What to Do Before Heading to B-School

You did it! You got into business school—congratulations!

It might seem like years ago that you first started your applications, or you might feel like the whole process flew by. Either way, you now have just a few months left before you head to campus and take your first official steps toward earning an MBA. And we guarantee that those remaining weeks will go quickly.

So what you should do between now and then?

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Obviously everyone’s situation is different. Some future students choose to work up until they leave for school in an effort to save as much money as possible. Others have already given their employers notice and are off traveling the world. And still others will choose to follow the growing trend of participating in a pre-MBA internship.

You probably already know how you’re going to spend the bulk of your time before business school. But here are a few items to put on your To Do list just in case:

  • Thank your recommenders. Big time. Meaning, take them to dinner, get them a small gift, or at the very least write a heartfelt thank-you note. Don’t underestimate the role your recommenders played in helping your candidacy—their glowing praise and memorable examples of your accomplishments might have been what convinced the adcomm that they just had to have you in their program.
  • Thank the rest of your support system. You likely had someone else read over your essays or spell-check your application. You also probably had some good friends who listened patiently as you stressed out about everything from the GMAT to interviews to Notification Day. Make sure you let them know you appreciate their support. Even better, return the favor the next time they need help with something.
  • Get your finances in order. Even if you know where the majority of the money is coming from that will fund your MBA—be it personal savings, student loans, scholarships/grants or assistance from your family—now is the time to think about a monthly budget for your time on campus. There will be no shortage of opportunities to spend money over the next two years, and you should prioritize what’s most important to you before everything and everyone starts competing for your time. Would traveling for an industry trek be more important than going on spring break with sectionmates? Would you want to hit the slopes with your program’s Ski Club or participate in an international opportunity? If you know you won’t be able to afford it all, start thinking about what you definitely don’t want to miss out on. Your savings account will thank you later.
  • Make new friends, but keep the old. Start getting to know your new classmates through your program’s intranet, message boards and local meetups. It’s a great feeling to already have a few acquaintances before you even step foot on campus. But don’t forget about the co-workers, friends and family members you’ll be saying goodbye to. Yes, there are tons of ways to stay in touch with people these days so it’s not like you’re going to totally drop off the face of the earth. Except that it kinda is—at least for a little while. Business school is intense. You’ll be mentally and physically exhausted during your first year (in a good way, we promise). So get some quality time in with those you care about now and forewarn them you may be a little less communicative than usual this fall.

Most of all, enjoy this unique time in your life. One chapter is closing and another (very exciting) one is beginning. Take some time to celebrate your huge accomplishment before classes start!

This article has been re-published as per the terms of LEAP Partners Program with Stacy Blackman Consulting.

Follow Stacy Blackman on LEAP.

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