What Should You Do The Summer before Business School?

Congratulations! You’ve gotten into the MBA program of your dreams. Is there something you should be doing in the final summer before business school starts? Short answer: yes. Long answer: watch this video!

Angela Guido has three things to tell those fortunate few ready to back their bags and head to the MBA front – and it’s not all bad. You might enjoy it, trust us!

Did we help you get into business school? Let us know! We’d love to hear from you 🙂

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Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:

Hello and welcome back to MBA Monday! Today I am talking to those of you who've already gotten into business school and you're trying to figure out how to use your last summer of freedom before the MBA starts so that you can hit the ground running, make the most of your MBA, and launch the next phase of your career. I'm Angela Guido, the founder of Career Protocol and believe it or not, as long as I've been coaching people to get into business school, I've been coaching people to get out of business school with the job they really want. I actually started coaching MBAs to get jobs at BCG long before I started doing admissions consulting. So I have a lot to say about how to use your summer effectively to achieve everything that you might want to achieve before you start that MBA program. I want to tell you three things, and I'm just going to tell them to you.

1. What Do You Actually Want To Do?

  • Forget about what other people might want
  • Don’t overthink it

First thing you want to do is really put the emphasis on yourself and what you want. So one of the questions I get a lot from clients is “If I quit my job now (now being May) is that going to look bad when I go for recruiting for my summer internship?”. The short answer is probably not. At this point, when recruiters look at you as an MBA hire, they're really evaluating your career to date and your MBA. If you made the choice to take some time off before business school, they're not going to judge that. The bigger issue here is that you really want to understand that this is a summer unlike any summer you're ever going to have after this. It's a bit like one of those college summers where you didn't necessarily have to have an internship so you could travel if you wanted to. A lot of people spend their pre-MBA summer just traveling and relaxing, spending time with family and loved ones. That is a totally valid use of your summer because once you get into your MBA program, you've got your summer internship, and then your full-time job might start right after you graduate or just a couple of months after you graduate. You may or may not have time to really travel between your MBA and your next full-time job. You may not have time to just be a kid again. So, if you want to use your summer to do that, that's totally valid. On the flip side, if you want to use it to build your resume, that's also totally valid. Whatever choice you make, it's your summer. So the first thing you want to do is figure out what you actually want, what you actually want to do for the summer before you go to business school, and then make plans along those dimensions. That's the first step.

2. Force Yourself To Relax

The second step is, even if you decide that you want to use the summer to develop your career — maybe you want to go do a pre-MBA internship or maybe you even want to keep working at your firm until the last minute to bank up some cash before you start your MBA — if you decide to use the summer to continue your career or to try something else but to build out your resume still, please take at least a little time, at least a week somewhere to hang out with friends and family or to travel. Most MBA programs have a lot of interesting summer things you can do. There's Yacht Week, there's a trek in the Himalayas. There's all kinds of things that you can do associated with your business school class. But apart from those, most of you probably have a desire to just vacate, to just have a little vacation. It would probably be really good for you to take at least a week to do that because the moment you hit business school, stuff is going to hit the fan. You are going to be busier in your two years of business school, frankly, than you've maybe ever been in your career, and I'm even talking to those of you who worked in banking and private equity. Because you're not just doing one thing in your job, you're doing five things, and they're all really important. So you're going to be sleeping very little during business school. So if you can take a little bit of time to relax and refresh, you're going to be really glad that you did it.

