MBA in the US
I have been thinking about writing this for ages, but couldn’t manage enough time. This post might help people who are thinking about coming to the US for their MBA, and who are not aiming for a PhD after MBA (because of my limited knowledge in the path to PhD). This writing is solely from my experience (which can be very different from others) of coming to the US and having been in the MBA program for the last 5 months. Before I get into what happens after you come to the US, I feel like I need to talk about funding and university selection as a lot of people ask me about this. There is a lot of funding available for an MBA, you just have to look in the right place. Often the right place is the university website, more specifically the business school’s website. Another good source is current students/alumni, who you can find on LinkedIn. When you face the admission interviews, you can clearly state that getting a good scholarship is a priority for you. It worked for me since my admission committee took my priority into account. When it comes to university selection- ranking, scholarship, location- all of these matters. Do your research, no one can do that for you. What surprised me after I came to the US is that some schools are more known for some specific functional areas that might not be reflected in ranking. For example, my school- The Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business- is famous among recruiters for supply chain and operations. So, if you plan to have a career in Finance, this school might not be a good fit for you. Because companies primarily come to my school for recruiting supply chain/operations people. If you seek other roles, you will have to give up the hope of campus recruitment and look for those positions by yourself on LinkedIn, Indeed, and other professional networking websites. Now let’s talk about my experience after I joined the MBA program. The first semester is intense. You have to adjust to a new life, a new environment. The workload at school is incredible. On top of that, you will have Teaching/Research Assistantship, which can be up to 20 hours/week. But this portion is more or less known to all of us. What took me by surprise, is the job search. Yes, for the summer internship next year, you have to start applying right after the classes start in August. And it is not like, if I have a good profile, I will get a call from recruiters. You need to build your network with recruiters, peers, and alumni. This takes a lot of time and effort. You need to attend diversity conferences, have networking calls and coffee chats. I had to travel to two cities to attend two conferences to talk to recruiters. Why put in so much effort? Because right now in the US, it is really difficult for international students to get a job. Business students face even more difficulty than science students. If you get into a school with a ranking below 25, you will have to put in a lot of hard work to stand out in the applicants’ pool. Being fluent in English helps a lot in all of these interactions and interview process since business people thrive on soft skills more than technical skills. Who can help you amidst all this chaos? Your peers. Your cohort will become your family and help you in every step. Apart from this, every business school has a career coach (designation may be different). They can help you with resume, interview questions, and other recruitment information. Second-year students and alumni are also great to help since they went through the same experience not long ago. They can help by taking mock interviews and relating their work experience. All in all, you will have a pretty strong support system. But it will be your responsibility to seek them out. Everyone here is really helpful, once you ask for help. I know all of this sounds very demanding and grueling, but it is doable. But I wish I knew these facts before I joined the MBA program. If anyone has any more questions, I’d be glad to help. Thanks!