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Before You Begin

One year ago, our current Summer Interns were in exactly your shoes. A few weeks away from their first semester of business school, they were finishing up at work, traveling across country, saying goodbye to family and hello to a whole new group of friends – and excitedly awaiting what was to come!

We asked them to share with all soon-to-be-First Years…how to make the most of the last month before your MBA. Scroll through to read their honest advice, and hear what they wish someone had told them.

Relax and enjoy the downtime with friends and family. Once you start school you will be very busy and pulled in a million directions with academics, social activities, extracurriculars, and recruiting, and it's really easy to fall behind on your non-business school interests and relationships. So enjoy them while you have the time!
Chicago, Booth

Travel! The whirlwind of B-school adventures starts Day One, so take advantage of the time off and go explore! (but make sure you save some trips to do with your classmates).
Philadelphia, Wharton

Try not to get overwhelmed by the barrage of administrative emails that the school sends your way during this month. You’re not behind. You’re still enrolled in class. Everything will be just fine…try to relax! The one opportunity you won’t have at school is time to do nothing. You’ve worked plenty hard to get here. Kick back and enjoy the moment!
San Francisco, Booth

Take a minute to reflect on your priorities and what you want to get out of business school. Check the list every few weeks to help you effectively filter the amazing opportunities that will be available. Keeping that list will help you evaluate what’s important to you, and prioritize how to spend your time. After all- there are only 24 hours in a day!
Seattle, Wharton

Read a good book! I felt I was so intensely focused on prepping my business acumen for school, I didn’t take time to relax and read one of the many books that’s still sitting on my to-do list. In our office, literature is highly valued and there are daily conversations about everyone’s favorite books, so not only is reading great for your unique perspective but great to connect with colleagues.
Seattle, Kellogg

Say thank you to the people who helped you with recommendations and set a reminder to touch base again in a few months. The mentors that knew you before b-school can be fantastic resources to discuss which career opportunities are the best fit for you.
Atlanta, Wharton

Spend quality time with your friends, family, and loved ones! Once you get to campus, it’s easy to get absorbed with your schedule, that free time to reconnect is going to be very rare.
Miami, HBS

Think hard about…what you want to get involved in on campus, and what your goals are for the first quarter. It’s easy to get overextended; make sure that the activities that you choose to get involved in are activities that you’ll enjoy. Don’t feel pressure to get involved in everything! Having a good idea of what your priorities are will be extremely helpful as you get busy.
Chicago, Kellogg

Get a lot of sleep, rest, and take your vitamins…There is a lot going on and it’s easy to end up over extended and /or swayed by what “everyone” else is doing. And, prioritize staying in touch with your friends and family outside the MBA bubble; it’s so important to have people who you can lean on, or who can sanity check you when you’re irrationally stressed out.
Washington, Kellogg

In business school, your only capital is time. You will be flooded with many more opportunities than your time will allow. Decide early on what you want to get out of your experience at school (write it down!), and use that to guide your decisions in how you spend your time.
Dallas, Sloan

Plan a fun trip with your future classmates. You are going to look out for each other over the next 2 years, and early bonding will help you navigate through your journey.
Houston, Sloan

Arrange coffee chats or drinks with second year students who worked in fields you are considering. Then, ask them to describe the company culture as well as the highs and lows of their work in detail. Don’t be shy about asking follow-up questions. They will offer a fantastic, unbiased perspective.
Atlanta, Wharton

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