It’s time for those New Year’s Resolutions!
Spend more time with your family.
These may be the resolutions you had in mind. But for those of you hoping that 2018 is the year you apply to business school, add business school planning to the list!
To give you a head start and keep you on track in the New Year, Personal MBA Coach is launching a 4-part series this January: Kick-Start Your MBA Planning!
Here is the first: Make Your Career Work For You!
Without changing jobs, there are some steps you can and should be taking now to ensure that when you sit down to draft those essays, you have plenty to talk about.
- Be honest about your desires: It may seem simple, but many of us are afraid to be straightforward about our ambitions at work. While in some cases, you can be transparent now about your future MBA aspirations, in others you will likely keep it a secret a while longer. Either way, let your manager in on your long-term goals. Tell her what skills you hope to master. If there is an experience at work you want to have, ask for it. Many managers will be more than happy to find projects to help you close these gaps.
- Along the same lines, take on extra work. Yes, I really said this. Now is the time to ask for extra projects. Look specifically for the ones that can give you missing experiences. Even if you have already let your manager know about the skills you are looking to perfect, don’t rely on her to find tasks that fit your needs. In an ideal world, you would just work on your dream projects, but we know that isn’t possible. By doing extra work you will get more changes to build the skills you desire. And what better time of year to put in some extra hours than during these cold, dark, snowy months?
- Get involved at the office! Internal projects are a great way to beef up your leadership experience! Almost every company has an internal initiative that requires help. So plan that next office off-site, set up a training or speaker series, or get involved in recruiting. If nothing exists, create it yourself. Starting a new program at work will score you bonus points at application time.
- Look for mentoring opportunities. If you have not had the chance to manage your own team, you can still begin to perfect this skill. Take a new hire or even an intern under your wings and show him the ropes. If you can be a formal mentor, great! But if such an opportunity does not exist, even an informal mentor relationship will supplement your leadership experience.
- Finally, get your own mentor! Find someone that you connect with at work or someone you admire and invite her for coffee or a drink. Ask about her career. See if she is willing to give you general career guidance. At this stage, you don’t want to ask for anything specific, just start to build the relationship. Over time, you might be lucky enough to develop a champion in the office or a future recommender. Regardless, getting advice from someone more senior can always help.
A Wharton MBA graduate with a BS from MIT, Scott has been an MBA admissions consultant for eight years and has helped hundreds of applicants around the world get into top MBA programs. Besides perfecting the MBA admissions process and making dreams come true for applicants from Tokyo to San Francisco and everywhere in between, Scott has also worked across consulting, financial services and strategy & corporate development roles before becoming a Full-Time admissions consultant.
If you would like help applying to Dartmouth Tuck or any other top business school, set up a free consultation session with Scott here to learn more about his unique and personalized support.
Note from the Apply team: Opinions expressed by Apply MBA Contributors are their own.