An article published by LinkedIn states that 80% of professionals consider networking important to their career success and more than 60% of professionals find that with regular communication their professional network gives them more opportunities. Networking while you’re getting an MBA involves building contacts that will support you in your job search and will help you meet your career goals.
The peers, professors, and business leaders you meet in business school during an MBA are some of the most important individuals you will meet as they go on to form your professional network.
However, if you are pursuing an online qualification amid the pandemic, networking in its traditional sense will no longer be applicable as an online MBA programme does not provide the same networking opportunities.
Unlike an on-campus programme that facilitates networking, an online MBA makes it slightly challenging.
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It’s possible to develop your professional network with an online MBA
As an online MBA student, you will have to take the networking component of the programme into your own hands, and consciously work hard to seek out and build connections.
There are two ways to build your professional network while getting an MBA online — the first way is by networking with the other students in your MBA class, the second is by building connections with alumni members.
Networking with the other students in your programme is important as it will help you build connections with people from all over the world, and who will go on to work in other parts of the world and who will also go on to assume various roles across the globe.
The connections you make with your class members will be invaluable in terms of the rich experience and knowledge that you can share and use to your mutual benefit.
These connections will also open new opportunities and provide you with insight or knowledge that helps you in applying for roles as you climb up the career ladder.
Subsequently, these individuals will go on to assume larger and more powerful managerial roles in their organisations and this can open significant inroads for you to work with your dream organisation.
There is a wealth of benefits in maintaining these connections by staying in touch with them, given the value that it can bring, not only for the present but also for the future.
Essentially an online MBA student will have to put in some effort to develop professional relationships with their peers and mentors through various online mediums that are a part of the MBA programme or outside it.
While this may seem like a challenge, the reverse is actually true as you might be able to build stronger and more meaningful connections with others while improving your online communication skills.
Online MBA programmes generally offer online workshops or webinars specifically devoted to the subject of networking online which is beneficial to students.
Online professional networking platforms are also available for MBA students to build connections, starting from your peers and professors, and slowly working your way up.
While the experience may be different, it is possible to build a network whether you choose an online MBA or an on-campus MBA programme.