Prior to officially beginning the Illinois MBA program, I can recall an address given by Dean Stig Lanesskog. During our orientation, he shared that a portion of the Illinois MBAs progressive nature was centered in the student creation, and by student creation, I mean students in the program possess the unique freedom the sculpt their experiences. The students control the direction of the curriculum they desire, the number of organizations they choose to join, the leadership positions they seek, and the list goes on. In his oration, Dean Lanesskog detailed his pillars for success within and beyond the program, one of which was create your story. In this edition of the Illinois MBA Student Life blog, I will offer five of the best methods (in my opinion, of course) to create your story in attaining success in and beyond the Illinois MBA program.
5. Get Involved – The Illinois MBA program boasts a multitude of groups in which students can get involved. Illinois Business Consulting, KOLA, and Illinois MBA Diversity Association hardly scratch the surface of all the existing opportunities to get involved. Additionally, study abroad trips present unique opportunities to gain multi-cultural perspective and experience. In a time when the market holds an undeniable international climate, time spent abroad can only help in further distinguishing yourself from other job candidates as you enter into the workforce.
4. Hone Your Craft – Students who gain admittance to the Illinois MBA program demonstrate a certain capacity to add value to the program, specifically, and the University of Illinois, as a whole. While earning your MBA, the extent to which your previously possessed skill sets develop along with new skills sets falls under the “your responsibility” category. Illinois MBA provides students with great platforms through which they can actively increase their business acumen and skills, but it is up to YOU to take advantage of the experiential learning opportunities (IBC, case competitions, etc.)!
3. Exist Outside the Box – For many of the Illinois MBA students, this two-year period serves as a “return to college”. Perhaps there was an activity you wanted to do or an organization you wanted to join during undergrad but never did. Take advantage of this time to live “outside the box”. Rock climbing, synchronized swimming, among other unique activities exist in the catalog of what U of I offers.
2. Broaden Your Network – Perhaps the cornerstone in the expansion of one’s personal brand and professional advancement, networking enables common ground to be reached in the interest of mutual benefit. As Illinois boasts one of the largest alumni networks, opportunity oozes from every event (cruises, trips, happy hours, meetings, etc.) generated by the program in an effort to bring students and alum together.
1. Make a Name For Yourself – The goal of the vast majority of people returning for their MBAs is progressing in their careers, even if that progression includes an entry into a different sector or industry altogether. All of the aforementioned ideas drive toward this objective. In the two years spent in the Illinois MBA, it is up to YOU to leverage your experiences to produce the results YOU desire. Use the available tools to sculpt your future!
Allow the Illinois MBA program to serve as the canvas on which you can create the masterpiece that is your story. Immerse yourself in all that the program has to offer and come out on the other end with a BEST SELLER! Until next time…