Tips for Getting The Most Out of Your MBA

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Many business professionals consider going back to school for their MBA as it can make all the difference in getting a promotion, a new job or a significant increase in salary and job security. But some put the idea on hold or decide against it altogether because of several factors, including geographic limitations and the time and commitment it takes. That’s where things are changing. With the rise in popularity of online degrees becoming and with quality schools expanding their online programs, it’s now easier than ever to earn your MBA.

Many students find themselves strapped for time and unable to attend traditional classes due to location or excessive commute time, so more and more opt for online MBA programs. Some people can’t take two years away from their job while spending less time with their family, so online schooling is often an option that works.

Keep Working

You’re interested in getting your MBA, but you have a job, a family and other commitments that make you wonder if it’s even possible. You might want the degree so you can get a promotion, a raise or even change careers entirely. The prospect of making more money is likely a major factor in your consideration to go back to school, but it’s not possible to take two years off from your job. How would the bills get paid?

The solution is to earn your MBA online. A true breakthrough in the business world that has only been available for roughly the past decade, an online MBA allows you to you take classes while keeping your existing job. This means you still get a paycheck while you work towards your degree. Without a commute to school, you’re able to spend more time with your family, too.

Update Your Social Media

By now, we all know that social media is a lot more than liking photos posted by your friends and family. It’s a way to make connections, get the most up-to-date news and learn about all kinds of topics.

If you’re not on Twitter, get it set up now, because the wealth of information and contacts found there make those who don’t use it tragically out of touch. Start following companies you’d like to work for. Engage with your program and trade websites, business news and the comings and goings of entrepreneurs.

Start Looking for Jobs Before Day 1

While you’re still in school you should be familiarizing yourself with all things business. Read about top companies in the field you’d like to get into upon graduation. Find out who the major players are and listen to what they have to say.

Get your résumé up to date and work on it throughout your schooling. Make it perfect before you graduate so you’re not stuck trying to make it professional as you’re applying for jobs. You may even want to start the application process early, as employers will often hire MBA students who are nearing completion of their degree.

Think Outside the Box

You’re about to enter a “dog eat dog” world and your big goal is to land a job that leads to a successful business career. Who says you have to wait until you graduate to contact potential employers? The paradigm for job seeking is changing. Aside from being professional and polite, there are no rules for getting your first job after graduation. Contact potential employers and ask them for advice. Make bold contacts with business professionals you admire and respect. Being proactive will get you a lot further than those waiting “for the right time” to do things related to job hunting.

Take the Long View

Most MBA degree programs will take roughly two years. There’s a reason for this. There is a fixed amount of material that must be taught and learned and you simply can’t do it in a week or two.

J. Gerald Suarez, professor of practice in systems thinking and design at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, writes this in the Washington Post:

“In our hyper-dynamic and complex world it is tempting to try to do more, work longer, and multitask our way into instant results. However, the future is never urgent so shortcuts or impatient approaches to deal with it will not yield valuable insights. To be effective in planning for the future, first slow down [and] dare to imagine the future that you would like to create even if you feel that you are outside your expertise.”

Acquiring the expertise you need to level-up your career will take time. It is important to understand that your degree is an investment of time as well as capital. Fortunately, by getting an online business degree, you can move forward with the assurance that you are on the most efficient path to creating the future you aspire to.