Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes
Surprises Await First-Year MBAs: Insights from the Class of 2025
The first year of business school is often thought of as a transformative experience. However, the Class of 2025 at various business schools has discovered that there are plenty of surprises awaiting them. From the challenging workload to unexpected personal growth, these students are learning valuable lessons beyond what they initially expected. Here are some of the surprises that the Class of 2025 has encountered during their business school journey.
One of the biggest challenges in business school is learning to prioritize and say ‘no’ to certain activities. Many MBA students have found this to be a difficult task. With countless opportunities to get involved in extracurriculars, clubs, class trips, and more, time management becomes crucial. Students quickly realize that they must prioritize their goals and focus on what they truly want to achieve during their time in business school.
Unlike their experiences in undergraduate studies, MBA students have been pleasantly surprised by how much the professors genuinely care about their success. Professors take the time to get to know their students on a personal level, showing a genuine interest in their career aspirations and personal goals. This level of dedication and support has had a significant impact on the students’ academic journey.
While business school may seem focused on numbers and data, many students have been surprised by the heavy emphasis on developing soft skills. Leadership courses and effective communication are given great importance, reminding students that being an effective leader often means putting humans at the center. This unexpected focus on soft skills has helped students excel in areas they hadn’t anticipated.
The Class of 2025 quickly discovers that business school is non-stop. Between classes, recruiting, case competitions, club events, leadership positions, and socializing, students find themselves constantly occupied. It becomes essential for students to prioritize their time and avoid overcommitting in order to prevent burnout.
Students are often shocked by the number of opportunities to travel that arise during their time in business school. Whether it’s local or international trips, there is a strong desire among MBA students to explore new places. While this can be an unexpected expense, it provides valuable opportunities for bonding with classmates and creating unforgettable memories.
One surprising aspect of business school is the immediate opportunity to put learned skills into practice. Many schools offer extracurricular organizations that allow students to apply leadership tactics and techniques in a low-stakes environment. This practice helps build confidence and refine leadership styles before entering full-time roles.
The Class of 2025 has learned that business school is full of surprises, both challenging and rewarding. From the struggle to prioritize time to the unexpected personal growth, these MBAs have gained valuable insights beyond their initial expectations. As future applicants consider pursuing an MBA, they should factor in these potential surprises and prepare themselves for a transformative and unpredictable experience.