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108 Tips for New MBA Students

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108 Tips for New MBA Students [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2013, 20:34
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Attached is a list of MBA advice that a colleague and I compiled over our two years in business school. The tips are organized by topic and you can click on each one for additional context. Please feel free to add anything we missed as a reply to this post or as a comment on the blog post.

Original Link: ... -students/

Academic Planning

Find a Dentist and Doctor Early
Use a Homework Tracker
Travel Abroad
Take a Speed Reading Class
Waive Classes if Possible
Do Independent Study
Give it Your All During Your First Quarter / Semester
Take it Easy During Spring Quarter / Semester of Second Year


Buy Discounted Software From Your School
Buy an External Monitor
Backup Important Files Every Quarter or Semester
Buy an Apple or Lenovo Laptop
Buy a Tablet
Start a Blog
Buy a Printer and Scanner
Turn Off Your Laptop’s Startup Sound
Unsubscribe From Spam Email Lists Before School Starts
Add a Trinket to Your Swiss Gear Backpack
Submit Online Dropbox Assignments Early

Online Services

Use Google Drive or Dropbox
Create Your Works Cited Pages with an Online Converter
Sign Up for Amazon Prime
Create a Keyboard Shortcut for Your Email Address
Use an Online Meeting Scheduler
Use Google Hangouts for Remote Meetings
Install Security Software on Your Laptop, Phone, and Tablet
Use an Online PDF Merger
Subscribe to Business Insider for Tech News


Don’t Fall in Love With One Company
Have a Backup Plan
Don’t Overextend Yourself
Setup Google News Alerts
Work Your Connections
Keep a Backup Kit in Your Locker


Have at Least One Leadership Position
Prioritize the First Bullets of Each Section
Don’t Leave Too Much White Space
If Your GMAT Score is 700 or Above, Put it On Your Resume
Show Results in Your Bullet Points
Use Numbers to Show Results
Consider a Functional Grouping Instead of Chronological Order
Don’t Stress About the Bottom of Your Resume
Use Standard MBA Resume Formatting
Get Several Different Perspectives on Your Resume
No Spelling or Grammar Errors
Update Your Linked In Profile
Channel the Recruiter’s Perspective Rather Than Your Own Pride
If Your Company Isn’t Well Known, Add a Descriptive Blurb
Use a Word Frequency Counter to Prevent Redundancy


Have Answers Prepared for the Main Behavioral Question Types
Use a Story Tracker to Ensure Coverage
Go With Your Best Stories First
Use an Interview Preparation Checklist
Prepare for Oddball Questions
Know Every Bullet Point in Your Resume
Use a Story to Respond to Short Answer Prompts
Pick a Favorable Interview Time Slot If Possible
Research Your Interviewer’s Background If Possible
Use InverviewStream
Don’t Let Bad Interview Results Affect Future Interviews
Do Case Prep Regardless of Your Interest in Consulting
Use the Pencil in Mouth Trick
Always Write Thank You Notes
Don’t Accept Water or Mints from the Interviewer

Networking Events

Come to the Event with a Strategy
Prepare Good Questions
Talk to the Recruiter
Work in Teams
Introduce Your Peers to the Corporate Participants
Set a Contact Goal
Bring Some Business Cards Just in Case
Hold Your Drink with Your Left Hand
Put Your Nametag on Your Lapel
Write Thank You Notes Right After the Event

Personal Finance

Check Your Credit Report Three Times a Year
Rebalance Your Portfolio Once a Year
Rollover Your 401K Early
Invest in Index Funds Rather than Individual Stocks
Invest in Your Roth IRA
Perform a Roth Conversion
Get a Credit Card with No Foreign Transaction Fees
Check to See Whether You Can Deduct Your MBA
Tutor First Year Students
Become a Teaching Assistant
Participate in Case Competitions

Test Taking

For Open Notes Tests, Study Your Notes
Bring a Highlighter
Listen to Music
Use Earplugs
Use 5 Hour Energy
Take a Walk to Help Solve Tough Problems
Bring a Backup Calculator
Bring a Snack

Class Participation

Sit Near the Front of the Class
Questions Count as Participation
Take the Contrarian Point of View
Take Chances With Tough Questions
Write Down Your Talking Points Before Class
Ask the First Question
Talk to the Professor After Class
Use the Biases of Primacy and Recency
Use the No Nametag Trick

HBS Cases

Read the Case Twice
Use Both a Highlighter and a Pen to Take Notes
Apply the Basic Context Frameworks
Apply a More Detailed Framework
Take a Side
Take Another Side
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Joined: 23 Mar 2011
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Re: 108 Tips for New MBA Students [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2013, 21:04
Wow, that's quite a comprehensive list. I didn't go through many links, but looks like this should be really helpful for anyone going back to school. Kudos!
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Re: 108 Tips for New MBA Students [#permalink] New post 30 Sep 2013, 00:41
thank you for this!
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Re: 108 Tips for New MBA Students [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2013, 19:22
Those are great tips! I'm currently working on my MBA, and the tips I have found most applicable are: not getting attached to one company, sitting at the front of the class, looking up company information before interviews, and having a leadership position.
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Re: 108 Tips for New MBA Students [#permalink] New post 15 Oct 2013, 05:49
Hi All!

I am a student at Yale Law School and the co-founder of an admissions counseling company, inGenius Prep (, which helps students build their candidacy and perfect their applications for competitive business schools.

Our students have the opportunity to work one-on-one with expert admissions counselors. Our team includes former admissions officers from the top business schools in the country, including: Harvard, Stanford, UPenn, and more.

If you're thinking of applying to business school, and would like to learn more about us, you can check out our website (, or shoot me an email at
Joined: 04 Sep 2012
Posts: 40
Location: United States
Concentration: Finance, International Business
WE: Accounting (Entertainment and Sports)
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Re: 108 Tips for New MBA Students [#permalink] New post 15 Oct 2013, 07:11
This list is amazing thank you for putting this together
Current Student
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Re: 108 Tips for New MBA Students [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2015, 06:26
That's a great list, thanks for sharing!

Another good article about 10 Things To Do The Summer Before Your MBA:
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Re: 108 Tips for New MBA Students [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2015, 20:37
Very helpful tips.. Thanks to share this.
Re: 108 Tips for New MBA Students   [#permalink] 27 Jul 2015, 20:37
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108 Tips for New MBA Students

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