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Posted by Chioma Isiadinso
After months of stressing over business school applications…..
…..you finally got admitted into your target MBA program.
While you may think that your work is done – you’re wrong.
To get the most out of your business school experience, you need to address a few things before your session starts.
These might simply be courteous things, like thanking your recommenders, or larger issues like financial planning.
Here’s a list of 10 things you should do after you’re accepted to business school.
And by this we mean thank everyone who, in any way, helped you with your application.
– friends and family who reviewed your essays,
– mentors who provided guidance,
– admissions consultants you might have hired and
– also the people who wrote recommendations for you.
Plan out how you can thank each person individually.
The minimum you need to do is send thank-you cards or emails, but you can consider getting small gifts for those who wrote recommendations, or taking them out to coffee or dinner.
How you leave a job is extremely important.
Yet this decision sometimes is made as an afterthought.
Put yourself in the shoes of your former employer and consider the things that would matter to them.
Giving enough notice is one thing that you should try and do.
Avoid burning any bridges.
You never know when you may need that boss’ support in the future.
Providing appropriate support for your transition can be another practical step to take as you prepare to leave your job.
For some of you there may be the issue of getting your bonus.
This can be a tricky one.
You want to get what’s “due to you” but at the same time you don’t want to come across as an insensitive, selfish character.
Walk a fine line of thinking about your interest but also don’t go about your exit in an obnoxious manner.
Once you are accepted, you will start receiving information from your business school.
Review each item that comes in, noting down the actions required from your end and deadlines for each.
This can include your enrollment deposit, information on housing, campus, course content or any other important matters.
Read all the fine print.
Make sure you know what is required from your end, and submit everything that needs to be submitted at the right time.
You don’t want to lose your spot because of a missed payment or registration deadline.
Each school has its pre-matriculation requirements that applicants must complete before the program begins.
This usually involves an online platform with pre-selected subjects that newly admitted students have to complete.
While it can be tempting to push off completing this assessment, you should try and get this out of the way immediately.
Failure to complete your pre-matriculation assessment can jeopardize your enrolment.
Block off time, sit down, and work through the questions and make sure you complete everything as soon as possible so you can turn your attention to other important aspects such as getting to know your classmates which is one of the more exciting parts of the process.
These are the people you will spend the bulk of your next two years (or one year if targeting European Schools) with.
Reach out to as many as you can and start connecting with them.
You will be surprised to see how helpful, and convenient, it can be to adjust into a new environment when you already know a few people.
Most schools provide online communities for people who have been accepted into the same business school and there are plenty of opportunities to connect with your future classmates prior to the start of the program.
You never know, some of the people you meet could become your partners for a business you may start, life-long friends and possible roommates.
Now that you’re accepted in a business school, make sure you visit its campus before your program formally begins.
Many of the business schools provide admitted students’ events on campus to wine and dine new students and convince them to choose their programs.
Take advantage of these events to meet the faculty and fellow classmates to determine if the school is a great fit for you.
Nothing beats walking around the campus, sitting in a class, and sharing a drink with your future classmates to get a really good idea of what your life will be like.
Also use this opportunity to check out the resources for partners and families if you are planning to do your MBA with your significant other.
This would also be a great time to analyze nearby neighborhoods and start figuring out where you will be living.
Maybe the school has on-campus housing you can take advantage of.
You might have special considerations, for example young children, so look at this visit as a way to figure out all you need to take care of before you actually make the move.
Ask the admissions office if they provide help finding housing or not.
Don’t wait to figure this out till the last minute, and then find yourself scrambling to find accommodation.
Most schools offer housing support so you should take advantage of that.
The key is to sort out your housing – as early as possible.
Beyond looking at just the housing, also start thinking about how you will handle the move.
Are you currently employed?
When will you be leaving your job?
How much time does that leave for you to pack and move?
If your new housing is smaller, what will you do with the extra furniture and belongings?
Figure all this out as far in advance as possible.
Studying at a business school is a major financial investment.
Chances are you may want to get some help covering the cost through scholarships, loans, internships, and grants.
Many of the programs will consider you for merit-based scholarships without requiring any additional application.
These awards are often made when you are admitted or shortly after.
You will also be considered for need-based awards when your financial aid award is made.
But you may find that there are other scholarships that require additional application and you should conduct the extra research to identify what’s available.
You can also read our article on MBA Scholarships, for more details on specific awards and financial resources available to MBA applicants.
Once you have completed all your financial aid documents, make sure to read all the fine print thoroughly.
Make sure you only sign on the dotted line once you are absolutely sure of what the payment plan is.
If you’re getting a scholarship, educate yourself on what is required to keep this scholarship and whether it is renewable for a second year.
You want to start business school with your best foot forward.
Look through the course material, and figure out where your academic gaps lie.
You want to address these before you start school so you’re not starting at the back of the pack.
There are great programs such as Practice MBA that offers courses that target career development and quantitative business courses that can be useful for incoming MBA students.
Other options include taking a few online or part-time courses to introduce yourself to unfamiliar material that will be covered in business school.
You could also take the simple step of subscribing to a business magazine – such as the Wall Street Journal – and keep abreast of market trends.
It’s not too soon to start thinking about your post-graduation options.
Think about, research and prepare for the opportunities that this specific business school offers you.
Look into potential local businesses you could intern at.
Take a look at the alumni network, and what events the school holds that will allow you to network with them.
Look into the school’s post-graduation employment stats and create a formal strategy that will help you get your dream job after you graduate.
Some students have even found short term internships during the summer which has enabled them to build some work experience in their preferred career.
You can plan to do the same.
At a minimum, you can also take advantage of the resources available through the career services office to update your resume so you can hit the ground running once you arrive on campus.
Making it to a top business school is a significant achievement.
But it’s no excuse for slacking on what needs to be done post-acceptance.
Spend a few weeks tackling all these things so you can make sure you start business school from a position of strength.
If you spend the time between your acceptance and the commencement of the program wisely, you’ll get a head start in your class and will be able to manage your studies much more effectively.