One of the primary reasons applicants flood the world’s best business schools every year is to gain access to a network of career changing professionals. This is often the primary reason applicants cite for pursuing an MBA.
Now once you are on-campus how do you make sure you are taking advantage of this network? There are a few obvious areas but also some other areas that get commonly get overlooked. Let’s discuss a few areas where students can network on campus:
Your classmates will be your primary network while in business school, as well as afterwards. These are the people you will spend time with every day in the classroom, recruiting, in extra-curricular activities and even working in the office. Your classmates are the best people to forge your network with, because of the daily interactions and mutual connections that exist from your shared experiences together. Contrary to popular belief these relationships are best formed outside of the classroom via extra-curricular activities and social functions, so don’t be afraid to get to know who your classmates really are!
Another great networking opportunity is with alums. Now, you may be saying “but alums aren’t on-campus?” Well, in fact they are! Alums are all over business school campuses across the globe. Many come back for sponsored events from their firms that recruit on-campus, others engage with students via speaking engagements in the classroom, and even attend business school conferences. The point is alums are around; take advantage of their visits to campus and leverage their experience to make the most of your alumni network.
Here is something most would never guess. Professors probably have the most expansive network of anybody on campus. They have relationships with current students, alums, and even corporations. It is very common for professors to connect students with alums and companies for potential employment opportunities, particularly in niche industries. Building a strong relationship with professors is not only good for your grades, but also for your long-term professional career.
4. Other Grad Programs
One of the benefits of the university system is that it fosters an environment of community learning. Take advantage of the other graduate programs on campus – like law, medicine, and engineering – to network with other students. For students pursuing careers in industries like entrepreneurship, healthcare or technology, these relationships can be particularly impactful.
Make the most of your time on campus, by leveraging all of the opportunities above to leave campus with a powerful network!
Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants. You can read more of his articles here.