In the first part of this article, Agnès Cosnier-Loigerot, Global Director of the INSEAD Career Development Centre (CDC) shared how INSEAD is helping MBA students manage and thrive in a fast-moving and changing environment, especially with rapid changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

In this article, Agnès provides some tips for MBA students to get the most out of their MBA experience in preparation for their career journey after graduation.

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Stay curious

Effective leaders continuously ask the questions that can lead them to consider disruptive new ideas.

Similarly, students will need to approach their career development journey with a curiosity mindset: questioning, listening and observing. Acknowledging the gap between what they currently know and what they need to know is an important part of the learning process – as is being humble enough to accept that they don’t have all the answers. By opening their mind to new perspectives, unlearning as well as relearning core approaches, students may find themselves better equipped to spot career opportunities in areas that are less obvious or even quite different to what was anticipated.

 

Become a super-connector

The INSEAD MBA experience offers a diverse learning environment where students can connect with a wide range of highly talented peers. By cultivating social capital and engaging as much as they can, and giving back as much as they receive in a two-way exchange, students can build a support network rich in ideas, intelligence and connections to draw on throughout their career. That way, the INSEAD alumni network can work as a powerful career management tool, one that can help our students source referrals and new jobs, solve business challenges and uncover opportunities.

 

Be proactive

Adopt an active, systematic approach to maximising career change goals.

Once students have identified the industry, function and company culture that seems right, they should make sure that they understand the concrete actions they can take to get to their goal, then focus on pursuing these. If they can’t see the steps needed to take, they might want to consider breaking their career plan down further into smaller, more manageable chunks. If students’ career expectations change during the course of the programme and they decide to pivot to something different, they can modify this approach to quickly orient themselves towards a new goal.

By embracing these approaches throughout their time on the MBA programme, students will be better positioned to manage a successful career switch.

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