6.3. Take academics seriously

The choices you make throughout your MBA program can alter the outcome. Think about the following:

– Academic honors: Grades as such do not matter much in the job-search process. An academic honor, however, makes a big difference.

– Communication and related courses: We cannot stress it enough. They may not be as attractive as Strategic Marketing or Derivatives, but they are much, much more useful for your new career and even for the interviews. Take them all – written and oral communication, presentation skills, networking, negotiation, teamwork, and so on.

– Majoring in Marketing and or Operations: When a company decides to invest in a certain country it will be initially looking to setup a marketing/sales presence or to build manufacturing facilities. Since companies investing in your country or region will be looking for people with your profile, majoring in those areas makes more sense than Finance or other.

– Choice of electives: Do not over specialize. If you are majoring in Finance, you don’t need to take every highly specialized course in the area (like Interest Rate Swaps). Try to take the key electives that will give you a broad understanding of key business issues. Every school has a bunch of electives that are almost required given the quality of the teaching or the content. At the same time, there are many electives or professors you should avoid. Research carefully – you are spending a lot of money, and you should be completely satisfied with the courses you take.

– International Business: It is certainly a great subject. But as interesting as they may be, do not take a lot of courses in the area – your background screams international business, but may be lacking other skills. You should be taking courses in your weak subjects, rather than your strong ones.