3.2. Culture

The business culture in the US is unique, and probably very different from the culture in your home country. Given that most of the MBA students have worked (an average of three years or more) in this culture, and that they grew in it, makes them better prepared for the labor market. Most of your peers have probably gone through one or more job-search processes, and have interviewed extensively.

How to overcome:

Get a job before getting a job. The most exposure you can get to the work environment, the better. Find out about part-time teaching or research assistantships, or any campus-wide employment opportunity. Assisting a professor generally pays well and you gain valuable experience.

Get together with Americans – not people from your country. Engage in conversations about your jobs, lifestyle, professional and social interests. Most Americans will be willing to share ideas with you if you do the same.

Keep your eyes and ears open. Read newspapers and magazines, watch TV, go to the movies. Be knowledgeable in sports, cars, movie stars, politics, and other subjects the Americans enjoy talking about (you will end up enjoying it too). Talking about the most popular TV shows, your University’s sports teams and the weather will always be a good conversation starter with anyone (e.g. recruiters).

Make friends outside B-School: Do not limit your social life to the MBA crowd. Get to know your neighbors, join professional or social groups. This attitude contributes to your integration to the US culture, and enhances your network.