The SP Jain Blog

Useful Skills to Pick Up Before Heading for an MBA

Yesterday, an acquaintance asked me this question:

I have received an admit into XYZ college for the two-year MBA program with specialization in marketing. I have a month’s time before I join the college. Is there something useful I can learn in this one month?

Based on my experience, here’s what I think you could do:

  • Understand how to use Microsoft Excel. You don’t need to get down to the programming level. A broad understanding of Excel’s features and capabilities is sufficient. If you have the time, you might want to get down to using basic functions. I recommend that you purchase the book “The Microsoft Excel 2003 Bible.” I haven’t checked if there’s a 2007 edition available.
  • Improve your presentation skills – both as a speaker and as a Microsoft Power Point user. You will be using Power Point most of the time. Read up on blogs that specialize in professional presentation design (for example: Presentation Zen).
  • Analyze or try to gather more information about news that you read in a business daily such as The Economic Times. Try and form your own opinion on the topic at hand. Effective research and analysis is a differentiating factor that can help you stand out.

What ever you do, don’t blindly jump in and start studying an academic subject.

5 thoughts on “Useful Skills to Pick Up Before Heading for an MBA

  1. Nice one!.. Excel but really how many practice it? Not many you know, untill they start realising that its really a powerfull tool that can be used especially for project management. :-), I guess Graphs and analysis can be made using PowerPoint..Also we gotta learn one Powerfull tool called Matlab..Very exiting and interesting to learn..:-)

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