If you’re starting an MBA, get ready for an adventure. You’re launching into a dynamic, close-knit community of some of the most inspiring and energizing people you’ll ever meet. Your social calendar is about to become the envy of all your non-MBA friends, but you’ll have to balance it with mountainous loads of schoolwork. You’ll find yourself asking questions about topics you’ve never even considered before, and develop an expertise in what used to be your weakest skill.
Making such a big transformation is never easy. Here are 7 tips about how to make your MBA the best 16 months of your life:
- Be Yourself
The time for selling yourself to the MBA’s Admissions Department is over. You were chosen among thousands of applicants. Now that you’re in the program, you don’t need to keep selling yourself. Make the most out of your experience by relaxing and being your true self.
- Find Yourself
Take the time to discover what you truly want to do. The HEC Paris MBA provides you with hundreds of opportunities, and you will not have the opportunity to dedicate 100% of your time to all of them. Understand what you want from your future career, and focus only on the activities that will truly make a difference.
Define Yourself and Your MBA
Before choosing your electives, ask yourself: “Is this the best class for me?” The HEC Paris MBA is customizable for a reason. If you spend enough time defining your project, you will most likely find that the core classes provide all the skills employers are seeking. The electives you choose are the sugar-coating–the way to differentiate yourself in the MBA marketplace.
- Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Listen, learn and stop trying to perform. In the MBA’s demanding environment, it’s tempting to tell your working group, “Let me handle this, because this is what I excel at.” But you don’t pursue an MBA to do what you already know how to do. You’ll gain the most from your MBA when you step outside your comfort zone and grow.
- Learn to Be a Follower
To be a good leader, you must learn to be a good follower. Know where you stand on each topic discussed: Are you an expert, knowledgeable or clueless? All answers are perfectly valid. Experts have spent years on a topic, and being clueless just means that it’s your turn to follow.
- Meet Someone New Every Day
On average, there are 250 people from 52 different nationalities in the HEC Paris MBA. By the end of the 16-month program, you should know the majority of them, including their life stories. Not only will you make friends for life from around the world, but there’s a good chance that someone in your class has already worked for your dream employer.
- Know How to Network
You have a network of more than 57,000 alumni in 132 countries. Understand that networking is about planting seeds. A rule of thumb for success: Help 100 people. Have meaningful discussions with 10 of them. Then you can ask for 1 favor. Following these steps can help you make it to exactly where you want to go.
Adapted from a 2018 Welcome Day presentation given by Thibault Seguret, Director of Quality Development for the HEC Paris MBA