Almost all the B-schools have started releasing the list of selected students, so the pre-MBA jitters must have already begun for some.
“Is this the right choice for you? Will you be able to make it? Will it be worth the effort at the end of two years? Is it true when they say that you have to sacrifice your sleep when you go for MBA?” – try avoiding them as much as you can, but these questions will make their way into your mind anyway.
So, here is a guide to help you acclimatize with the typical B-school environment.
1. Certifications & Courses
If questions like “Will you make the cut at your B-school?” or “Will you be able to tackle the so-called competitive environment there?” are somersaulting inside your heads, I don’t blame you for that. In fact, it should be a genuine concern amongst the new joinees. Well, what sets people apart from each other under such a competitive environment? Certifications. Your resume will be the differentiating factor. So, here is a list of the certifications you might need before joining or immediately after joining for pursuing the domain of your interest:
CFA - Level I,II,III certifications show your expertise across various investment topics and are a great choice if you aim to become an investment manager. This is one of the most basic certifications that candidates inclined towards Finance should go for. Here are some other top-rated Finance certifications that MBA students should go for.
Lean Six Sigma Yellow, Green, Black Belt. These certifications demonstrate expertise over one of the most sought after concept of Operations and there are three levels in the order: Yellow Belt, Green Belt and Black Belt. Having just Yellow Belt and Green Belt is also a huge differentiator. Read more about Operations Certifications here.
For Sales and Marketing
Certifications in Digital Marketing. With SEO, Web Analytics, PPC and Social Media dominating the Sales and Marketing space, there is a need of candidates who already come equipped with the nitty-gritties of Digital Marketing. However, Google Analytics and Google Adwords are some certifications which are easy to acquire and will be featured in almost every resume. Well, simply acquiring certifications for displaying on your resume won’t do. You will need to be prepared with any cross-questioning related to any domain covered by that particular certification. So, you need to tread carefully.
2. Student Loans
Every B-school has some or the other provision for the students who want to avail student loans. A good 85% of the batch must be opting for the same. For those wanting to go for a loan, it is imperative for you to be aware of the interest rates and apply for one immediately. So, you can connect with your batch-mates to know about one and the institute will be mailing you the details of the loan provisions available, possibly within a few days.
3. Prior Knowledge of Basic Subjects
As of now, there must be at least a month before your joining any B-school. So, it is safe to assume that you have the time to know about a few basic subjects to help you out during your initial Terms. Here are a few recommended books that you can possibly start with:
- Marketing Management by Kotler Keller
- Microeconomics by Besanko and Braeutigam
- Accounting: Text and Cases by Anthony-Hawkins-Merchant
The initial few days will be tiring because the environment will be entirely new for you. Attend all the lectures and focus on the component distribution of courses. Some courses have components like Class Participation, Individual Assignment, Group Assignment apart from Midterm and Endterm scores. Focus on all the components and plan accordingly because sometimes, the most unexpected component can just save your CGPA.
5. “Deadlines Are Sacrosanct”
These will be the three magical words that you will get to hear during those couple of years. There will also be the attendance norms, regular submissions of assignments and class participation components which would contribute to your grades as well. Neglecting any of the components which contribute to your grades might result in you lagging the race because inside B-schools, the competition steps up a notch. You will be safe till you stick to the deadlines.
6. Induction Programs
Most B-schools (or all B-schools) have week-long Induction Programs planned for the new joiners. These range from setting up long meetings to calling them in the middle of the night. These are just the ice-breakers and they will help creating acquaintances in the batch because let’s face it, no one will have the luxury of time to make acquaintances other than the ones they make during those sessions and during classes. Who knows, you might even find your friends for those two years during one such program.
7. Keep An Open Mind
Let’s not forget the fact that holding on to a pre-conceived opinion about any B-school doesn’t actually help. Honestly, the B-school you might be joining into will possibly turn out to be very different from what you might have presumed it to be. So, it is better to keep an open mind and just go for it. It is a new environment that most of you might be encountering for the first time. So, let go of the opinions you have been holding on to and let your B-school surprise you.
You can also go through those articles to know more about the certification courses:
To sum up, remember that you have always wanted it and now that you are going for an MBA, make sure that you make the most of it. Each one of you will have your own unique experience, but you sure will be learning a lot.
So, congratulations on joining a B-school and all the very best for the next couple of years of being an MBA student!