By Diane Schwemm
Is your college student or recent graduate considering an MBA or Specialized Master’s? Do you wonder what role parents can play in supporting the business school decision?
Many undergrads and young working adults are still experimenting and exploring. Though they’re living independent lives, they often turn to their parents for advice. They know their parents understand them, and care about what they dream of accomplishing and becoming.
There are lots of ways you can support your potential B-school student. Start by…
When it comes to preparing for a possible business school application while still in college, there are a few things parents can encourage. Wendy and her husband did not steer their four sons towards business school, but from sophomore summer on did steer them to “real jobs” — “work experience that changed their minds, or reinforced [a career interest], or introduced them to something new.”
Tammy, a Tuck School of Business graduate, also spoke to the importance of lining up meaningful experiences while still in college. When her son Jeffrey, a biology major, expressed interest in attending a B-school summer bridge program between sophomore and junior year, she was on board. “Summer bridge programs allow a student who’s not doing undergrad business to find out if they like business,” Tammy said.
Young adults — in college or out in the working world — are used to making their own decisions. When applying to business school, your student should initiate and follow through on all research, communications, networking, etc. Every portion of the application needs to be the student’s own product.
However, parental support can be pivotal. You can help with organization, deadlines and proofreading. It’s absolutely appropriate to connect your student with your colleagues or family friends who’ve recently attended business school or who work in professions that interest your student.
“I also always counsel kids to talk to their peers who are three or four years ahead of them,” Neil said. Sometimes that role model is very close to home — Jack sees his youngest son, Drew, a college sophomore, “processing his older siblings’ experiences” (big brother Jack Jr. recently earned an MBA).
Janienne confirmed that the parent’s role is “advisory, encouragement” — to help with the “self-reflection piece” and be a sounding board.
Now and always, a parent’s main job is to be their student’s best champion, and to support perseverance. Wendy observed that millennials are idealistic and want to change the world right off the bat. Sometimes they need encouragement to “stay the course, remember that [they’re] learning, stick with it. It takes a while to find your place.”
As your student’s future unfolds, and specifically when it comes time to apply to business school, you can:
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