How To Transition From Undergrad To Business School

By Francine Fluetsch on July 31, 2015

This article is brought to you by Kaplan, the leader in test prep for over 90 standardized tests, including the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and MCAT.

It’s a busy business world out there, which must be why so many students are planning to go to business school after their undergrad career comes to a close. If you find yourself in this boat, you are going to have to ready yourself for a big transition from your current college to your business school.

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Most undergrad programs give you a taste for what your grad school will offer, but you aren’t immersed in your field of study quite yet. Majoring in business as an undergrad of course means taking an econ sequence as well as a lot of math and stats, but you are also balancing these with your GE’s and other classes that you can use to lessen your workload.

Most schools don’t really delve into business classes all that much either, they are simply giving you the core knowledge that you will further develop at the business school of your choosing. Building blocks are great, you do need to start somewhere, but going from some business aspects to full-blown business-related classes can be a bit of an adjustment.

A great way to get ready to make this transition would be to try and score an internship while you are still working on your undergraduate degree. This way, you will be working on your core skills in school, and getting some field experience outside of the classroom. Resume boosters are essential anyway, so the sooner you can land the internship, the better.

If you don’t want to be balancing school and a hard internship all at once, try to get an internship for the summer so you can slowly acquire a taste for the world you are going to be working in.

Internships are also a great way of gauging what aspect of the business world you want to be working in, so once you apply to business school, you will be able to jump into your place of choice as soon as possible and progress on your degree faster.

Speaking of your degree, you will also need to decide if you are going to transition to an MBA or a PhD. The great thing about the business world is that you can go very far with an MBA, so a PhD could be an extra bonus that you could hold off on for a while if you so choose, or if you enjoy the fast paced atmosphere of the business school you are attending and are eager to learn more, why not stick around and get your doctorate?

Image via Pixabay

Another great way to get ready for the transition to your business school would be to look up the curriculum that they require you to take while you attend their school. Let’s take a look at Harvard Business School as an example.

Let’s say you are really interested in their school and want to see how their program will pan out. You visit this link, and see all the classes you will be required to take. Even if you have never taken a technology and operations management class (which as you can see you would be taking fall of your first year at Harvard business school), you can at least watch videos and look up things about the class to prepare yourself for what is to come.

This, to me, is the fun part of transitioning. At this point, you don’t really know how challenging the classes will be, so you can simply marvel at all the things you will be learning. No shame in spending hours geeking out about your classes and researching what it will be like to attend the school.

This will actually be a wonderful way for you to pick which business school you want to transition to. First and foremost, make sure the school is accredited, but then really look into their programs and see which one would be best for you. It is going to be challenging no matter where you go, since it will be a lot more in-depth than your undergrad education was, but you also want to have fun in the process and make sure that the challenging classes correspond with your strengths and interests.

If you want to know more about the program, you can also look up some of the professors that you would potentially be working with and shoot them an email. This way, you will get some great information about what to expect if you were to get into the school, and you also get a potential connection. As you know connections can really get you places in our world, so use them and obtain them anytime you can.

The transition to business school may be a bit daunting, and it will definitely be stressful, but it will also be worth it. You are going to study what you love, so make it count!

Learn more about Kaplan’s test prep options and start building the confidence you need for Test Day.

Hi! I'm Francine and I'm a fourth year Creative Writing major at UC Santa Cruz. I am one of the Campus life columnists on Uloop's National Team and also the campus editor for UCSC. I enjoy reading, writing, and taking selfies with my cat.

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