5 general tips on how to excel in an MBA program

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An MBA is often described as the best stepping stone to a career in business, finance or management. However, it is a very demanding degree as it goes beyond mere knowledge of business or theoretical concepts, but requires skills and applicability in real life. Here are some general tips to help you get off on the right foot and maintain your grades throughout your MBA.

1. Build your knowledge
It never hurts to build up a stock of knowledge when it comes to excelling in your MBA studies. Most exams at postgraduate level focus more on the practical component of learning theories and concepts and test you with case study style questions. Reading as widely as possible means that you will be able to broaden your horizons and triangulate your knowledge from a variety of sources.

2. Shoulders of the greats
There is a perception in the scientific community that you need to ‘stand on the shoulders of giants’ when writing. This simply means reading about what the experts in each field have found and being well versed in it. Learn from the best, but apply the simple trick of not comparing yourself to people who have years of experience or other qualifications, as this will lower morale and self-esteem and negatively affect your grades. Look at all courses and materials as opportunities to learn and improve, rather than seeing them as confirmation of how little you may know.

3. Have clear goals
An MBA degree may seem like a generic degree because it opens up a myriad of career options. As a student, you need to establish early on what your goals or future intentions are related to completing this degree. This will help you in selecting electives and other sources of knowledge such as training and internships. Do you want to work in an organization or start your own business? Be clear about why you chose to study an MBA and what you hope to gain from it in the future. If you decide to take additional courses or tutoring, this goal setting will also help you in choosing university lecturers.

4. Strategic learning
Strategizing your learning is a great step towards achieving excellent results in your MBA program. The principle of working smart and not hard is very useful when you sit for your MBA exams, as it can make all the difference. Studying the syllabus and also procuring past papers and marking schemes can help you decide on the importance of certain concepts and help you focus more on them to get better results.

5. Relax a stressed mind
Never forget to relax, as this too is essential for the healthy functioning of the body and mind and affects how much you are able to remember and learn. Find a hobby that interests you and take time out at least a few times a week to relieve any stress. From time to time, try to take a full day off as a day of self-care so you can replenish your emotional energy and return to class with a fresh mind.

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