3. Start Thinking About The Distant Future

  • Next summer
  • Make your future life easier
  • Get ready for recruiting
  • Feel free to do this on the beach
  • Values & self-knowledge

The last thing I want to say about what you really want to do in your pre-MBA summer is not about getting a pre-MBA internship (although you could absolutely do that, it's not a bad idea), it's not about really actively working to build your resume (although that may also be a very good idea to do). None of that is either right or wrong, you just got to figure out what you want to do. The one thing that is crucially important for everyone is to begin thinking about your summer internship — which is going to happen a year from now — to begin thinking about that now and to begin laying the groundwork of your network and your self-awareness so that by the time you get to campus, you have a framework to evaluate the vast and baffling array of options that are going to present themselves to you through MBA recruiting. Most of you wrote essays about what you wanted to do in your post-MBA career that was at best a logical guess from what you know about yourself, from where you've come from, from what you like, from what you don't like. But if you're really honest, whatever you wrote in your MBA essays isn't probably the final answer. That's how it is for most people. Even for my clients who were really convicted about what they wrote in their MBA essays, as soon as they get into business school and they see all the amazing options that are available, they want to sample something else. This is part of the value that the MBA is going to give you, is the chance to consider a variety of different jobs, some of which you've never even heard of and never would have considered, but that could be an amazing fit for you. But the surest way to burn out in the first two terms of your MBA is to not have a plan for recruiting because there will be so many opportunities, you cannot possibly do them all. You can't even do 10% of them. You're going to have to be targeted and focused as you go about evaluating the options for recruiting post MBA. So that means over the summer, you want to take just a little bit of time to reflect again. Throw away your essays, reflect again on what are your values, what do you want out of your post-MBA career, what's really important for you to gain during your summer internship and in your post-MBA career, and then begin just doing a little bit of networking with companies. Basic simple informational interviews so that you can establish a couple of connection points in the companies that you're interested in, and you can get smarter about how what you want actually maps to actual jobs that you might be applying for later. That will not force a decision pre MBA. I'm not saying you should arrive on campus with one and only one plan for recruiting, quite the contrary, but what it will tell you is what's actually important to you. It will give you meaningful information about where you want to be looking and the opportunities that you can ignore during your MBA so that you can really consider the options and then choose the right one for you and be efficient in doing so, so that you don't get caught out without a summer internship because it took you too long to figure out what you really wanted to do and you weren't ready to compete in the very challenging recruitment process against all of your amazing classmates.

So again, little known fact, even before we were offering MBA admissions coaching at Career Protocol, we were offering YOMO. Yomo stands for You Only MBA Once and it's our pre-MBA recruitment program. It’s designed to help you do all this stuff that I just described during the summer while you’re at Yacht Week, while you’re hanging out with your new and old friends, to just lay a little bit of foundation in preparation for MBA recruiting so that you're ready to actually get the best opportunity for you post MBA. It's something that most people don't really fully grasp until it's too late. The MBA program you go to and the brand of your MBA matters significantly less than the job that you get coming out of your MBA. The foundation, the minimum threshold of your salary, your earning potential, and your leadership potential is being established by the first job that you get coming out of business school. If you miss that pivot point to get a job that's really great for you, that allows you to climb a steep learning curve, and that establishes you on a very firm post-MBA foundation, you're going to end up like one of many, many people we've seen over the years get into a great school and be not super happy on the other side because the MBA is temporary. What's going to last is your career. We've offered the Yomo program every year for the last seven years. It's helped countless people get in to the job of their dreams post MBA. I hope you'll consider joining me this year. If you want to check out the Yomo program, you can sign up at the link below careerprotocol.com/mrm. That's MBA Recruiting Masterclass. Simple, MRM. That's a free masterclass on everything that you need to be aware of about MBA recruiting before you get to campus. And it will also tell you all about the YOMO program and how you can sign up if you want to join us. It's going to be a rockin' party this summer helping amazing, rising MBAs like you get ready to make the most of their MBA experience. We're incredibly proud of this program. We've literally helped hundreds of people get the job that they want post MBA. So check it out here, careerprotocol.com/mrm, and I will see you next week here on MBA Monday. In the meantime, congratulations! Enjoy your summer. If you do nothing else this summer, if you don't build your resume, if you don't build your network, at least enjoy it. You've earned it. I'll see you next week!

Picture of Angela Guido

Angela Guido

Student of Human Nature| Founder and
Chief Education Officer of Career Protocol

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