11 Technology Tips for MBA Students

by Matthew Kuo on July 19, 2013

in MBA, MBA Tips

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Start a Blog

It’s understandable why most MBAs don’t maintain a blog.  With pressures from recruiting, academics, and your social life, it’s hard to find time for this additional activity.  While it’s impossible for me to downplay these other priorities, as they probably represent why you decided to go to business school in the first place.  But what I can do is tell you the benefits of blogging.

A blog is the original form of social media.  The minute you post something online, it has the potential to be read by other people.  If you think about the millions of other people who will attend business school after you do, you’ll realize that a blog is a great way to assist others.  For this reason, a blog is also a great way to meet people who share your interests or are simply thankful for your help.

An MBA blog can also become a digital repository of your notes.  You’ll never flip through all of those expensive books you purchased for school, but any notes you post on your blog can be searched, sorted, and referenced whenever you need them.  I’ve said before that, despite the high cost of MBA tuition, you won’t actually use the majority of things you learn in business school during your professional career.  But for the material that is relevant and actually can help your career, it makes sense to have it readily available.

As our world becomes more and more modernized, it’s our digital assets that will be valuable in the future.  Starting a blog is one of the best ways to start investing in your digital assets and creating your online brand.  Your blog doesn’t have to be a significant endeavor at first.  Just take a few minutes to sign up for a free service such as Blogger or Worpdress.com.  If you want your own personalized url, you can always convert your blog in the future.

Additionally, if you want some free traffic for your new blog, there are a handful of websites that will link to the content of MBA bloggers in their feeds:

Buy a Printer and Scanner

While most schools will have a business center that allows you to fulfill all of your printing and scanning needs, you don’t want to end up behind a long queue when you have an important deadline coming up.  There was one time I needed to print my resume right before an interview, and I had to wait behind a group of students printing out their midterm papers.  Another time I had to run to Kinko’s just to scan a receipt to meet an expense report reimbursement deadline.  Preventing these issues makes having your own printer and scanner well worth it.

Turn Off Your Laptop’s Startup Sound

We’ve all witnessed this annoying classroom occurrence: some guy walks into the class late, opens up his laptop, and you hear the “Windows chime” blare out of the speakers because he was watching Netflix at home last night.  Don’t put yourself at risk of being on the wrong side of this situation.  The process of turning off your Windows startup sound is easy.  For Windows 7:

Go to your control panel
Double Click on “Sounds”
Under the “Sound” tab, uncheck the box for “Play Windows Startup sound

Unsubscribe From Spam Email Lists Before School Starts

During your MBA career, you’ll definitely have to spend a significant amount of time just going through your emails.  By the time school starts, your inbox will be flooded with team project emails, professional club mailings, career center emails, and the all-important communications from recruiters.  Since you’re already going to be spending a ton of time reading important emails, you shouldn’t waste any of your time on junk mail.  The best way to do this is to unsubscribe from all the junk mail sources you may have inadvertently subscribed to.

I definitely regret not having done this sooner in my MBA career.  I’ve lost count of the number of times I deleted an offer for a free month of Linked In Premium or bonus miles from a United Airlines credit card.  But the biggest source of spam by far came from other business schools.  If while taking the GMAT, you were gullible (as I was) and checked the box to receive email communications from business schools, what you’ve really said is “please have every international business school spam me constantly.”

Unfortunately, you’ll have to unsubscribe from each of these business schools individually to get off of their lists.  For some reason, I had to unsubscribe from IESE Business School several times before they finally left me alone.  It takes some time to optimize your inbox, but just be diligent about going through the entire unsubscribe process with each spam source.  The marketing etiquette around unsolicited emails has improved greatly over the years and therefore, unsubscribing usually only requires you to click a link at the bottom of the email.

Add a Trinket to Your Swiss Gear Backpack

Swiss Gear has a dominant market share for one particular field: laptop backpacks.  The vast majority of business school students will be carrying the same brand of backpack around campus.  And to be fair to Swiss Gear, they do make a really solid product.

Anyway, to prevent someone else from accidentally walking off with your backpack, or inadvertently doing the same to another person, you should make your Swiss Gear backpack distinct.  I personally think that a brightly colored luggage handle cover works the best.

Submit Online Dropbox Assignments Early

The majority of online dropboxes allow you to submit your assignment multiple times, overwriting whatever you previously turned in.  Therefore, as a precaution, it makes sense to submit a draft of your assignment well before the dropbox closes.  This is especially true during group assignments, which require incorporating inputs from multiple people.  Don’t wait until 11:59 pm the day it’s due to complete your first submission; have a draft submitted just in case you or someone on your team runs into a technical issue.

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