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Things to do before starting your MBA
April 20 2024

Things to do before starting your MBA: 

With the IIM A declaring their results a few days ago, we now know that the official admission process has begun. Similarly, the other B-schools will also start their admission process for the year 2022. So whether you start your journey this year, or planning for the next year, this article is for you! Read on to find out the things you need to do before starting your MBA journey.


Also read: A day in the life of an IIM Ahmedabad student

Check Out: IIM Ahmedabad Campus - CATKing B-School Take Over

 1. Go through the basics:

Most of you may not be of a management background like the students from BMS or BBA. Hence, a good idea would be to go through the basics of what the MBA has to offer. Try to proactively learn some basic terms and concepts from general subjects like marketing, finance, economics, etc.


  • Marketing Essentials:
    • 4Ps of Marketing: Understand the key decisions for marketing a product (Product, Price, Place, Promotion).
  • Financial Analysis:
    • SWOT Analysis: Learn how to assess a company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
    • Balance Sheet: Grasp the concept of a financial statement showing a company's assets, liabilities, and equity.

 2. Do a short term course:

  • Time Management: Prioritize getting certified before your MBA classes begin to ensure you have the time.
  • Course Relevance: Opt for a certification course related to your eventual specialization or a relevant, generalized course.
  • Examples of Relevant Courses: Google Analytics, Communication Skills, Google AdWords, Advanced Excel, etc.
  • Choose Recognized Platforms: Enroll in courses from reputable platforms like Coursera, edX, ensuring quality and recognition.

Get Certified on BlockChain, Analytics, Brand Management, Leadership & Digital Marketing just for Rs.6000/-


3. Learn Excel:

  • Excel Proficiency is Key: Excel will play a crucial role throughout your MBA journey.
  • Brush Up Your Skills: Whether you're experienced or not, it's wise to refresh your Excel skills.
  • Projects Require Excel: Expect to use Excel for nearly all your MBA projects.
  • Learn Beyond Basics: Go beyond basic functions; explore shortcuts and advanced features.
  • Pivot Tables and Analytics: Master advanced features like PivotTables and analytics for powerful data manipulation.
  • Invest Time: Dedicate time to learning Excel now to save time later on projects.
  • Free Online Resources: Utilize free online videos ranging from beginner to expert levels.
  • Consider Certification: An advanced Excel certification can bolster your CV and showcase your proficiency.

4. Learn Microsoft Powerpoint:

  • Focus on Presentations: Presentations will be a significant aspect of your MBA coursework.
  • Weightage on Presentation Skills: B-schools place considerable importance on your ability to present effectively.
  • PowerPoint Mastery: Invest time in mastering PowerPoint to create impactful presentations.
  • Visual Medium: Recognize PowerPoint as a powerful visual tool that can enhance your message.
  • Make or Break: Your PowerPoint presentation can significantly influence the reception of your ideas.
  • Relevance in Corporate Settings: Presentation skills are indispensable in corporate environments for conveying ideas and strategies.
  • Learn Like a Pro: Strive to use PowerPoint with proficiency to craft presentations that captivate and engage your audience.

5. Learn report making basics:

  • Often Neglected Skill: Report writing is a skill that is sometimes overlooked but is vital in both academic and professional settings.
  • Encountered Throughout Life: From daily reports to project reports, report writing is a task you'll encounter frequently.
  • Master MS Word Formatting: While you may be familiar with MS Word basics, learning specific formatting techniques for reports is essential.
  • Integral to MBA Journey and Beyond: Reports are a common requirement in MBA coursework and continue to be relevant in the corporate world.
  • Importance of Presentation: Sometimes, the presentation of a report can be as crucial as its content.
  • Impression Matters: A well-written report can leave a positive impression on teachers, clients, or stakeholders, increasing your chances of success.
  • Greater Chance of Project Success: A good report not only communicates effectively but also enhances the perceived quality of your work, contributing to project success.

6. Prepare your CV:

  • Different Resumes for Different Stages: Your resume for B-school applications will differ from what you need for job placements.
  • Start Early: Begin working on your CV as soon as possible to avoid last-minute rush.
  • Include Relevant Experience and Achievements: Highlight work experience and achievements that align with your chosen specialization or career goals.
  • Preparation is Key: Having a well-prepared CV in advance can streamline the process later on.
  • Consider B-School Guidelines: Your B-school may provide a specified CV format, but it's beneficial to have a comprehensive CV ready beforehand.



