Planning summer for next year’s MBA
Preparing for an MBA during the summer can be a great way to get a head start on your studies and enhance your chances of success in the program. Here’s a summer plan that you can follow to prepare for your MBA:
- Research MBA Programs: Spend time researching different MBA programs to identify the ones that align with your career goals and interests. Look into their curriculum, specializations, admission requirements, and alumni network. This will help you make informed decisions when it comes to selecting schools and planning your coursework.
- Strengthen Your Foundation: MBA programs often assume a certain level of knowledge in areas such as accounting, finance, economics, and statistics. If you feel that your foundation in these subjects is weak, consider taking online courses or self-study materials to brush up on these areas. Websites like Coursera, edX, and Khan Academy offer free or affordable courses that can help you strengthen your skills.
- Improve Quantitative Skills: Quantitative skills play a crucial role in MBA coursework. Take the time to improve your quantitative abilities by practicing basic math, statistics, and data analysis. You can find resources online or use GMAT/GRE prep books to work on problem-solving techniques and practice questions.
- Enhance Communication and Writing Skills: Effective communication and strong writing skills are vital in MBA programs. Use the summer to refine your communication skills by participating in public speaking events, joining a toastmasters club, or taking online courses focused on business communication or presentation skills. Additionally, practice writing essays and reports to improve your written communication abilities.
- Read Business and Leadership Books: Expand your knowledge of business concepts, management strategies, and leadership principles by reading books written by successful business leaders and renowned authors in the field. Some recommended reads include “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries, “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman, “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, and “The Innovator’s Dilemma” by Clayton M. Christensen.
- Build Professional Relationships: Networking is a critical aspect of MBA programs. Take advantage of the summer to connect with professionals in your target industry, attend industry conferences or events, and join relevant professional organizations. Building a strong professional network will not only help you during your MBA but also throughout your career.
- Prepare for Standardized Tests: Most MBA programs require applicants to submit GMAT or GRE scores. If you haven’t taken the exam yet or want to improve your score, dedicate time to study and prepare. Review test materials, take practice exams, and consider enrolling in a test preparation course if necessary.
- Reflect on Your Goals: Use the summer break to reflect on your long-term goals and what you hope to achieve through an MBA. Clarifying your objectives will help you stay focused during your studies and make the most of the opportunities that come your way.
Note that this plan is just a starting point, and you can tailor it to your specific needs and circumstances. It’s essential to maintain a balanced approach and enjoy your summer while also preparing for the academic rigor of an MBA program.
How to prioritize your plan?
While all the plans mentioned above are important, here are a few priorities to consider when preparing for an MBA during the summer:
- Research MBA Programs: Start by prioritizing your research on different MBA programs. Understanding the various options available to you will help you make informed decisions about which schools to apply to and how to structure your preparations accordingly.
- Strengthen Foundation Skills: Prioritize improving your foundation skills in subjects such as accounting, finance, economics, and statistics. A strong foundation will be invaluable throughout your MBA journey. Identify any areas of weakness and focus on them to ensure you have a solid understanding before starting the program.
- Prepare for Standardized Tests: If the MBA programs you’re interested in require GMAT or GRE scores, prioritize test preparation. These exams play a significant role in the admission process. Allocate time for studying, taking practice tests, and familiarizing yourself with the test format to maximize your chances of obtaining a competitive score.
- Enhance Quantitative Skills: Quantitative skills are crucial in MBA coursework. Devote time to improving your abilities in math, statistics, and data analysis. Practice problem-solving techniques and work on quantitative reasoning to build your confidence in these areas.
- Build Professional Relationships: Networking is an ongoing process, but it’s essential to start early. Prioritize attending industry events, joining professional organizations, and connecting with professionals in your target industry. Building meaningful relationships takes time, so starting during the summer will give you a head start in expanding your network.
- Read Business and Leadership Books: Reading relevant business and leadership books can provide valuable insights and broaden your understanding of the field. Prioritize reading a few key books during the summer to gain knowledge that will benefit you throughout your MBA journey and beyond.
- Reflect on Your Goals: Take time to reflect on your goals and aspirations. Clarify what you hope to achieve through an MBA and what specific areas you want to focus on during your studies. This reflection will help you prioritize your efforts and make the most of your MBA experience.
Though you are not supposed to stick to above suggested plans, you should adapt them to your individual circumstances and goals. Focus on the areas that are most relevant to your needs and interests to ensure an effective and efficient preparation for your MBA.
*If mathematical skills are needed, this is how you can brush it up
If you feel that your mathematical skills need improvement for your MBA program, here are some ways to brush them up:
- Online Courses and Tutorials: Many online platforms offer courses and tutorials specifically designed to help you improve your math skills. Websites like Khan Academy, Coursera, and Udemy offer a wide range of math courses, from basic arithmetic to advanced topics like calculus, statistics, and linear algebra. These platforms often provide interactive lessons, practice exercises, and quizzes to reinforce your learning.
- Textbooks and Study Guides: Look for textbooks and study guides that cover the mathematical concepts relevant to your MBA program. Books like “Mathematics for MBA Entrance Exams” by R.S. Aggarwal and “Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations” by R.S. Aggarwal are popular choices that cover a wide range of quantitative topics. These resources typically include explanations, examples, and practice problems to help you understand and apply mathematical concepts.
- Practice Problems and Worksheets: Regular practice is essential to improve your mathematical skills. Look for practice problems, worksheets, and exercises that cover the areas you want to focus on. You can find such resources in textbooks, online platforms, or even by searching for specific topics on search engines. Dedicate regular study sessions to solve these problems and reinforce your understanding.
- GMAT/GRE Math Prep Materials: If you’re preparing for the GMAT or GRE exams, there are specific math preparation materials available that can help you brush up on the quantitative section. These resources often include practice questions, strategies, and tips tailored to the exam format. You can find official guides and prep books from the test makers, as well as online resources and courses dedicated to GMAT/GRE math preparation.
- Work with a Tutor or Study Group: If you prefer a more personalized approach, consider working with a math tutor or joining a study group. A tutor can provide individualized guidance, explain complex concepts, and help you overcome specific challenges. Study groups allow you to collaborate with peers, discuss problems, and learn from one another’s insights.
- Practical Applications: Look for opportunities to apply mathematical concepts in real-life scenarios. Analyze financial statements, solve business-related problems, or work on case studies that involve quantitative analysis. This practical approach can help you develop a better understanding of how mathematical concepts are applied in business contexts.
When it comes to math skills, it is important to note that consistency and practice are the essential key. Make a study schedule, set goals, and allocate dedicated time to work on math regularly. With persistence and effort, you’ll be able to strengthen your mathematical foundation and feel more confident in your quantitative abilities for your MBA program.