Class of MBA 2018-20, you still have approx. 6 weeks before the commencement of your course. 21 months, starting from June, would be the most hectic time of your life, also the most adventurous ones, but making time for yourself is very difficult in that duration. So, as an aspirant, utilize these 6 weeks to get yourself ready for rollercoaster ride ahead. Here’s a list of things you can do to make the most out of your time:
1. Books to Get A Management Perspective:
Read books that give you an idea of what lies ahead of you, what corporate world expects and what’s the new buzz in the industry. I’ve compiled a list of 6 books in this article. You can also pick up sector-specific books like ‘Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Franklin’ or ’22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Trout and Ries’.
2. Hands on the PPTs and Excel:
You would probably be thinking, is it imperative to do it now? Well let me tell you something bluntly; Excel and PPTs would be a part of your life, more than anything else. Beginner-level understanding won’t do any good in projects and b-school competitions, you really need to ace PPT and Excel.
With respect to PowerPoint, knowledge of Photoshop is an added advantage, as it lets you be more creative with your presentation. There are many good templates available too, try them out. Here’s a task for you; Use PPT to explain your life journey till now in infographic way; If you are able to do this, you are going to do really well in b-school presentations.
As far as Excel is concerned, you need to know it just more than basic functions. You would need to do a lot of number work in all types of projects in excel; Be it creating P&L, or presenting a B-plan’s projections, HR staffing decisions etc. Here’s a list of things that you might give a try: V-lookup, Pivots.
3. Gathering Information about Specializations:
If you are admitted to a general course where you need to choose specialization by the second year, you should start your research from now! Why? Because, by the time of CV freeze, in August, for summer placements, students are asked to mark their specialization preference.
Even if you are admitted to a very specific course like Finance or Marketing; you must have a fair perspective of your specialization. What are the profiles offered in the b-school you chose, what is the career path of seniors etc. You can use LinkedIn to do this.
Well! I just told you about another important thing to do; the most important source of finding connections in b-school, LinkedIn. Update your profile on LinkedIn, with some decent looking professional photograph, update your previous qualifications, and write details about work-ex, achievements & certifications.
5. Certifications: This is a low priority item, but you can still dig up some info. Say, you are planning to enter digital marketing area, try to explore Google free certifications. If Finance enthusiast, then just skim through CFA, FRM and other courses which people choose to do in b-school.
Last but not the least, spend quality time with your family and friends, you won’t get to meet them often in next 21 months. With everything said and done, you can’t learn one thing in advance; How to manage with 4-5 hours of sleep everyday :P