So you’ve decided to apply for an MBA program. You’re studying for the GMAT, researching business schools, and practicing your interviewing skills. You’re on your way to a degree that will give you a competitive edge and expand your knowledge, skills, and opportunities in the business world! 

MBA programs are known for being both challenging and rewarding. Before you begin your first semester, here are some tips to prepare for success in an MBA program.

1. Brush up on foundational business concepts and skills. 

You may have an undergraduate degree in business and simply need to review what you’ve learned in the past. Or, perhaps this is your first exposure to business and you need a crash course before applying for graduate study. Completing pre-MBA prep courses can give your application a boost and help you feel confident as you begin graduate coursework.

MyEducator’s MBA Prep resources prepare future MBA students for success with self-paced, bootcamp-style courses. Subjects include accounting, business statistics, economics, Excel, finance, marketing, and even English composition. Each resource includes the essential concepts you’ll need to know, along with videos, assessments, and a post-test to gauge your mastery of the subject. Watch the video below to learn more about our MBA Prep: Accounting course.

2. Build up your professional identity and personal brand. 

What are your long-term professional goals? Which business schools offer electives and programs that align with your interests and abilities? What do you hope to get from your experience in an MBA program, and what contribution do you hope to make to your school and community? You may have thought about these questions already, but getting clear on your vision for your professional life will help you present yourself in the classroom and beyond in a way that aligns with your goals. 

You’ve probably spent time crafting the perfect résumé to send in with your applications. (If not, here are some tips for creating a stellar résumé.) But you’ll also want to do an audit of your LinkedIn and other social media accounts to ensure that they represent your personality, passions, and skills well and align with your professional vision. You might consider getting good-quality headshots to use as a new profile picture. On LinkedIn, you might highlight your successful small business, share relevant and timely articles from news sources, or set yourself apart from the crowd by asking for recommendations and skill endorsements.

3. Start networking. 

Networking is one of the most important skills an MBA student can develop—it will go a long way to success in business school and in the corporate world. It can be particularly valuable to talk to current students and alumni of the MBA programs you are considering. You can ask for advice to help you make the most of your MBA experience and share your academic and professional goals. Expanding your network now may prove crucial when recruiting time comes around. 

Other ways to network include reaching out on LinkedIn and attending networking events through your current organization. You can see every interaction as an opportunity to get to know someone new. It’s also critical to maintain and build on your existing network. Those connections you establish and nurture may have a great impact years down the road.

4. Seek out leadership opportunities. 

MBA graduates are leaders in their organization and industry. You can start building your leadership abilities now! Seek out opportunities in your personal, professional, and social life to get involved and lead in activities you care about. Leadership involves developing good communication skills, setting and achieving goals, and influencing others to achieve a shared goal. Business schools pay careful attention to extracurricular activities, so combining leadership experience with meaningful extracurricular opportunities is a big bonus.

5. Stay up-to-date on the business world. 

Prepare to be an engaged, informed student and professional by reading publications like the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, or Harvard Business Review. You might also consider publications related to your chosen area of business to stay on top of current events and innovation in your field. You’ll be able to connect the things you’re learning to real-life events and be better prepared to be a leader in the business world. 

MBA programs are a demanding though exciting environment for many students. These tips will help you feel confident and prepared for the two years ahead of you! MyEducator’s MBA Prep resources will help you hit the ground running in your first semester of business school so that you can achieve your goals and realize your vision for your professional life.