H6. What is one piece of advice you have for someone who is about to start an MBA program?

Oddly, this question provoked conflicting advice from MBAs on a couple dimensions.

  1. Many MBAs emphasize that business school is a time to explore new things and people; many other MBAs said that it's so overwhelming that you have to narrow your focus.
  2. Some MBAs felt that academics didn't matter very much, but there was a vocal contingent that stressed diving into everything, including your classes, and getting as much out as you can.

However, most MBAs emphasized that this can be a really fun time in your life, if you let it.


Explore new things, people

Eric Dittmar

It seems like having a narrow focus would be best; but exploring the small decisions allowed me to get clearer about what really mattered

Aryanne Ferranti

I never took the time to ask myself what I really wanted to do; I had interests beyond what I had written in my application

Akhil Nigam

Explore a lot of different fields, careers, classes; the opposite of the application; ask really stupid questions

Get to know your classmates

Ashish Kasturia

Learn as much as you can, but not just from books; my MBA changed me as a person

Saritha Peruri

I threw a massive kegger every few months; it was a great way to know your classmates

Anjali Saraf

I grew so much in those two years, and it was due to my classmates

Enjoy it! Don't stress too much

John Wilson

Just have fun! no one fails accounting; the relationships are key to the full experience

Ezra Englebardt

Some people got so wrapped up in academics that they forgot to look for a job and have fun

Andi Rugg

Try not to worry about grades or jobs; just enjoy it!

Narrow your career focus, know what you want

Gaurav Bhattacharyya

You don't have time to try everything; take the summer before to think about the 2-3 careers you want

Amber Turley

I've narrowed my focus; there's too much going on to explore everything

Dive in head first, do as much as you can

David Adams

There are only 2 ways to screw up a top 10 MBA program: trying to do too much academically, or not doing anything

Chris Gallant

It's only 2 years, so get everything you can out of it

Travel as much as you can

Wendy Lu

I took the summer off before business school to travel; travel as much as you can

Other advice

Tom Rose

If you're going to start a company, do it sooner rather than later; I think that dropping out of business school is a dominant strategy

Alex Slawsby

Treasure a break before school starts; put in some preparation before the first semester

Elizabeth Kearney

I focused on academics because that was a weakness; identify your weaknesses and focus on those

Benjamin Olds

I made a big mistake: I fit my wife around my business school life