Friday, April 25, 2008

Advice for MBA 2nd year study

Time flies and we will finish two-year MBA studyat Babson College this May. Well many first year MBAs will start worrying about intern, job and elective classes in second year, following are two-cents from myself and other 2ndyear classmate at Babson College:

- You can drop any class after taking the first one without any penalty.
I strongly encourage you to drop a class if your instinct tells you it sucks. The 1st class is also a chance for the professor to sell his/her course to you. If the professor shows no passion to have you on board, then drop it.

- You can audit many good classes for free
Depends on the professors, some classes you can audit for free though some will say No to you. Typically Adjunct professors are more willing to do so. People I know that allow you to audit are Dhebar(marketing guru), Caspe(adjunct professor, entrepreneur), Charm(finance expert)and Mulvaney(IB expert, formerly VP at CSFB).

- Choose a strategy with focus
If you want to change career, I'd suggest you focus on one industry the whole semester. Then once you learned you don't like it, then you still have one semster to focus on another one. If you decided to go Finance, then better take all financial classes so to give yourself a better picture about how terrible the life is with numbers everyday (right, Jenny...:)

- Your last chance to be crazy
So you still have one wacky idea, now  your last chance. If you have a startup dream or trying switch from engineering to consulting, do it in the first semester of 2nd year

- Skills vs. Industry
If you aren't sure what industry to go, best to learn some skills can be applied to anywhere such as data analysis/SPSS

- Job-oriented
Start reading job spec of positions you want to apply right now, then see what you are short of and focus on bridging the gap during 2nd year. A real example is someone wants to go video game from finance so did two independent research with professors on video gaming industry.

- Misc
Independent study is best if you take it as 1.5 credit so you can still enjoy 5 courses along the freedom to do something on your own. Then the key is to choose the right faculty advisor.

It's both good and bad sitting in the class with evening/part-time MBAs. Good for networking through group project. Bad for a poor class participation from those guys (imaging they drive to Babson after office hours..)

Most resources you can have by studying at Babson is OUTSIDE Babson. Harvard/MIT has many great events so never miss that.

If your career goal is difficult to come true, stick to it.  Every human being appreciates persistence, courage and creativity. Be it American or Chinese, Faculty or recruiter.



For internship: Do not worry about internship too much ( I know that’s your current status). You can find one in second year very easily. So, maybe a reverse strategy, I mean take some classes in summer and do an internship in fall, is an idea you can consider.

2.       For job hunting: lift your ass above chair. Go out and network with anyone who work in your target companies.

3.       For study(finance role),

·         hard skill is still more important than soft skill in entry and middle level. So, you have to fight with numbers.

·         If you take more than 15 credits class in one semester, it’s tough to prepare CFA at the same time (except IB background).



Btw, there are my 2 cents about job hunting:
1. Get started ASAP, don't wait until the last semester. It will be too late for international students.
2. Talk to as many people as possible about your interview, and practice as much as possible (CCD will be helpful only if you are well-prepared).
3. Try to join all CWLevents to get more networking opportunities, especially MBA mentoring program.

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1 comment:

lizzie said...

Hi, Hong, not sure whether u will read this. But if yes, I would like to seek some advices from you since I am applying Babson this year. The adcom has offered me an option to enter the one-year program. But I have a great doubt because I am from China mainland and have no work experience abroad before. How could I manage to catch up with the 2nd year student directly? And how can I build enough confidence on job searching before graduation? BTW, I have the business background and 3-year management experience before. Really appreciated if you can give me some suggestions. My email: