Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an aspiring manager, or something else entirely, there are dozens of reasons to go to business school. In fact, many young professionals pursue an undergraduate business major or an MBA to test the waters and figure out what they’re best at. What most don’t realize is that the most important aspect of your professional education is going on in the background – studying business in school is the best way to build professional connections and develop your networking skills.
Get In On The Ground Floor:
When you’re in a business class or program, you have the opportunity to meet a wide range of people. Some of your classmates will be returning to school to advance their careers while others will be new to the business. Regardless of their relative positions, though, these are the people who will help you get a job, connect you with innovators, inventors, and suppliers, and partner with you to advance your future ventures – so stay in touch with your classmates. By going to business school, you can get your foot in the door at a number of companies before you even start working.
Link Up With Classmates:
LinkedIn is an integral part of any job search and, as you make your way up the ladder, it will play a role in whom you choose to hire. So what does that have to do with going to business school? As you build your LinkedIn profile, you’ll connect with classmates, engage with their content, and participate in groups. The more active you are on LinkedIn, the more you’ll stand out to the business community.
LinkedIn is also a great place to demonstrate your knowledge base. During your business education, even if you’ve only done an associate’s degree, you’ll learn foundational skills, such as accounting, marketing, and public speaking. Apply those skills to create compelling blog content and sell your skills to potential employers. Show your LinkedIn connections what you know.
Open Those Invites:
In today’s digital environment, you might be surprised to learn that in-person networking events are still vital to building professional connections – and your business school network will issue the invitations. If you stay in touch with your classmates, and your instructors, they’ll bring you into the rooms that count.
During in-person events, you’ll build even broader connections, demonstrate your value within your professional niche, and these events often present your best chance to speak directly with top-ranking executives and thought leaders. They can ignore your emails and phone messages, but if you make an impact during face-to-face conversation, those leaders aren’t likely to forget your name.
Remember, networking connections are fundamentally long-term relationships, and the most valuable ones can take years to cultivate. That’s why starting in school is ultimately so valuable – like any alumni network, those years long connections open doors and create allegiances. In fact, your former classmates are likely to be more loyal to you than to their current coworkers because you got started in the same place. We started from the bottom, now we’re here, as the lyrics go, and you’ll always have a special connection with the people who shared the journey with us.
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