Here’s part 3 of my MBA series – Thinking about your career

Blue Skies Thinking (or is it?): career pivot & triple jumps
I was a hard-core number cruncher working in financial services in Mumbai, India; post MBA, I pivoted into Design Consulting in London, UK – I made the triple jump. It’s something I have wanted since I decided to do the Cambridge MBA, but I never thought I could manage. Many people will tell you to temper your expectations, and that might be good advice if you want to coast through your MBA, but if you’re willing to think of creative ways of making things happen and then following through on them, the MBA is a great place to make things happen.

Roadmap your transition: transferrable skills & a portfolio of experiences
Don’t worry; I’m not just going to give you an inspirational spiel and not follow it up with some advice on how to make it happen. Following is a quick approach for career transitions:

  1. Current state: Identify your transferable skills – ones applicable across jobs, e.g., analytical skills for strategists or marketers.
  2. Future state: Study job descriptions for your dream role. Align your skills and identify gaps.
  3. Strategise the way forward: How do you ensure you upskill yourself so that you’re ready to take on that dream job? Identify electives, internships, projects or even volunteer work that can help you cover the gaps you’ve identified.

Before I bring this series to an end, I want to cover a few things that are often overlooked and impact most students (especially international students) a lot.

Be mindful of your relocation
Relocating to a new place is always a challenge, but doing it for the MBA makes it slightly more complicated because of the number of things you must do. It’s a period of profound change which is exciting and nerve-racking. Looking back, the MBA was one of the most memorable times of my life. Still, preparing yourself mentally while moving to another country is crucial, or you might get overwhelmed by the start, which might impact your initial time and interactions.

Make prioritisation your super-power
The MBA throws 100s of options of what you can do with your time – take extra electives, audit classes, do an internship abroad, attend networking events, join clubs, go for a drink with your friends, write papers, get a job… You’ll never be bored, but you might get overwhelmed and burn out. That’s why having a list of non-negotiables you will always make time for is crucial. This way, you can prioritise the most important things and choose other activities for the remaining time.

I hope this series has helped to provide MBA and Cambridge MBA insights. You can reach out to me on Linkedin for any advice.

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