Brandeis International Business School

Advice for first-year business students

Tips to make your first year at Brandeis International Business School a success



The best advice comes from personal experience.

If you are a first-year student at Brandeis International Business School, or are thinking about applying, you probably have a lot of questions. So here are a few insights on how to get ahead based on my own experience as a first-year MBA student.

Start your career search early

Certain industries, including investment banking and consulting, begin their recruiting during the summer. If you are a career changer who is planning to pursue employment in advisory services or finance, I advise you to brush up your finance and strategy knowledge ahead of your program start at Brandeis (Coursera and edX are two free options). Taking a fundamental course or two before the fall semester will give you a solid base for your internship interviews. The awesome Career Coaches at the International Business School will also provide you with interview preparation help even before your program starts, which is a great resource!

Learn how to network

In addition to working with your Career Coach, you’ll also need to build your network. If your goal is to land a job in the U.S., you will need to spend a portion of your time networking — and you can never start early enough. Recommendations and insider knowledge gained from networking can play a central role in receiving internship offers. That’s why networking with alumni and industry experts is as equally important as learning new concepts. Your best tools for successful networking will be time management and working with Career Coaches at the Career Strategies and Engagement Center to come up with a game plan. You can’t be everywhere, so it’s important to prioritize where you’ll get the most from your time investment.

Develop your listening skills

Class discussion and the case-based teaching method allow you to share your own ideas, but your classmates have rich and diverse experiences as well. Here’s an example: In my Competition and Strategy class, I came to fully understand a General Electric case study through the help of my classmate, who worked for GE and was able to explain both the company culture and nuances of the case. Although it’s important to be prepared and contribute your own ideas, listening is a great skill to develop.  



Think big and seize opportunity

If you are interested in an entrepreneurial career like I am, your professors and fellow students will be great resources. Opportunities can also arise from attending events that cater to developing entrepreneurial skills. A few of my classmates successfully launched businesses by transforming their ideas for various case competitions and hackathons into real enterprises in both the human resources and fashion industries. The key for these students was seizing an opportunity outside the classroom and taking the lessons they learned at Brandeis to the next level. I have enjoyed seeing their successes, and will seize similar opportunities when I decide to launch my own venture!

Student Insights features blog posts and videos produced by current students and recent graduates of Brandeis International Business School. The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here belong solely to the author.

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