Getting into a MBA program is a huge accomplishment, and something you should be proud of. But, the moment that the excitement of getting into your program wears off, it becomes time to work. MBA programs, whether they are full or part time, will absolutely take up a majority of your time. It’s important to wrap your head around what you want to accomplish through this program, as well as what you need to do to guarantee success within the program. There are a few things to keep in mind when working towards a successful life as an MBA student.


Be Open to Career Exploration

Most students apply to MBA programs with a very specific career path in mind. The recruiting department will always be available to help you find a job in the path that you choose; a good recruiting department will have contacts at most top companies.  But it’s important to do your own exploration outside of the path that recruiting can lay out for you.  Joining clubs and extracurricular activities will allow you to explore your professional talents in a more fluid way than the standard recruiting route will. Allow yourself to engage in organic business engagements like freelance consulting or marketing in order to get the first hand experience that will truly allow you to determine where your strengths are hidden.


Leave Comfort Behind

This ties directly to the first tip. In order to get the most out of your program, and ultimately succeed in life, it’s important to take risks and break out of your comfort zone. Take classes that you would not normally consider. Try out clubs that you don’t think you would be “good” at. All of these new experiences will not only help with personal growth, but you’ll also be exposing yourself to an entirely new network of people that you would not normally have access to. Remember, that your network will be the most valuable thing you have available to you, after you graduate. Make sure that you build the best network that you can through continued new experiences.


Find A Hobby (For Work-Life Balance)

The reality is that MBA programs will not allow for a true work-life balance. Your time will be spent in class, studying, or doing business related extracurriculars. It will be draining, and the adjustment period may be difficult. To avoid burning out, schedule in an hour or two to do an activity that is not related to your MBA. Take a long run, cook meals for the week, or even read for leisure. It’s important to allow yourself some regularly scheduled recuperation time; that mental break will allow you to dive back into your studies with a fresh, renewed perspective every time.
Check back soon for more tips to a successful MBA experience!


To see the Forbes list that inspired this article, click here.

Melissa Ko is the Managing Member of Covepoint Capital Advisors, LLC and serves as the Chief Investment Officer of its flagship, the Covepoint Emerging Markets Macro Fund. Please visit, and to learn more!