Campus Life / May 8, 2020

Reflections from a MBA Graduate

Reflections from a MBA Graduate

As graduation is around the corner, I have had the time to reflect on my experience the past two years and want to share some of them with you.


Time Flies: The past two years have been filled with tons of learning, personal growth and a lot of fun. Time has flown by. It's sometimes hard to pause and think about the experience with our busy lives. As MBAs, we have been giving it everything we have, immersing ourselves in the work and challenging ourselves. Two years pass quickly.


Targeting weaknesses: A concentrated effort in understanding what your weaknesses are is crucial to enriching your experience. For many graduates, the MBA degree is a path toward a new career. For others, it is a platform to jump within an existing career. Weather it is technical knowledge, public speaking abilities or even social skills that you lack, understand what areas you need improvement in and then carefully take actions that will help you improve them. Don’t be afraid to take a class just because it is hard. Don’t be afraid to participate in clubs or case competitions just because they are a lot of work. Ultimately, what you put in is what you will get out. Be smart about what you do, and carefully coordinate your MBA experience to ensure you improve your weaknesses.


Develop relationships: Get to know your classmates. These individuals are going through the same experience as you. You can learn from one another, share laughs, and make memories. Go the extra mile and develop connections with your professors. These men and women are highly regarded in their fields and you can learn a lot from them. Get in touch with alumni and other industry professionals to learn firsthand what to expect in different types of jobs. Your network matters. You can always turn to these people for help and advice in the future. 


Find your passion: Find the things that you love to do. The MBA degree allows you to experience all the different kinds of things that are out there. The business school is just one part of the big university. Take part in events outside of your field of study. Go to that engineering seminar, that arts exhibit or that science meet-and-greet. Diversify your experience; you may be surprised at what you discover about yourself. Finding your passion is one of the most important things you can do. When you love what you do, you will excel at it. 


Be humble: You may have vast experiences and you may know a lot of things, but remember to stay humble and understand that there is always more to learn. Keep an open mind. As you go through your MBA, and as you eventually enter the real world, be eager to grow. That’s what makes it fun, isn’t it? Learning things that you never knew about, and adding more skills to your toolkit. Always have a growth mindset. Be curious; the learning never stops.


–By Ashraf Khan. Khan is a 2020 MBA candidate and dean's fellow at Maryland Smith. He is originally from Potomac, Md., and worked as a civil engineer in the Washington, D.C., area prior to pursuing an MBA with a concentration in marketing.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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