For many MBA students, one of the most beneficial aspects of earning an MBA degree, apart from the knowledge they gain, is the opportunity to network with their classmates.
At Limestone College, an MBA program cohort brings together a diverse pool of candidates from various professional and academic backgrounds, providing students exposure they might not have otherwise. However, as an online student, with limited face-to-face time with cohort peers, networking can seem daunting. That’s why we’ve put together the following five networking tips for online MBA students.
- Interact with classmates virtually
For students who are new to Limestone’s online MBA program, you will quickly learn that many of your courses will require some level of virtual interaction with the other members of the cohort. This may include working on a group project or posting comments on a classroom discussion board. To make the most from these interactions aim to communicate clearly and politely, pay attention to other comments, and resist the urge to dominate a particular conversation thread.
- Utilize face-to-face meetings
All online MBA program students at Limestone College will have a chance to meet face-to-face with their cohort and faculty during three residency weekends. Going into the event, you will likely already be familiar with some classmates you’ve worked with on a class project virtually. However, make the most of this experience by introducing yourself to those you don’t know very well or haven’t had a chance to meet. It’s also helpful to share your contact information with fellow classmates.
- Connect via LinkedIn
As you go through your program, you are bound to connect or “click” with some classmates more than others. However, one way to ensure you stay in touch with your entire cohort is to connect with them via LinkedIn. A U.S. News article also suggests joining relevant LinkedIn groups and participating in discussions.
- Leverage alumni network
Unless you are a part of the very first cohort of a new MBA program, there are always going to be program alumni you can network with. Even for a relatively new MBA program, the alumni pool is always growing, so be sure you have a way of connecting with future graduates. One way to do this is by attending alumni networking events or if your school does not have program specific events, take the initiative to organize a casual get-together and notify appropriate attendees via social media.
- Look beyond your inner circle
Beyond the interactions you have with you MBA program classmates and faculty, remember that every event is a networking opportunity. Challenge yourself to connect with people beyond your inner circle of friends and acquaintances. Be prepared to talk about yourself confidently and discuss your career ambitions post-MBA.