MBA Student Blogs Roundup: Beginning of the School Year Edition

If you’re thinking about doing your MBA, you might be curious about what MBA life is actually like. Often, descriptions on schools’ websites and other promotional material give great overviews of the programs themselves and other concrete facts, but lack insight into what daily student life is actually like.

But if you do want to hear about student life, you’re in luck. There are a wide range of blogs available to look at, where current students regularly share their b-school experiences. And since, for many of the student bloggers, the school year has just started, you can start tracking them now to follow them through their ups and downs as they progress through b-school. By reading student blogs, you can get get a peek into what life is actually like, both in and out of class, and figure out which schools best suit your pace and style.

In fact, reading student blogs seems to be a reason why blogger Emilie Deng settled on UC Berkeley Haas School of Business. In Deng’s introductory post on the Berkeley MBA Students Blog, she says:

Welcome to Haas! I was reading these students’ posts one year ago when I planned to apply for Haas and at that time I was really attracted by the exciting life at Haas. So here I am, after one year’s preparation, from taking GMAT, attending schools’ info sessions, writing application essays, taking interviews and finally booking my tickets to SFO, a fresh first year MBA student arrived at Haas! I hope my post will help you in your application and understanding more about B-school life, especially for international students.

As the school year gets to a start, other bloggers discuss their insights as they dig into MBA life. Ana, student at London Business School, notes the emerging need for work/life balance as classes and social engagements fill out her schedule:

I am coming to the conclusion that MBA is all about time management. It is not only the classes that keep us busy, but the full range of events that happen (from sports and social clubs to career coaching). Right now I am coming back from a dinner with LBS friends and in a couple hours will be heading to party with another LBS crowd – after spending the day working with my study group on our second graded assignment.

If you’re curious about actual curriculum, check out this recent post from Richard Ivey School of Business student Ranjith Raja, where he discusses a group marketing exercise that simulates eight years of business competition in three days:

Our team chose to go heavy on R&D right from the start to continuously improve the product attributes as required by changing customer perceptions and each new product was launched and backed up with aggressive advertising spend and sales force to better promote the products into both markets. Each product in the portfolio was perfectly positioned in the sweet spot of the target segments and this enabled us to have more than 50% market share by the end of period eight. The end result, we ended up earning $355 Million (Sadly Virtual)

Anton Malevankin, student at the Unviersity of St. Gallen, also talks about the challenges in a recent project he just completed:

On Tuesday we should make a presentation of our first project and my team has just completed working on this case. Yeh…to put it mildly, it was not a piece of cake, and sometimes I was not sure that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel, but here we are. All in all, I think that each of us has been working on the verge of his (her) capabilities and the result in my opinion is quite satisfactory.

And finally, student at the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business and blogger Jim Ryan pulls back from academic life for a post called “Just Go to ACL” (ACL is Austin City Limits, a music festival):

ACL is expensive. It is hot. It is crowded. You will have a ton of work hanging over your head, and part of the festival might interfere with a career trek.

It doesn’t matter. Find a way to go to ACL, if only for a day. It’s because of stuff like this that people move to Austin. There are few other places in the country where you can see the likes of Stevie Wonder, Kanye West, Arcade Fire, Coldplay, My Morning Jacket, Fleet Foxes, Alison Kraus and Randy Newman in one year, let alone one weekend. And when you think of all the great acts you get to see, the $185 price tag for a three-day pass doesn’t sound so bad.

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