No matter your reason for deciding to pursue your MBA, and no matter why you selected Elon, there is an added benefit that you should consider leveraging to the greatest extent possible — the networking and opportunities to expand your network can add value as well as diversity to your MBA experience.
For many of us, before we started in the program, we likely spent most of our time in and around the circles of our professions. Suddenly being in a business class with professionals from so many other walks of career lives is eye opening and engaging.
For me, it started from day one.
As I met more members of my cohort and started sharing stories I started to realize the similarities in terms of what we all deal with on a daily basis despite the uniqueness of our jobs. The old “misery loves company” feeling was quite therapeutic.
Elon is somewhat unique.
As opposed to other programs in which you are placed on a track and schedule sticking with the same group of people, the flexibility can translate into a constantly evolving web of connections and friends.
I am only five courses through the program and already I can say there is not a single person who has been in each class with me. Sure, there are pros and cons to this approach. For me, it has been a pro. But I have also taken it a step farther.
The program offers a great deal of options to network outside class. Ranging from social to sporting, academic to athletic, and everything in between; my words of advice, take advantage of these as often as possible!
For starters they tend to be a pretty good deal. Free food is sometimes enough to get me to make the long drive from Raleigh (funny thing is, I could just hit a local Chic-fil-A and get the same meal).
In my first year I have taken the family to a Durham Bulls game, an Elon football game (what a great spread of food, by the way), and a date night with my wife to see Rent (which was surprisingly edgy but very well done). I have also hit a couple happy hours and taken part in a few somewhat random offerings to work with undergrads looking to start their own businesses and focus groups to discuss ideas for anonymous companies looking to take the next step.
We don’t all live in or near Elon, but they work hard to make sure there are always things to do across the region. And for something like a golf tournament, who isn’t willing to drive 30 minutes for a day out on the course?
Not to mention, for a guy like me who went to a 30,000+ student commuter school, being part of the Elon community seems to add value to my degree.