Best Reading for MBA Students

Which are the best books and blogs to read if you’re a woman MBA student? Reader M wonders…

I love your blog and find all of the fashion and career advice incredibly helpful. You address a lot of corporate issues and a lot of legal and I was just wondering if you knew of any blogs that deal with business school specifically. I’ll be starting a full-time MBA program in the fall and I’m looking for some advice on what to expect and how to get the most out of it.

Great question, M! I know of a few, but thought I’d open this up to the readers…

  • Forbes Woman. I find it easiest to just like their Facebook feed to see Forbes stories that are more targeted for women — they’re really helpful, good articles (and usually at least one makes it into our Weekly News roundup). They also have a list of the Top 100 Websites for Women (which we’ve been honored to appear in for a few years now!).
  • Forte Foundation. This women-focused, non-profit consortium of major corporations and top business schools has a ton of information about the MBA, from the consideration stage, to the application process, to the student years, and beyond.  They offer free newsletters, and for paid members, podcasts and videos.

And… beyond that I’m stumped — there’s a lot out there, but I’m curious to hear from the readers which are their favorites! There are obviously blogs like Poets and Quants and Clear Admit for the admissions process, and hopefully blogs like Corporette (as well The Daily Muse and Levo League) and organizations like 85 Broads are helpful after you’re out, as well as alumni groups.  Once you know your focus blogs like The Glass Hammer (for women in financial services) might be helpful as well.

Readers — which are your favorite blogs and websites for MBA students, as well as women who hold MBAs?  

Comments

  1. I do NOT have an MBA (Alan I think may have), but he told me to read the book from Jack Welch, who used to work at GE. I forgot the name but it is suposed to be good. He wound up getting a divorce b/c he was interviewed for a magazine and the woman wound up marrying him.

    If I were her, I would NOT have to work now. FOOEY!

  2. while we are at it--: Medicine? :

    I love this blog, especially for the work-wear info, fasion, etc…but career fashion for doctors seems different than that for the legal profession. (A white coat covers alot.) Also, would be interested in blogs specifically aimed at doctors–particularly women -=to discuss career issues of the non-fashion variety…. I am a mid-careeer academic physician in a big (corporate really) system–I usually post under the name “BigMed”–and feel sometimes adrift in a see of poor leadership (by mostly men, sadly…especially in my specialty) and just few women in general. I know there are med student forums, but I was interested in a blog that goes beyond the training phase.

    • You should start one!

      • while we are at it--: Medicine? :

        I read and love your blog too.

        Thanks for the vote of confidence…have considered starting a blog…although not with a fashion tilt. I simply do not have the fashion chops to do that. I read this and your blog because I needed dire help after a decade of medical training wearing scrubs, clogs, etc. Right now with 3 kids and a full time job (faculty+clinical), I simply don’t think I could keep it up by myself…would need a collaborator and don’t have a good candidate for that in my non-virtual world.

        • Awww, thanks a lot. That’s good to hear.

          I can tell you blogging is a lot of work and BRB being my second go at it, doing it with someone who you share it with makes all the difference. And I empathize about time-constraint being a concern.

          Maybe instead of a proper you could just start a Facebook page? Or look into a med forum that you mentioned where other issues are addressed, leave a few posts there that you are starting a new thread/group for the issues you mentioned and then start a thread/group in that same forum.

          If you ever have a fashion question for medics specifically, the majority of people in my family are doctors or teachers, so we’d be happy answering any question regarding that as well – though we’d probably relaying the question to the family network.

      • Wildkitten :

        +1

  3. Anonymous :

    I love the leather bags at ClaireChase. Most are available on e bay for a significant discount. They may be too masculine for some, but I prefer bags made of high quality leather that will wear well (e.g., brown leather that will develop a nice patina with use as opposed to black leather that will look worn out) and look sharp and professional. Your needs and tastes may vary, obviously.

  4. As a newly graduated MBA, I have to say that I haven’t found many blogs (except this one, obviously). Ask A Manager is another obvious, but good one. The thing with MBAs is that it’s so generalized. You’re better off reading blogs for the industries you’re interested in, like tech or retail etc.

    As for getting the most out of your time, I found it helpful to go in with a set of prioritized goals. There are too many things to do so you will be overwhelmed and spread too thinly otherwise.

    • Depending on how notorious your b.school/ alma mater, several schools have a bunch of alumni/current students blogging about their experience. I know of a few schools that also have student-initiated facebook/yammer groups that connect the MBAs with each other and 1-2 preceding/following classes.

      In addition, I second the advice to read an industry specific blog.

      I also think this is an excellent opportunity for you to connect with a recent alumni of your business school. They’ll love being reminded fondly of their experience now that they are back to the grind, and it’ll flatter their ego being able to help you. Once you find an alumni that is happy to answer your question, it’ll allow you to build a relationship with him – and maybe he’ll help you job searching as well.

    • In response to this post, we’ve started a section on our blog called MBA Mondays.

  5. Oh, and I don’t really read it, but I’ve heard good things about The Daily Muse.

  6. There’s also a topic feed on Business Week for Women in Business School (http://bx.businessweek.com/women-in-business-school/).

    But three tips that are not online resources that may help with your wondering what to expect and how to get the most out of it:

    1) I actually teach in an MBA program after work, I love helping students, and I think most instructors are the same, so make the most of that relationship. (Coincidentally, I just helped a former MBA student today. She’s now in law school and I’m helping her out with job hunting, getting an interview in a firm, and other advice.) Students come to me with all sorts of questions during the semester and for years after.

    2) Look up on your school’s website, or call them and ask for some, alum info. Pick an alum’s brain. Not only a great inside view, but now you already have a contact or two in the business world if you’re job-hunting post-MBA.

    3) I have a handful of students every semester that email me to get the syllabus ahead of time, because they like to see what’s coming and start planning. Even if it’s not ready, I give them one from a previous semester as an example. May not work out every time but worth a shot if you think this would help you feel more organized.

  7. I have my MBA, and I’m the director of an MBA program (and I teach MBA and undergrads when I can)… and I can tell you that my favorite blogs are not very business related. When I was getting my MBA, I found reading the WSJ daily was a must-do, but that was before Rupert Murdoch took it over. It’s still rather good. As is The Economist. But online, there’s not much there. In terms of business texts, there are many that are popular but my favorites include The Tipping Point, Blue Ocean Strategy, Good to Great, The Balanced Scorecard, Liar’s Poker, The Fifth Discipline. That said, you’ll read many of them as part of your MBA program. Instead I’d recommend picking up some biographies of business and political leaders that interest you – I think you’ll get a better background for some of your classes.

    Good luck!

  8. I’ve found a lot of great articles about MBAs, business, women in business, etc, by subscribing to influencers on LinkedIn. You can also subscribe to specific topics like women in business.

  9. Random thank you –
    I came from a VERY nontraditional background and found myself in a top-tier MBA program (which then led to a job in management consulting). Previous to this, I didn’t own a suit and my best idea of business casual involved bright yellow tights. THANK YOU Kat, for this blog, to which I credit all of my (gradually developing) professional fashion sense.

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