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4 steps to making the most of your first job as an international MBA graduate

Prodigy Finance - March 13, 2019

Sneha Refi Prodigy Finance Customer Spotlight 

Hit the ground running.

That’s the advice Sneha Ganneri, Management Associate at Thomson Reuters and a Prodigy Finance refinance customer, would give anyone jumping into their first post-MBA position.

And, if you’ve chosen the right business school, you should be ready for that challenge. For Sneha, that was the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina, and it was through UNC careers that she ultimately found her first post-MBA position.

“From a personal and professional standpoint, I wanted to stay in the US. My husband is also a Kenan-Flagler graduate and we both like living here. We are happy in New York as of now. Both of our employers are very supportive. I am already on a work visa and have refinanced my student loan”.

The variables may be different, but Sneha’s reality is the dream many have while slogging through GMAT study and nitpicking their way through admissions essays.

From the early days of her MBA, through refinancing your student loan to save some cash, Sneha has advice that can help you get the most from your first job as an international MBA. 

Tip 1: Make the most of MBA internships

Explore alternative career paths

Sneha first learned about Thomas Reuters and their rotational programme through an information session at UNC. What’s a rotational programme? Employees try out different tracks within the company before figuring out where they could add the most value.

Research prospective companies

After learning about such an exciting and fluid opportunity on campus, Sneha set up time to connect with current employees to learn more about the company and the role itself. This critical research step ensured she was on the right track when applying for an internship.

Get a feel for the company

While some internships are a way to experience a new city or engage in social enterprises that widen MBA horizons even further, Sneha used her 2016 internship to get a feel for working at the company on a day-to-day basis. It was the right fit; Sneha loved the experience and when the internship concluded, Thomson Reuters offered a full time role which she accepted immediately. 

Tip 2: Immerse yourself in the culture

From the time she began speaking with the employees of her future employer, Sneha was busy immersing herself in the culture - of the company and the country.

She cites her experience at UNC as providing her with the tools to move to New York City. Kenan-Flagler is intensely international, and the school’s culture invites immersion into MBA life. Similarly, the diversity of New York City, blended with the company culture at Thomas Reuters to ensure a smooth transition and easy immersion into post-MBA life.

More than that, Sneha was ready for the shift.

“After UNC, I moved to New York to start my job, which was a big change for me personally. I did not find a challenge getting settled into a new role because I had two years of business school and I was ready to take on the next challenge.”

Tip 3: Be proactive from day one

As part of a rotational programme at Thomson Reuters, Sneha was able to be a part of a different businesses unit for the first 6 months, and then switch positions.

“By the nature of the job, I had to be okay with changing jobs, changing locations and hit the ground running. I had to absorb a lot of information and be able to contribute from day one - that was the ask. UNC helped prepare me for that”.

When you graduate from a top business school, the expectation is that you’ll hit the ground running, be proactive and take the lead.

Sneha has advice for anyone just beginning their business school search to those starting their first post-MBA job: “You shouldn’t be shy, try to take ownership of projects. I think more often than not, these things are appreciated by your manager”. 

Tip 4: Network with people who can teach you something

Develop new networks

Whether you’ve just graduated or been in your role for some time, Sneha recommends continued networking. “Talk to as many people as you can, learn about the kind of work that other people are doing. I feel that everytime I meet a new person, I learn something new”.

Strengthen established networks

Another piece of advice that might seem obvious: keep in touch with your classmates! Sneha says that it can be helpful to learn about what your classmates are doing - even if you’re not looking for business opportunities.

“I heard about the possibility of being able to refinance my international student loan through business school seniors and alumni. A couple of them had their loans refinanced through Prodigy Finance and that’s how I found out I could do the same once I had the appropriate visa work authorisation in place”.

As a final tip, look into refinancing your international student loan once you’re living and working in the US. You’ll save money on your loan, have an opportunity to release your co-signer and make payments in dollars (which makes a big difference whether you’re staying for a few years or forever).


Interested in refinancing your international student loan?

Want to know when Prodigy Finance launches refinance so you too can take advantage of the benefits?

Prodigy Finance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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