MBA Survival Strategies For Before The Start Of The Program

If you have some spare time before starting the PGP course at a B-school, you could utilise that to pep up your resume and acquire some useful skills for the course.

Making an effective presentation: You are going to be doing this a lot. And I actually mean a lot. Like literally every day.

So know your way around MS Powerpoint, Prezi and other similar software. Know how to make a business presentation – the structure, which fonts to use and which ones to not, how to make the most impact, and other DOs and DONTs.

Read: 10 Tips for More Effective PowerPoint Presentations

Managing, scheduling and prioritising activities: Unless you are a vampire that does not need sleep, you will be short of time for the next 2 years. Know how to optimise what time you have.

Email management: Use filters, labels, priority inbox, archive etc to maintain a clean mailbox that is not an eyesore and only highlights the really important stuff. When you get hundreds of emails each day, it is very likely that you miss out on something critical. Don’t let that happen.


Networking: How to make a good first impression, asking the right questions, making an ‘elevator pitch’, keeping in touch.

Some basic technical skills like MS Excel, VBA, Data Visualization, Statistical Analysis: Will come in handy in most of the courses.

Soft skills: Try and become a better orator. Start practising speeches. Know how to control your intonation, when to take pauses for dramatic effect, how to break the ice with a humorous anecdote etc.

Develop leadership skills. Join an NGO and take up the responsibility for a decently sized team task.


You could also take up some beginner/intermediate courses on various MOOC sites to lay down a sturdy foundation in that particular subject and give yourself a head-start.

Business and management (mostly beginner courses)

 Economics and finance

  • Financial markets: A must take. The course is being taught by the renowned Nobel-laureate and Yale Prof, Robert Shiller and will cover a lot of concepts of Financial markets and their machinations. Apart from the basics, it will also cover certain aspects of behavioural finance and financial crises and the role of regulations.
  • Microeconomics: Will cover the basics of Microeconomics from supply-demand, market efficiency, types of competitions, market power and public goods and externalities.
  • Introduction to finance: Basics – time value of money and valuations

Statistics and data analysis

  • Regression models: The course looks at the various regression models and special cases like ANOVA. All of which is taught in the 1st year.
    In this course, students will learn how to fit regression models, how to interpret coefficients, how to investigate residuals and variability. Students will further learn special cases of regression models including use of dummy variables and multivariable adjustment. Extensions to generalised linear models, especially considering Poisson and logistic regression will be reviewed.
  • Data analysis and statistical inference: Estimation, confidence intervals, decision making based on data analysis etc.
  • Data visualisation: Will be helpful both during and after the MBA. How to present the data in the most impactful manner, use software to make complex designs etc.

Other useful courses:



About the Author:

Deepak Mehta is 27, highly eccentric. He can be found at most party venues. Deepak loves to read (And occasionally write). Originated in the hills (Nainital) but lost his heart somewhere on a beach in Goa. If found, kindly return to the owner.

A Computer Science graduate from BITS – Goa and an MBA from IIM – Ahmedabad. Currently resides in Mumbai. Also, he is one of the top writers on Quora!