International MBA – My take!!

Using one of the methods we’ve been taught here at MBA, “Backward Induction” or “Backtracking”, I am trying to jot down some do’s and don’ts from my MBA.

  • Do make tons of friends: As the MBA starts speeding up, you may find yourself entangled in assignments, reports and presentations. You have to understand that one key reason why you invested thousands of Euros or dollars for an MBA is to have international friends, who know you and trust you. It goes without saying that you cannot be close friends with everyone, so try to make some close groups with whom you are most comfortable  and hang out frequently.
  • Do join at least one functional clubs: In MBA, you get to be in multiple groups as you have one group per semester, and generally you have 5 semesters in a one year MBA. You will study loads of cases covering plethora of industries, sectors etc. But now task remains how to take this knowledge or interest to next level. To do this you must carefully decide in which industry you want to be in. Once, you have decided, try to find out whether there is a club for that industry in your B-School (there generally is one, as you will not be the first one to think about this) and if it is there, who are the key members of that club. Go talk to them, tell them how you can contribute, show them your enthusiasm and interest, and most probably you will manage to be a part of that club. In some B-Schools, there is a cap on the maximum number of members who can be in the core committee of the club, which decides on the regular activities of the club. If there are more nominations that the max limit, there are elections, in which every student of the college votes for you. So, make sure to take part in this activity, as this is a good opportunity to interact with people, and its fun too. And good luck. There are a number of benefits of being in the core committee of the club, like you get to interact personally with the guest speakers, you get to experience the challenges in organizing events, communicating the messages, dealing with some unexpected glitches etc, and don´t forget the first point about making friends. The members of the club are generally people with strong previous experience or passion about the industry. This gives you a great chance to learn from them, and have the right contact, which can be instrumental in your post MBA job search.
  • Do disagree when working in groups: A key learning methodology used by B-Schools is to put students in different groups and load them with multiple assignments. If you are in a European B-School you can end up having as many nationalities in your group as the total number of members. What does this mean? This means that everyone will have different set of values, behavior, communication styles, inhibitions, strengths, weaknesses, etc. You must understand that you are there to learn and mature. Often times, you might not agree with what your group members are saying. It is possible that you have not understood their rational or they have missed out on a key insight which you think is important. Speak it! Say it out loud! It´s a risk free environment! This is for the betterment of the group, so don´t be shy in putting forth your thoughts. One word of caution here is that, be sure you are not hasty in saying your thoughts out loud every single time. Do have a rational behind your point or else it´ll be very difficult to defend and convince others, even if you are right!
  • Value time: That reminds me, I have an assignment to submit.. will add more later!! Adios amigos!!

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