The B-School Bucket List: Top 10 Must-Dos For Every B-School Student

Hello Future Managers,

At the outset, congratulations on having spent a beautiful fraction of your life in a B-school. You’re the chosen ones who’ve got to live the dream that every twenty-something has; the dream of making it to a B-school.

Hold on.

Converting a B-school means nothing unless you make the most of it. In the rat race of the infamous 3 Ps of a B-school: Placements, PPTs, and Projects, one is bound to forget the real purpose behind joining a B-school. It is therefore imperative to have a B-school Bucket List ready so as not to miss out on the most essential things that one must definitely do while at a B-school. Here it goes:

1. Remember the purpose of doing MBA:
MBA, more often than not, is looked upon as a ticket to higher paying jobs and launchpad for people looking for a brighter future. What people usually forget is that the real purpose of an MBA is much larger than just this. It’s about developing relevant managerial skills, networking, peer learning, case solving, personality development among so many others. So, first things first, don’t forget the purpose of joining a B-school.

2. Certificates are necessary for shortlisting, but Skills are required in the interview room-get both:

The overtly competitive B-school milieu will make you believe that life’s all about a one page CV. That’s the biggest myth. Success in an interview, however, depends on what skills you’ve picked up in your B-school journey, besides just your CV. Focus on developing both.

3. Have a Life (Socializing improves management acumen):
Research says that successful managers spend 70% of their time networking. A B-school is as much about peer learning as about learning in classrooms, in fact even more. Develop the habit of talking to new people. The diversity at B-schools ensures that you learn a new thing every time you break the ice with a  batchmate/senior/junior. So, what are you waiting for? Go, knock on the next door and start chatting!

4. Join Student Bodies: 

Student Bodies (clubs, committees, senate, council) are the best platform to learn management hands-on. Look at it from whichever lens you want- a CV point, a platform to network, a pedestal for building a social standing, a chance to take initiatives or a wolf pack that stands by you. Working with a student body completes a B-school experience. If you couldn’t join one, volunteer for events/fests. It’s worth the experience.

5. Take up industry projects: 
Live Projects from various industries and sectors gives you an opportunity to apply the frameworks and concepts that you learn through classroom and cases to real-world business problems. Each time you do a case, you understand an industry entirely and also get different perspectives on an issue from various people.

6. Know yourself. Do a self SWOT (helps in the interview and life):
An MBA is probably the last academic degree for most of us. It’s therefore also the last time that you would get to interact with so many people. Use this as an opportunity to know yourself. Figure out what gives you a kick and what makes you hit a low. Discover your Strengths & Weaknesses. Knowing oneself not only helps crack interviews but also helps live a better life in general. So, before you graduate, know yourself.

7. Learn a new activity: 
A dance-form, an instrument, a language; whatever it be. With a pool of resource around you, it is essential to learn new things on campus. Once you resume the grind of the corporate life, it would be impossible to develop a hobby, let alone pursuing one. Have a termwise plan of learning new things each term. By the time you leave campus, you would have transformed completely into a much-evolved person.

8. Go on Trips/Exchange:
Go places. Local, national, international; irrespective. Travel with your friends in term breaks, during exchange programs and on your grad trip. Travelling not only entails scenic beauty but also a life experience. It makes you wiser. Don’t miss exchange programs. Never in your life will you ever get the opportunity to go on a three-month-long trip. At least not as long as you are working.

9. Keep yourself busy:
Make it a routine to visit Dare2Compete, InsideIIM and Internshala regularly. Keep doing cases, competitions & short internships. Read books, as many as you can. Here’s a list of books that every manager should read. Keep yourself busy.

10. Stay fit:
Remember to stay fit. They don’t like fat managers. Hit the gym, eat clean and sleep properly. With the rigour of B-school, this is the most difficult to strike this point off the bucket list. But, believe me, it is worth pursuing.

So, while you’re running the mad rat race of relative performance at a B-school don’t forget to strike the aforementioned points off your bucket list. Let me know how you liked the article in the comments section. 

Pratik Ranjan

Pratik is an MBA candidate at IIM Lucknow. He is an ardent aspiring marketing strategist. His passion for marketing multiplied multifold post his internship with Unilever, where he was conferred with a PPO. Bitten by the entrepreneurial bug & seized by afflatus to read, write & explore, this twenty-something believes in the power of dreaming with his eyes open. He is a columnist in various newsletters and is up for any discussion that involves the nuances of marketing and strategy. P.S: He's charged by the fuel of caffeine.