Among all of the advice out there for MBA students, by far, the most important tip is to gain real life experience. Performing well on exams, making good grades through projects and lectures are all important aspects of working toward a successful future in your trade of choice, but without experience to back up that theoretical knowledge you may fall flat when it comes to doing the real thing, and employers know this. They know this through their own experiences, because hiring a graduate out of professional school can be a great way to get fresh talent into a business, but if that graduate has never done anything outside of a textbook there are going to be some serious issues.
Obtaining An MBA
Having a post-secondary education, specifically a graduate level education puts you into an entirely different category from other candidates for a few reasons. One of these reasons is that management can see that you’ve been trained in common business practices, and that you have the professional training necessary to think critically and creatively in a number of given situations. It also means that you’re committed to the idea of your field of focus, and that you’re willing to work hard and make sacrifices in order to make it in your industry. Outside of these things, however, grades and a degree don’t stand for much, because once you’re sitting behind a desk, working on a production floor, or making a difficult decision with top level employees that could affect an entire company and all of the people in it, it is the experiences within the industry that will make or break you.
Experience As An Asset
Experience is important for employers, not only because they want you to be successful in what you do, which in turn will make them successful in what they do, but because hiring staff that are already experienced at some level in what they’ve been hired for means less training for new hires. It also means that employees can jump right into the difficult tasks, rather than tiptoeing around the business handling small, easy issues that any new hire could accomplish. For this reason, having not only the much coveted above-mentioned university education, but also the experience to back it up will make your resume a much more competitive addition to a job application. In fact, statistics have shown that employers are more likely to look at past jobs before they’ll even look at the education section of your resume, if they bother looking there at all. In many cases, the education factor only plays a part in an employer determining if you’re qualified for a role, because certain positions require certification, licensure, or particular levels of degrees and diplomas.
How To Make The Most Out Of Your MBA Experience
In order to get the most out of your time in a university you should take advantage of any scheduling opportunities that arise and try to squeeze in as much work within your chosen industry as possible. This means that if you’re looking to be a CFO then you should be working within a business setting, possibly in some kind of financial situation like an insurance form, investment firm, or a bank. For an RN working toward an MBA in healthcare with the hopes of becoming a nursing manager, keeping up as many hours at the hospital, nursing home, or private clinic as possible will pay off in the end. Many colleges and universities are offering MBA programs as a part-time course, specifically because there are so many applicants who are required to work during their time at school, or who have families at home that they need to support and spend time with. Not only are some MBA courses offered as a part-time experience, but some are also almost entirely online, so that up to 80% of the work can be done from the comfort of your own home when you have the time to do so.
Working Against Yourself
Having a good education will never be faulted as a negative aspect, especially in business, but when it comes to working full-time on an MBA when you could be working as well, graduating with no formal work experience in your field could prove to be problematic. While many graduate business degree programs provide work terms, practicum experiences and other job placement opportunities, a few months in the field near the end of your degree isn’t likely to stand as enough time to qualify you for a higher up position. Even having multiple degrees or obtaining a Ph.D. in your field can work against you if you’re not also gaining work experience. In today’s volatile business world, having a strategy that includes both working and studying while in school is essential to a successful career. It will also accelerate your career path once you’ve been hired, because it’s much easier to promote somebody who has lots of experience in their field, than to promote somebody who only understands business based on the words of a book.
Although experience doesn’t always necessarily have to be in the exact profession you’re aiming on becoming involved in, it certainly pays off if it’s at least within the same industry. Having experience in construction may not get you far in a restaurant or hospital setting, but working in a financial role could give you the experience necessary to enter the field of management consulting. There are hundreds of positions that can be obtained with the right kind of education and experience, and fortunately as mentioned above, many MBA programs offer some form of work term in which small amounts of this job experience can be gained; this gives students the courage necessary to get out and find a career in what they’re passionate about, and have some idea of what it is that they’ll be doing. Even if you’re going to be entering a position where most of the tasks will be new to you, having some experience in business and the field related to your dream job will make you much more employable in the eyes of management.