Check Out: Profile and MBA colleges How to build Resume  Certifications and courses

7. Start networking:

  • Start Networking Early: Reach out to seniors or alumni via LinkedIn or college groups on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram before the MBA season begins.
  • Gain Insights: Networking with seniors and alumni can provide valuable insights into different specializations, courses, and overall MBA experience.
  • Clarify Confusions: If you're unsure about which specialization to choose, reaching out to past alumni or seniors can help clarify your doubts.
  • Benefit from Insights: Alumni and seniors have a wealth of knowledge and experience to offer, which can be invaluable for managing yourself and your course.
  • Help During Internships and Projects: Building connections early on can also prove beneficial during internships and live projects.

8. Stock up on MBA essentials:

  • Formal Clothes: Invest in professional attire suitable for presentations, interviews, and networking events.
  • Shoes: Ensure you have comfortable yet professional shoes suitable for long hours.
  • Good Laptop: A reliable laptop is essential for coursework, research, and projects.
  • Robust Laptop Bag: Protect your laptop and carry essentials comfortably with a durable laptop bag.
  • Essential Gadgets: Consider any additional gadgets or accessories that might aid your studies or productivity.
  • Plan Ahead: Shop for these essentials before your MBA program begins to avoid last-minute stress and focus on your studies from day one.

9. Start reading economic times:

  • Entry into Business World: MBA marks your official entry into the business world, emphasizing the importance of staying informed.
  • Read Business Newspapers: Develop a habit of reading reputable business newspapers like Economic Times or Financial Times.
  • Stay Informed: Stay updated on current business happenings worldwide, including the world economy, geopolitics, and stock markets.
  • Note Major Events: Take notes on significant events and news for reference during classroom discussions, group discussions, and placement-related activities.
  • Benefits for Classroom and Placements: Being well-versed in business news not only enriches classroom discussions but also enhances performance in group discussions and personal interviews.

10. Start reading business-related books:

  • Start Reading: If you haven't already, begin reading good books and autobiographies focusing on business.
  • Common Interview Questions: Expect questions during placements about the books you've read during your MBA.
  • Choose Well-Known Books: Opt for renowned titles that you can confidently discuss in any situation.
  • Examples of Recommended Books: Consider reading books like "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," "Freakonomics," "Connect the Dots," etc.

Also read: 10 must-read books for every MBA Aspirant

11. Learn about your B-school :

  • Beyond Specializations: Look beyond the academic specializations and explore the various clubs, committees, events, and competitions offered by your B-school.
  • Identify Interests: Take the time to research and learn about the different opportunities available to you.
  • Pre-plan Participation: By identifying areas of interest early on, you can pre-plan your involvement in clubs, committees, events, and competitions.
  • Maximize Experience: Participating in extra-curricular activities can enrich your MBA journey, providing opportunities for skill development, networking, and personal growth.

12. Start researching and targeting companies:

  • Review B-School Reports: Study previous placement reports published by your B-school to understand top recruiters and placement trends.
  • Compile List of Interested Companies: Create a list of companies that align with your interests and career goals.
  • In-depth Research: Conduct thorough research on these companies, understanding their business models, culture, and expectations from candidates.
  • Build Relevant Skills: Tailor your skill development efforts to match the expectations of your target companies. For example, if targeting digital marketing firms, focus on skills like SEO and SEM.
  • Proactive Approach: By proactively building your profile based on industry expectations, you can gain a competitive edge during placements and beyond.


As the saying goes “Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation,” your preparations on how to start will determine how successful you become in your endeavor. MBA is no doubt an expensive investment, so give all your time and energy to make the most out of these two years. Start learning to Prioritise your tasks, at the same time learn to multitask. These two things will be your saviors during MBA. Finally, also spend some time with your friends and family before you embark on your journey. This might be the only ‘free’ time you’ll have for the next two years. But overall, it’s a super exciting start to something new and you will definitely have the time of your life. So gear up for the adventure that’s awaiting you. All the best!

Also read:  Top B-schools with the best ROI

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Anisha Mukhija

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