3 Ways to Prepare for the Business School Transition

Are you starting business school this fall? Congratulations! Beginning an MBA program marks a significant transition in your life, so how can you prepare for this next stage in your academic journey? Here are three ways to prepare for the business school transition:

1. Speak with your family and friends

Business school is not just an educational program—it is a lifestyle. It begins the moment you receive your acceptance letter, and your priorities will shift well before you start classes. Let your loved ones know that your schedule will change and fluctuate. This is a list of 5 things to do the summer before business school that may help you prepare.

Connect with second-years in your MBA program to learn how they have dealt with the demands of business school while also managing their commitments to the people in their lives. Juggling classwork, exercise, family, friends, and perhaps a bit of personal time will not be simple, but by planning ahead, remaining flexible, and speaking with those around you, you can succeed in this regard. If you are having trouble choosing a program this information on how to choose the right executive MBA program for you may be helpful.

2. Get to know your first semester classes

Accounting? Finance? Statistics? Now is the time to familiarize yourself with basic business concepts in these fields. For students who wish to prepare before classes officially begin, ask your school about their preferred methods. Certain programs may provide incoming students with study tools tailored to their core classes. You can also peruse pre-MBA guidebooks. 

In addition to familiarizing yourself with your business school courses, take a trip to your favorite office supply store, either in person or online. Unlike the workplace, schools generally do not provide students with essentials like highlighters, notebooks, pencils, or pens. You may also benefit from a new laptop, new software for your computer, or a new calculator. Inquire with your school about suggestions for appropriate electronic equipment. And do not forget a messenger bag—after all, you will need a way to carry your MBA gear!

3. Determine exactly why you wish to attend business school

Yes, you outlined this information in your application, but circumstances may have changed. What industry would you like to work in? What position would you like to hold? Where would you like to live? What lifestyle would you like to maintain?

Even though you may have told your school’s admissions officers that you would like to work as an engineering consultant based in Chicago with the option to travel internationally twice per month, that plan may no longer suit you if your interests have shifted to marketing management with a domestic focus for a consumer packaged goods company. Figure out where you want your future to go, as well as why you want it to go there. Research companies and opportunities that fit the goals you currently have for your life. Then, once classes begin and recruiters start to visit your campus, you will have a better sense of which internships and full-time positions are best for you. Here are some tips on how to prepare for your first internship if you do decide to pursue one.

Embrace this exciting chapter in your life. The business school transition will be intense, but incredibly rewarding as well, so enjoy all that the MBA world tosses at you.