My Very Last MBA Assignment…

This blog is my very last USD assignment. There are no more classes, no more cases, no more papers…just one more blog post. So, I can’t help but use this post to share some MBA wisdom. Hopefully the fact that I now have my MBA makes me a reliable information source! Here goes…

1) Use Career Services. Go prepared and go often. Terra has a million ideas and is willing to support you every step of the way. She kept me confident. She looked out for me. She worked very hard on my behalf. If you don’t visit her and Reyna, you’re missing out.

2) Hang out with your Mentor…even better, hang out with your classmates’ mentors. Seriously. Mentors are wonderful people. Mine was great. She was kind and thoughtful and a great listener. My classmates’ mentors were equally great – more than one opened up their rolodex for me without a second thought and others spent time with me just to see how they might help. And they did. And they will. And I hope I can do the same for them at some point…or at least finally be the one to treat at lunch!

3) Take deep breaths: Don’t think you shouldn’t be here. I spent a good half of the first semester convinced that this history major couldn’t hang. I was wrong (thank goodness!). I could and I did. It meant a lot of hard work, but it was worth it because I learned a ton. And, for me, simply realizing that I can learn anything I need to and I can learn it FAST is one the most powerful things I will take with me.

4) Go to office hours. Our professors are smart, funny, helpful people. It’s worth stopping by…even if it’s just to say “hi.”

5) Make friends with everybody. Your cohort is your core group. And it’s wonderful. But there is more than one cohort in town. I’ve loved getting to know people across cohorts – and they’ve helped me to find jobs, prepare for interviews and given me sound advice. And, they’ve become good friends, too.

6) Make a list of target companies EARLY. Once you have that list, start finding contacts and meeting people at each of them. Set up informational interviews to ask questions and learn about people’s experiences. It helps. Go into the process looking to learn and meet somebody interesting – not just looking for a job. It makes for a much more pleasant experience on both sides of the table. That said, be prepared because you never know when an informational interview can land you a job (that’s how I got mine!).

7) Take a class or two abroad. I don’t think I need to explain this one…

I could go on, but lucky number 7 seems like a good place to call it quits. So, I’ll close by saying thank you…to my awesome classmates who have made this program so fun, to our outstanding professors who have taught us so much and to the wonderful MBA team that has supported us each step of the way. It’s been a blast and a pleasure and I kind of wish I could do it all over again.

Happy Holidays!

-Erin Nolan

Erin is a second year, full-time MBA student. She graduated from Harvard University with a degree in history, spent the summer interning at Active Network and will begin working with HP upon graduation. 

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