Before a student in Weatherhead’s MSM-Finance program even steps foot on campus, they’re already hearing from me about how they can get the most out of their time here to get the best outcome after graduation. As program manager, my focus is on supporting student experience to help students achieve those positive outcomes.
But students have a big role to play themselves, and that doesn’t only apply to their schoolwork. The students who achieve the greatest success during their business school education and beyond are typically the ones that tap into the resources available to them both inside and outside the classroom. We offer a holistic view of student experience, and students have to leverage the opportunities for professional development, networking and other support to get the most out of their education.
The first piece of advice I give students is to take advantage of Weatherhead’s many clubs and volunteer activities, like the Finance Club or Graduate Business Student Association (GBSA), that enhance their classroom experience. These are opportunities to work on building leadership abilities, meet potential employers and develop the kinds of skills that companies are looking for in new hires.
I also encourage students to come see me often, whether it’s for help in solving a problem, advice related to a class or just to talk. My door is always open. From day one, I’m in constant one-on-one communication with students to help guide their choices in classes, extracurriculars and overall student experience.
Too often, though, students wait until graduation is approaching before seeking out help in getting prepared to find a job. The more faculty and staff are able to get to know a student early on, the more opportunities that will be available to that student — we may be able to recommend that student to a professor looking for a teaching assistant, for example, or suggest an internship or volunteer opportunity that would be a perfect fit for them.
I always remind students that business school is about what happens inside and outside of the classroom. Students need to get involved in their classes, activities on campus and in the community, and take advantage of opportunities to build leadership skills and other core competencies. It’s never too early to start engaging with the resources we provide that will help prepare students for graduation and the job market beyond. All they have to do is take advantage of them.