allow yourself time to settle in and figure out where all the local amenities, pubs, restaurants etc are.
Network, Network, Network
The power of the network is huge; make the most of your first few weeks on the course to get in contact with people in industries you may want to pursue a career in. You will learn from an early stage how the “hidden job market” is a powerful way of obtaining a job post MBA. Start as soon as possible on LinkedIn; you will be surprised how quickly the year passes. Please read Israel Zaga’s fantastic blog on this.
It’s an intense year ahead of you; make sure you enjoy it as much as possible. Your classmates will be in the same position as you, so make sure to socialise with them and let loose during the week. Take advantage of trips to The Shard as often as possible, it’s an incredible location for electives or the many talks throughout the year, with the London nightlife to enjoy.
Talk to alumni
If you have specific questions or want to learn some more key information about life at WBS, contact an MBA alumnus. The network of alumni is huge, and there is always someone willing to have a chat.
Find out more about the Full-time MBA.