With your first year of your MBA program complete, your final year of business school will likely have you feeling much more confident. You know the landscape, you have more freedom to choose the schedule you want, and you have a little more time to relax.
But, stay sharp! These final classes will fly by, and you’ll want to make the most of them. A few ways to prepare for your last year of business school are to check your graduation requirements, connect with your colleagues, and remind yourself why you went to business school in the first place.
Here are four ways to prepare for your last year of business school:
1. Check your business school graduation requirements
Talk with your advisor to ensure that the classes you want to take fulfill the credits that your school requires for you to graduate. Furthermore, weigh your future career goals and academic interests when creating your schedule. For instance, if you’re going into corporate finance, then including courses in debt markets, venture capital, and private equity might make sense. But if you’re also interested in organizational behavior, then you could also enroll in a conflict management & negotiation class. Furthermore, stay on top of your GPA so that you can walk on stage for commencement with no surprises.
2. Connect with all of your business school colleagues
During business school, you should build all kinds of relationships. Spend even more time this last year getting to know your classmates, alumni, faculty, staff, business friends, acquaintances, and the variety of people you encounter during your MBA program. These are the links in your network who can help you find success as you grow your career. To keep track of all these important individuals in your life, LinkedIn is a great, professional platform to use. Apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are fine for close friends, but LinkedIn is an ideal place for your career contacts and networking possibilities.
3. Apply for jobs during your last year of business school
Specific recruitment seasons vary among industries, but your second year is the time to really start narrowing in on what you want to do after graduation. Although there may be an overwhelming number of organizations sending recruiters to your campus, focus on your target companies. Make a list of 10-20 places you would like to work. Don’t try to interview for everything. Know what you want. You can do your research ahead of time by doing the following things:
- reading industry news
- visiting corporate websites
- talking with classmates and alumni who have worked at companies that hold your interest
4. Remember why you went to business school in the first place
A lot can change between the moment you hit the “submit” button on your MBA application and the day that you graduate from business school. So much comes at you during the first year of your program that you can barely recall what you wanted out of an MBA in the first place. Therefore, sit for a moment to think about how you want to spend the months you have left in the program. Take the classes that you wanted to attend once you got accepted. Continue to make friends with the people sitting next to you. Participate in the organizations that you joined/lead. Make your business school experience something you can look back on and be proud of.
Your last year of business school will move more quickly than expected, and soon you will be exiting the classroom and entering (or returning to) the workforce. During these last few months, look at the choices you can make to shape the potential finale of your formal education. Set yourself up for success in your career now!