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10 Ways to Prep For Your MBA Over the Summer

Ana-Marcela Lopez / Abound: MBA »

The MBA has become the most popular master’s degree in the United States—and for good reason! Getting an MBA opens you up to many opportunities, including better jobs, better salaries, and the potential for promotions and even higher degrees.

If you’re planning to start business school in the fall, summer is the best time to prep. Keep reading to learn the 10 best ways to prepare for your MBA over the summer.

1. Create a Plan

Graduate school is all about planning and time management. Before you begin your MBA program, you should use the summer to create your plan for the next semester (and even the next year).

Use summer to register for classes and plan your schedule. You should also meet with your academic advisor to plan your program trajectory as well as your academic and professional goals. 

If your classes are not online, take time to plan your commute and all the accommodations needed to make it to class. This includes communicating with your employer what you’ll need to balance work, school, and study time.

2. Attend Orientation and Networking Events

Most MBA programs require that you attend orientation and networking events before classes begin. These events are important opportunities to learn all about the program, what to expect, and what will be expected of you. It’s also a great time to ask questions as well as meet your faculty members and classmates. 

Orientation lays out all the basics you’ll need to be a successful student, from how to get around campus (if you’re enrolled on campus) to learning the technology used to submit papers and access your learning resources.

Networking events are other excellent ways to mingle and meet your fellow classmates and instructors. Once you get to know a handful of people, you can begin your studies with the comfort of knowing that you have someone to ask for help during your advanced program.

3. Assess Your Finances

If you’re not planning to work while going to school, be sure to assess your finances and plan ahead for the extended period in which you’ll be studying. Even if you are going to have a full- or part-time job, you should have a clear idea of your income and how it will support you in school and throughout your daily life.As an MBA student, you will need to have a good handle on your personal finances and learn to budget wisely. Do this during the summer while preparing for school. This will help you know if you will need financial assistance or student loans.

4. Apply For Scholarships

If you’re in need of scholarships to help pay for graduate school, the summer is the perfect time to find and apply for them. You don’t want to try to do this after courses have begun, as you will be busy studying and focusing on your classes.You can work with the college’s graduate student resource department to help you find eligible scholarships. You can also use this helpful guide to find and apply for various scholarships. We recommend applying for all the scholarships that you qualify for; more applications increase your chances of winning one or more of these highly competitive scholarships.

5. Get a Part-Time Job

Whether you want to make some money before business school or you are looking to secure a position to maintain throughout your MBA, the summer is the best time to find a part-time job.

Most students attending your school will be out of town in the summer, so there will be many positions in the area that desperately need to be filled. Take advantage of this demand and secure a job before there is more competition.Trying to find a job during the semester can be stressful and time consuming. You don’t want to lose focus on what is most important—getting your MBA. Having a job lined up will clear one of the many obstacles that might make school a challenge. Learn more about how to balance school and work here.

6. Create a Support System

Anyone who has been to graduate school can tell you that it isn’t easy. It is extremely important to have a good support system that you can turn to when you have questions, are stressed, or even need child care for when you’re busy at school. 

Go into your program knowing that you have the backup you need to help you through any challenge. Your support system should include people both inside and outside academia. Your academic advisor, faculty members, and other students as well as your family and friends should all be a part of your healthy support system.

7. Travel

Preparing for business school doesn’t have to be all business. While going to school, there will be little time for travel and leisure, so have some fun! Get your travel out of the way during the summer so that you can rest up and enjoy your free time. The more you enjoy yourself, the more likely you’ll be able to start the new semester with motivation, readiness, and positivity.

8. Read for Pleasure

As an MBA student, you won’t have much time to read for pleasure. Give your brain some variety! Before you bury your nose in the textbooks and projects coming your way, we recommend spicing things up with an interesting story or any other book that you’ve been meaning to pick up.

9. Explore Your New City

If you’re moving to a new city for your MBA, then the summer is the perfect time to explore! Use this time to find your favorite local spots such as restaurants, parks, walking trails, and places to study. 

Summer is also a great opportunity to figure out your city’s routes and locations. For example, you can find and learn the local public transportation system so that you can start school with a clear understanding of your commute.

You can also learn where the nearest grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, etc. are. This will make your life easier next semester during graduate school. 

The most important thing is to fall in love with your new city. If you are not happy where you live, it will be difficult to enjoy and get the most out of going to school. Find all the things you enjoy about your new city over the summer when the weather is nice and you have free time.

10. Get Excited

You got into an MBA program! You are doing something wonderful to progress your career and improve your future. You should be excited!

Before the semester starts, motivate yourself by learning about the program, registering for classes, exploring your city, and preparing for school. Embrace the feeling you used to get as a kid when you got all of your cool new school supplies before the fall. If you’re excited, your experience will be all the more pleasant and inspiring.

Learn More Tips For Successful MBA

At Abound MBA, we not only help find the right MBA program for you, but we also provide tons of advice for students. Check out all of our advice topics here, and know that you have us to come to for all your MBA questions.

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