Congratulations! You have successfully earned your MBA, and you are now ready to move into the true business world. But life after business school might not be as easy as you think. Translating your higher education into the day-to-day realities of your new career can prove challenging for any individual. Here are five ways that you can make your transition from business school to the business world a smooth one, and these tips on how to master an interview may be useful as well.
1. Learn from your coworkers
Your corporation may have a different culture than the one that you enjoyed during your MBA program. Besides potentially hosting fewer social events, your company may also have a workforce with an increased diversity of backgrounds, habits, and expectations. Depending on your position, you may no longer be surrounded by a group of colleagues who are just like you. Do not begin your tenure by trying to prove yourself with your MBA.
Instead, listen and learn from the people around you. While you sat in business school analyzing cases, your coworkers were in the field living them. Their valuable experiences could provide insight into your projects and responsibilities.
2. Find other alumni
There will be days when you are sitting at your desk, and you start remembering the good times you had as an MBA student – attending the last tailgate on campus, traveling for the class consulting trip, or working all night on that case competition. Instead of reminiscing about days gone by on your own, satisfy your nostalgia for student life by seeking out other colleagues who also attended your business school or your undergraduate school. If you cannot find any alumni at your company, you may be able to find them in your general area. Many colleges and universities have officially-sponsored alumni gatherings in major cities. These networking skills can be very useful after graduation as well.
3. Find other MBAs
Whether they graduated from the same program or attended business school on the other side of the world, MBAs know other MBAs. Even if they do not necessarily work in the same department or think in the same way, people who went to business school share a common language. This camaraderie can be very welcome as you transition from business school to the business world.
4. Lean on your family and friends
After watching you muddle through your rigorous program, and celebrating when you came out the other side, your loved ones may now get to spend more time with you. Let your family and friends know about the struggles you are encountering due to your transition. Allow them to provide a sense of normalcy, even if you are in a completely different place than where you started.
5. Remember why you went to business school
Now is the time to reap the fruits of your labor. Use your advanced education to the best of your ability – and recognize that even though not every aspect of your MBA is applicable to your current position, your degree has positioned you to take advantage of career opportunities that were not previously available to you.
Moving on from business school can be difficult, but it does not have to be impossible. As you embark on your adventure as a new graduate who has grown both older and wiser since you were last in the workplace, use these tips to help you adapt during your return to the business world.