It is important that you prepare well in advance for the Sloan Masters Programme so that you can participate actively in the class discussions and also make the best use of your time at LBS.
As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, Admissions officers give a lot of weight-age to what you can contribute to the class when evaluating the applications. Generally all admitted students would have demonstrated what they would contribute to the class in their application. So it is important to prepare well and fulfill that promise. Class participation involves the following:
- Sharing your own professional experiences
- Sharing what you have read like current affairs, subjects (eg: marketing, strategy, leadership etc) in relevant contexts
- Asking relevant questions
As part of the preparation, it is important that you spend at-least 2 hours per day in reading as this will help you in two ways:
- To cultivate the habit of reading and gear up for studying long hours once you start your Sloan classes.
- To be able to relate to whatever examples professors quote about the current economy, politics, business etc and participate actively in the class discussions.
What should I read?
I classified my reading list into five broad categories:
1. Prerequisite courses: Sloan students need to complete some pre-requisite courses online prior to start of the program. The access to portal (LBS intranet portal) will be provided by end of June 2013 giving you about 6 months to complete these courses. It would help to have a good grasp of the fundamentals so that you can follow the classes well.
2. Current affairs: Most of the professors quote examples of current affairs in their lectures. To be able to relate and understand better, it is important for you to be abreast of current affairs. So I started reading ‘The Economist’ and ‘Time’ magazines on a regular basis from last month.
3. Management Books: I started reading a few books on leadership and strategy. I will be adding a ‘Reading List’ page soon to this blog.
4. Case Studies: I also want to read cases available on Portal in advance and list down the questions that I would like to discuss with my peers and professors.
5. General Reads: I am using apps like ‘Flipboard’ to follows the news in the areas of my interest. I am also following companies, professors and several publishers like Harvard Business Review, Financial Times, a few accomplished leaders, research organizations, Industry trends on twitter/linkedin and reading their feeds on a regular basis. A tablet like an ipad will be a good companion to any b-school student if the right apps are leveraged and used efficiently for reading.
So why am I reading so much even before the course starts?
Sloan is an intense 1 year full time academic program. The more I read, the better I am prepared. I can use any spare time during the program for networking, organizing and participating in club events and explore what the school has to offer in my areas of interest.
What else I am doing other than reading?
Identify a topic and prepare for Sloan for Sloan’s':
The current class (2013) introduced a new weekly event entitled ‘Sloan for Sloan’s’ where current students present a subject from their career to the class. This is a great opportunity for students to learn from each other in addition to the regular classes and group assignments. So far subjects have ranged from a lesson in Hollywood script pitching to the tumultuous times of the Brazilian economy .
So I am planning to think of the topics to present and be ready with my presentation before the classes start.
I informed everyone in my network(manager, ex-bosses, colleagues/ex-colleagues, friends) about my admission in LBS Sloan. I have also reached out to my mentor, current students whom I know and also alumni to seek their guidance. I also connected with my classmates (admits for class of 2014).
I am sure my fellow classmates would also have started preparing for the classes. As I learn more from them, I will keep updating this post to add additional information.