Congratulations, you finally got into your dream B-School after a year of planning, a series of competitive tests, and two months of WAT-PI round! This was a long and winding road. This is a well-deserved break before tackling the rigors of an MBA program. However, the battle is not over; you should utilize this precious time to focus on these eight things to gain a significant advantage over other batchmates.
- Build your CV/Resume: Most B-schools begin their summer placements after a two-month wait from the start of the program. Hence, it is important to prepare your CV/Resume and evaluate the strengths & weaknesses, which will provide you with a good indicator of where you should focus your efforts. When you start college, you won't have much time on your hands because you'll be bombarded with exams, assignments, and more, and before you know it, top companies will begin visiting the campus, and you'll miss out on major opportunities. Also, make sure that whatever things you are adding have some evidence to back them.
- Learn Powerpoint and Excel: While many of us are familiar with these tools, you must advance and master them. You'll be bombarded with assignments and case study competitions during your MBA program, all of which will enable you to use these tools extensively.
Knowledge of Canva and Photoshop is advantageous in PowerPoint because it allows you to be more creative in the presentation. There are several decent templates available as well; take a look at them. If you can do this, you'll do exceptionally well in business school presentations.
When it comes to Excel, you'll need to know more than just the basics. In all types of tasks, you'll need to do a lot of number work in Excel, whether it's making a Profit & Loss Statement, outlining a Business forecast, statistics, for example. Here are few important topics you should learn in excel: Pivot table, V-lookup, H-lookup, match, index, if-else statements.
- Learn video editing: I know this sounds weird, but video editing skills come in handy in projects, corporate or inter B-school case competitions, and placement assignments. There are many free and easy-to-use tools available on the internet; make sure you are familiarised with them.
- Specialization-Related Details: If you've been accepted into a general program that requires you to select a speciality by the second year, you can begin your study right away! This is because students are asked to choose their specialization preference by the time of the CV/Resume freeze for summer placements.
And if you are accepted into a specialized course such as Marketing or Finance, you must have a realistic understanding of your field of study. What types of profiles are available at the b-school you selected, and what are the senior's career paths? You can talk to the seniors in the college.
- Do an online course: Pick a field that interests you and begin exploring it. Taking such a course has two advantages: it broadens your learning curve and provides you with a valuable credential. It's a major plus for someone who doesn't have management experience. If you're considering a career in digital marketing, look at Google's free certifications. If you're interested in finance, take a look at the CFA, FRM, and other courses that finance aspirants take in business school.
- Financial Accounting: The ghost of Financial Accounting will start stalking you as soon as you step foot into B-School territory. There is a mandatory finance-related subject in the first two terms, so developing a clear understanding of financial statements and their interpretation is essential. Watch YouTube videos or download class 11th and 12th accounting books to learn the basics.
Note From Editor: We know how gruelling the Summer Placement process is. And given how the pandemic has impacted most businesses, we understand how crucial it is to bag a summer internship opportunity from a top company. To help the incoming batch of 2021-23, we at InsideIIM have launched a Summer Placement Training Bootcamp. Check the details here.
- Read Newspapers: During your GD-PI preparation, you probably acquired the habit of reading newspapers. It's important to keep doing that and keeping up with current events. It would be best if you still kept updated on what is going on in the world. Ideally, you can subscribe to a financial newspaper like Mint, Business Standard, or ET. Many of these publications offer discounted subscriptions to students.
- Build a LinkedIn Profile: If you already have a great LinkedIn profile, skip to the next step. However, if you don't already have one, now is the time to get started. This will also help you extend your network; you will be able to communicate with alumni and get advice from them in the future. Make sure you set the profile picture in business formals.