Working towards an MBA can be one of the most exciting times in your life. You’re likely to be surrounded by people who challenge you to be more. You’re also likely to be enjoying fantastic networking opportunities. The career advancement prospects are a great bonus, too.
To take full advantage of the opportunities being an MBA student offers, it pays to sharpen your negotiation skills. Here are four crucial negotiation course tips for MBA students to stand out as students and graduates.
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Prepare Well for Interviews
Once you step into business school, you may quickly realize you can’t always be the smartest person in the room. Sometimes, it might feel like your fellow students and professors are the smartest people you’ve ever come across.
Working with such smart people, you can’t get through your trainingby only simulating being a hard worker: You will have to be one. Almost everything you do will need prior and thorough preparation. For instance, during the recruitingseason, many top companies in your area may send out interviewers and headhunters. You may find yourself sitting with a dozen or more interviewers as you pursue career possibilities. Preparation is key for maximizing your time spent with recruiters. Find out which companies are attending. Think of your preferred salary range for positions you want to negotiate for. Know the types of jobs on offer and the expected career paths. Talk to your MBA course’s careers advisor to get an idea on what to expect.
Analyze Your Strengths and Weaknesses
While training in business school, you learn many quantitative skills. These include skills in measuring cash flows, management principles, and data analysis. You will also learn lots of soft skills including communication, critical thinking, and negotiation.
It’s unlikely you will excel in everything better than every other MBA student. Take time to explore your strengths and weaknesses. Discover any personal obstacles and hidden opportunities that exist for you. For example, your MBA might uncover your untapped talent for marketing.
Work on your strengths to enhance your talents. Be clear about any areas you need extra guidance for in order to improve. Additionally, explore your motivations and your work values. Your motivations and work values will be important in choosing your future career path and job roles.
Put In Lots of Practice
Youwill you need to practice your negotiation skills to keep ahead of the game. Use your everyday interactions to improve your techniques and learn new ones.
For instance, you may be discussing an upcoming course project with your fellow students.If you are unhappy with the role you’ve been given for the project, use the situation as a chance to negotiate the role you really want. Are you looking for off-campus accommodation? Negotiate with your new landlord for lower rates or better amenities.
Another practice option would be to conduct simulations with your colleagues. Simulating a real-world encounter is a great way to practice for the real thing. For example, role-playing interviews should allow you to boost your interview skillsso you’re fully prepped for the recruiting season.Role-play with three of your colleagues to interview you like they are recruiters for a major conglomerate.
Constantly practice negotiation skills such as empathy, active listening, and reading body language. You can stand outin the business world if you’re better able to notice hidden meanings, understand obscure motives, and uncover the deep feelings of others.
MBA students and graduates who stand out rarely act as lone rangers. The most successful students work within teams. Being surrounded by smart people offers you the perfect environment to build your leadership skills.
Being in a reliable team can support your academic and career goals. For instance, effective teamwork can get you higher grades in group projects.
Your team can act as a sounding board for new ideas. In effect, forming a team in your course can support appropriate risk-taking and encourage your innovations. Effective team members cover each other’s weak spots by blending different individuals’ strengths.
Teamwork can enhance your sense of responsibility and accountability. As part of a team, you can sharpen your conflict resolution skills. It may seem like a contradiction, but team players are more likely to stand out than independent workers.
Standing Out in Business School
Your MBA prepares you to be a more effective manager. Part of your MBA education involves interacting with other people. For the best academic and career outcomes, you will need superb negotiation skills.
To stand out in your MBA course, negotiation experts recommend you always prepare before any discussions. Practice your negotiation skills often, in and out of class. Check your personal strengths and weaknesses to improve your talents. Be a team player to pool your group’s collective skills and knowledge.