Networking is a crucial part of every business school program. But networking skills do not only come into play once you start your MBA. They define each step of your career journey – from taking the GMAT to landing your first job out of business school.

To secure long-term success, you need to develop your networking skills, advises Joseph Mashek, Admission Director, Merchant GMAT. This matters even more now when your contacts may be limited during a period of social distancing.

In this PrepAdviser webinar, Joseph lays out a step-by-step guide for using networking to score your dream career. Here are some of the key takeaways.

1. Networking begins with test prep.

How are you going to prepare for the GMAT now, with so few tutoring and coaching options due to the Coronavirus pandemic? Rather than trying to do it all on your own, it is better to connect with study groups and exchange tips and strategies. In this webinar, Joseph suggests some ways to network while studying.

Check out: GMAT Owner Works on Online Testing Alternatives

2. Know your “why” before you start an MBA.

A common mistake Joseph sees among business school applicants is that they are not sure what they want to do with an MBA. Many people apply with the general idea that an MBA is good for your career, but without a particular path in mind. This is not a strategy for success. Talking to contacts in your network – from former colleagues to family – can help you figure out where you want to go and how to get there.

Additionally, you should reach out to people who have the job you want and ask for advice in a so-called informational interview. Now that most people are working from home, this is a perfect time to connect, Jonathan advises.

Networking will help you refine the “why” of going to business school so you can get the most out of your MBA experience.

Check out: MBA Application Mistakes that You Can Easily Avoid

3. Practice your networking skills while in business school.

Recruiting begins from day one of your MBA, Jonathan says. Connecting with your colleagues is vital. But more is not always better, and you need to be cautious about prioritizing the connections that will matter most to you and your goals.

To create your networking strategy from GMAT to graduation, watch the entire webinar with Joseph Mashek. You will learn:

  • The top mistakes to avoid when applying for an MBA (10:00)
  • How to use your network to find the right MBA program for you (11:45)
  • How to score a great internship (17:00)
  • How to turn internships into careers (19:20)