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Advice to First Year Graduate Business Students

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Students in Class

It’s great to be back at campus for the second year of my MBA. For second years like myself, this is a time to reconnect with friends and get back into the familiar swing of student life. But for those just starting their graduate business experience, there is likely some anxiety for what’s to come. With that in mind, I’d like to offer the following advice for students who are new to graduate student life here at Krannert.

The first advice I give is to connect to as many people as you can and to utilize the support system that the Purdue MBA program has. One of the greatest advantages I found that the Krannert School of management had compared to other notable business schools is the smaller class size. This allowed me to create more intimate and meaningful relationships with the classmates and the Krannert team. The Krannert Professional Development Center was invaluable to me in my first year because they guided me in the correct direction in finding the career path I wanted. But my networking did not stop at just the graduate programs support team. I also engaged the undergraduate management team. Charlene Sullivan, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs at Krannert, gave me wonderful resources on how to find career paths in finance. The networking does not stop at just one person, nor at just one meeting. Fostering relationships requires time and commitment, which is often hard to do in the first semester. But, it is advantageous to try to create that time because networking helps you find the careers that interest you the most.

My second piece of advice is to keep interviewing and not be afraid of rejection. This advice is most personal to me because it pushed me out of my comfort zone so many times. However, this also ended up helping me the most.  If there is an opportunity for a mock interview, do it. The best way to ace an interview, aside from conducting due diligence, is to keep practicing. At career fairs, the best way to prepare for the key interview of your choice is to practice at other interviews you get accepted to. The more interviews you do, the more confident you become, and the stronger your responses to their questions will be. Many people, like myself, will be afraid to do them because they are afraid of rejection. But instead of feeling dejected after my fourth rejection, I felt more confident that I would land an internship soon. I didn’t give up, and finally found what I wanted to do. In the end, I was thankful that I overcame my fear of rejection and it made me a better person.

The final piece of advice that I offer to new graduate business students is to always remember that you were selected to be in this program for good reasons. I am sure that the rumors have already circulated about the difficulty of the first semester, and I will say that they are true. It is very difficult, but the Krannert team would not have chosen you if they felt that you were unable to handle it. There have been a few days where I doubted my ability to manage my time and get through the first year. However, I made a lot of friends, participated in three student organizations, two case competitions, and landed an internship in the end, all while believing that I belonged here and was chosen to be part of a great school. Most importantly, I learned to have fun while doing all of this. In the end, there are only two years to accomplish as much as you can, and my first year was nothing short of phenomenal. Just be yourself, work hard, and have a lot of fun!