Sunday, May 15, 2011

Extracurricular activities during the MBA program (my personal experience)

My initial strategy in the past was to go LEAN - to conserve time, money & energy and focus only on studies. My thinking was to focus only on activities that create value (knowledge) and exclude activites that lead to wastage of resources. Details about the concept of Lean are here ( My intent was to give 100% in the classroom and not worry so much about the extra-curricular activities. Even though this strategy help me to understand my subjects well, I felt that I missed out on the networking aspects in the past. However, that was specific to my circumstance in the past, where going Lean was essential for me to conserve resources.

However, I realize now, that the best strategy is to participate in as many career building and networking activities. There are tons of actitivies - conferences, parties, seminars, workshops conducted in the MBA program, (especially, starting September of the year, in the Fall term) and it is a good idea to make the most of these events.

Yes, it is important to pass the MBA subject courses using the limited time available (24 hours do not seem enough in a day!), but it is also important to develop one's personality, to learn social skills, to build Social capital ( & Social Networks ( It is important to develop self confidence, speaking skills, presentation skills, negotiation skills, interview skills, socializing skills. And this can happen only when there is a lot of interaction with classmates and with professors / staff at the MBA program. And perhaps the most important aspect of  making social contacts is JOBS. The better your network, the higher your chances are, of landing a decent job after the MBA.

I intend to continue using the Lean strategy for the coming academic year too, but hope to be a bit more active in the social circuit now on. I have no plans of contesting in the Student Elections in the Fall 2011 term (I shall cheer for my classmates who do and shall wish them well). I am not sure if I shall participate in the Canadian MBA games 2012 (to be held in the University of Alberta School of Business in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). But I shall try to work hard towards participation in MBA case competitions as and when they are conducted. Case competitions help MBA students sharpen Business Strategy skills and help become good Management Consultants and this is of great interest to me.

I do intend to get a firm grasp of all the subjects that I shall study in the program, so that I become a good MBA graduate. And when the time comes for me to implement my MBA knowledge on my first job after the program, I hope to be confident and fully ready for it!

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