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How To Network On Your MBA With Ease

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How To Network On Your MBA With Ease  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Feb 2019, 21:47
For many students, networking is one of the main reasons they decided to pursue an MBA. It’s one of the most important aspects of any MBA program and in many cases, can facilitate career progression and success. For on-campus courses, networking is easy. Students spend up to two years working and interacting directly with classmates, staff and visitors, forging friendships along the way.

However, for online MBAs, building connections requires more effort.An on-campus MBA requires students to forgo their salaries, often relocate, and pause their careers for one or two years. Because many students don’t feel they can do this, online and distance courses, which enable students to study in their free time, are becoming more popular. This has tied in with an increase in the quality of these courses, with many featuring in global top-ranked MBA lists such as the QS Distance Online MBA Rankings 2017. One of the major downsides to an online or distance MBA is that the very nature of them makes it much more difficult to network, with fellow students spread literally over continents and time zones.

It’s certainly more difficult, but it’s not impossible. Follow our tips for networking to make the most of your online MBA:


Make the most of group projects

Schools which run MBAs understand the importance of the networking, teamwork and collaborative aspects of the course. For this reason, online MBAs will incorporate group projects in the same way that on-campus MBAs do. Groups collaborate via video calling, telephone calls, email, messaging systems and shared documents.

This isn’t as simple as working with fellow students in person, which means that a more concerted effort is required. Make the most of this by suggesting an introductory video call to meet and get to know the other members of your study group, and regularly converse to develop solid relationships. Research different online communications platforms and settle on one which suits you all, then make sure to schedule time in to speak – factoring in work schedules and time differences. Spend time getting to know the people you’re working with on a personal level, and if possible meet them in person – this might not always be possible, especially if teams are international or spread across a large country.

Most of your contacts will be online, so make the most of social media and connect with other students. Before starting the course, ensure your accounts (particularly LinkedIn) are up to date, to allow your classmates and others to find you with ease. This will also allow future employers to understand your work and education history, and you’ll be much more visible to any businesses who recruit from your institution.


Take advantage of in-person opportunities

Despite the medium of online MBAs, many programs will still have in-person opportunities across the course. Meet-and-greets and other events will be held to enable students to introduce themselves to their colleagues and professors. Attend these wherever possible – aside from helping you get to know others on your course, it will also allow professors to put a face to a name, making you more personal to them. No matter how advanced digital communication gets, there’s nothing like in-person conversation to solidify relationships.

Students should also consider taking advantage of any travel opportunities available. Some courses will offer international modules or on-campus electives. If possible, take up these opportunities- they’re fantastic experience and they’ll allow you to form closer ties with others on the course.

Students should also find out if any of their classmates live nearby and suggest meeting up for a coffee, or lunch, to speak to them in person. Some institutions will run city-specific events for students, particularly if the course attracts a lot of international candidates. Keep a lookout for these and attend when possible.


Make an effort – it’ll benefit you in the end

With on-campus MBAs the network opportunities are presented directly to students – they’re essentially unavoidable as long as you attend the course. For online MBA students, however, the situation is entirely different. Online students need to make a serious effort to build the kind of relationships which might develop naturally should they be sitting next to someone every day. It takes dedication and resolve, but, for those who are willing to put the effort in, there’s no reason their experience should be less connected than an on-campus student.

Online MBA students also benefit from the fact that they will develop online conversation and networking skills, vital in today’s working world where online collaboration is often required on a daily basis


1. Seek out a mentor at work or during your internship:

While mentors can be found everywhere, one of the best places to find a mentor is at the office. By selecting someone you work closely with who knows you well, you will hopefully be able to gather candid feedback on your strengths and weaknesses.

He or she will also be best positioned to identify your strengths and weaknesses and offer career advice that is relevant to your background and goals. Starting your search for a mentor early allows you to take your time to find a mentor who is a good fit for you.

Begin by asking your target mentor out for coffee or lunch and ask him about his career. Let the relationship develop from there.


2. Have meaningful conversations with alums:

Reaching out to alums from your current or target school(s) working in your desired field can be extremely beneficial.

Some candidates wonder how many students they should contact—I advise two or three per school, as reaching out to more than that can be overkill! Remember to focus on having quality conversations that give you an authentic picture of what life is like at that school or in that role.


3. Invite someone in your dream role for coffee:

Meeting up with strangers can be intimidating but doing so can pay off in the long run.

One way to start is by telling someone you want to learn more about her job and how she got there. Those in your dream roles today were once in your position, and many are happy to help aspiring professionals. The key to these conversations is to learn and to let the relationship grow organically—this is not the time to ask for help getting a job or for a recommendation! Meeting with alumni from your alma mater or friends of friends/family can be an easy starting point.


4. Seek a volunteer position:

Look for a meaningful role within an organization that you are passionate about and/or one in your target field.

Consider opportunities to work on team projects or to join a board; this will allow you to connect with other like-minded professionals. Not only will you learn more about your target industry and gain valuable skills and experience, but you will also likely expand your network, developing contacts you can call upon later in your career.


5. Use social media to create digital connections:

While networking face-to-face can be a valuable way to meet new people, the reality is that many of the connections you make will be online. This is particularly true if your target schools are not in your current area or if it is hard to find local professionals in your dream role.

Having an updated LinkedIn profile is the bare minimum for creating an effective personal brand for online networking. When messaging other professionals, make sure to personalize it enough so that your message is clear and authentic and not too ‘cookie cutter’. Following your target schools and firms on Twitter can also help you stay on top of the latest news and trends which can help you stand out in both your future applications and interviews.


6. Counter your fears:

If you tend to shudder at the thought of ‘networking’, it can feel daunting to put yourself out there and strike up conversations with strangers. First, remember: you’re at a great business school and you absolutely deserve to be there – so sign up for an event, speak up, and show your worth. Pretty much everyone has suffered from a touch of imposter syndrome at one stage or another.

If your reservations about networking go deeper, and you’re somehow concerned it’s “slimy,” you’re not alone. According to Jeffrey Pfeffer, a Stanford professor of organizational behavior, many people “believe it requires inauthentic, uncomfortable behavior”. If that sounds like you, try to reframe the process not as a transactional exchange of favors, but instead as a chance to help others, or an opportunity to talk about the subjects and causes you’re most passionate about. Making meeting people less about you and more about them or a worthy goal is the best way to remove the ‘ick factor’ of networking.
for more such blog visit here: https://www.nldalmia.in/blog
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Re: How To Network On Your MBA With Ease  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Feb 2019, 09:35
Quote:
3. Invite someone in your dream role for coffee:

Meeting up with strangers can be intimidating but doing so can pay off in the long run.

One way to start is by telling someone you want to learn more about her job and how she got there. Those in your dream roles today were once in your position, and many are happy to help aspiring professionals. The key to these conversations is to learn and to let the relationship grow organically—this is not the time to ask for help getting a job or for a recommendation! Meeting with alumni from your alma mater or friends of friends/family can be an easy starting point.


Great tip and good reminder!
GMAT Club Bot
Re: How To Network On Your MBA With Ease   [#permalink] 27 Feb 2019, 09:35
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