What Happens After the MBA Job Hunt Ends?
Whether we admit it or not, getting that dream post-MBA job is at the forefront of every MBA students mind. The company research, interview prep, and networking can be exciting, challenging, stressful, and frankly, all-encompassing. In the One Year program, those of us who are lucky enough to lock down that dream job in the fall face an interesting question: what happens for the next 6-7 months?
While it is a privileged dilemma to have, eliminating one of your primary daily focuses and passions for the past 6 months is a dilemma never the less. The easy answers on where you should re-allocate your time are usually “study harder” or “relax on the couch”, which are both totally fair strategies, but take some time to consider some additional and complimentary options.
I must say that Goizueta Business School has really made it both easy and exciting to continue to have a fulfilling MBA journey even after the job question has been answered.
Here are my 5 best tips for students in this situation to round out their MBA experience in the most meaningful way:
1. Take classes that are out of your comfort zone
One of the things I love most about Emory is the constant encouragement from the school to challenge yourself to take on opportunities that force you outside of your comfort zone. Using the time previously devoted to a job search to learn new skills, even if you think you will never use them in real world, has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my school year. So take a financial valuation class, sustainability directed study, or a data mining seminar to challenge yourself to acquire a skill and to make yourself that much more well-rounded!
2. Network with professors, classmates, and alumni
My favorite part of my MBA experience has been the people, both faculty and students, and reallocating job hunt time to really getting to know as many of them as I can has been unbelievably valuable and fun for me. Schedule a meeting with the Dean to get advice, go out for beverages with your classmates as much as possible, and reach out to alumni out in the real world to get advice on their experiences! I don’t know what other schools are like, but each and every one of the Emory staff and alumni that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with have been extremely generous with their time, and I have never regretted an interaction I’ve had with any of them.
3. Prepare for your upcoming job
Once you’ve gotten that dream job, take the time to show there up on Day 1 as prepared as possible! This can include taking classes that relate to the skills you’ll need in your role, taking the time to meet your future team members and bosses, and/or using some of your newfound free time to research industry trends. I don’t often find myself as the smartest guy in the room, but I pride myself on doing my best to be the most prepared guy in the room. So having some extra free time prior to jumping into a new role is one of greatest gifts I could ever receive.
4. Lean in to MBA extracurricular activities
GBS offers such an endless opportunities to get involved that you could realistically be busy 24/7 if you so choose. The MBA experience is really what you make it! The couch you spend time on will not go away, but many of these opportunities certainly will. So join an interesting student organization, chair a committee or two, mentor current and prospective students, and/or volunteer in your community. Last, but not least, if you have no other talents…write some blog posts!
5. Pursue your passions!
Ask yourself this: once you re-enter the working world, when is the next opportunity you will have to <fill in the blank>? When will you get a chance to travel the world? When will you get a chance to work on a project with your favorite sports team? When will you get a chance to finally get in shape/learn how to play guitar/write your novel? The realistic answer is, sadly, “maybe never”? Now is the time!!
As you can see, I am a believer in not letting your MBA experience end when your job hunt does, which can be an easy trap to fall into. This advice can also apply for non-job-seeking students, of which there are many. There are countless opportunities to expand your personal and professional horizons in Business School in ways that you may never get a chance to again.
If you choose the One Year MBA program (which I couldn’t recommend more), you have 12 months to try as many things and get as much value as possible, both academic and experiential. Make each of those 31,536,000 seconds count; I know I will!