Going back to school to earn your MBA is a big step towards taking your career, your life, and your ambitions further, but is it enough to truly distinguish yourself on Day 1 of your job search? Business school is an incredible opportunity in its own right, with thousands of graduates every year walking away with those coveted three letters,you will need to find a way to stand even taller than your peers. When you start your program, there are tons of opportunities you can seize to build on your credentials – just don’t miss out on them while they’re open to you.
#1 International Immersion
International immersion is quickly becoming a must-have part of any MBA program as the globalized economy demands more professionals who understand business practices, cultures, and languages in other parts of the world. One b-school offering an international experience, the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, provides students with two separate opportunities to learn about business across the world.
a) The Two-week International Study Elective is an excursion to another country where students sit in on business meetings to see how they’re conducted and visit the country’s top employers.
b) The summer study term is a chance to complete a term of your degree at a business school abroad; while you can choose another option, the Lazaridis School of Business has active relationships with Essam in Denmark and Euromed in Marseille, now part of KEDGE.
Whereas most MBA candidates go out into the workforce for a number of years after their undergraduate before returning to a higher level of education to advance in their field, some come to switch careers or come almost directly from a BA. If you’ve enrolled to move into a different industry or straight from school, coops and internships are essential to your success. An internship placement will help you gain valuable work experience and build relationships with potential employers. If you haven’t already, make sure you find out about coops and internships available as part of the MBA program at Lazaridis.
#3 CPA Designation
With a Master of Business Administration, you can expect a higher salary and better job prospects, but many are left wondering how they can truly give themselves an edge. The answer is often additional designations, often in conjunction with a specialization like finance or accounting. Those who are planning to focus on accounting should consider working toward their CPA designation while they earn their degree. Some schools now offer courses that prepare you for the CPA exams, meaning you can combine your education with a highly sought-after designation.
#4 Case Competitions
Most b-schools send teams to compete in a number of international MBA case competitions, and while these competitions all have a monetary prize for the winner, that’s not the only reason these events are so important. Major case competitions always draw recruiters from big employers, and they aren’t always just out looking for the winner. They’re out looking for top talent that will fit with their organizations, and they frequently come to case competitions to find new hires. Competitions, like international immersion, internships, and advanced designations, are a great way to distinguish yourself. Always remember that the goal of your MBA isn’t just to get the degree itself, it’s to blaze a trail for your future career.