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6 Ways an MBA Can Help You Become an Entrepreneur

An entrepreneurial mindset is essential in today's world. Whether you'd like to start your own business or not, here's how an MBA can help you succeed.

Entrepreneurship is all the rage in global business these days. One question I’m asked all the time: “Does the MBA teach me entrepreneurship?” I think the real question you should be asking is: “Does the MBA teach me to be an entrepreneur?” The answer is yes! Entrepreneurship isn't just about starting your own business. In today’s global economy, we all need to have an entrepreneurial mindset to survive. Anyone who can grab opportunities, take risks, think innovatively, and make things happen can be considered an entrepreneur. Here are six ways the MBA experience can teach you how to become one.

1. Build a global network

One of the key benefits of the MBA is that it provides a platform for you to engage with an extremely diverse pool of people, ensuring that you build a very substantial network in a short scope of time. For an entrepreneur, having a network that spans across industries and, maybe even more importantly, across geographies is imperative. This is useful for entrepreneurs looking to expand their international scope. You'll learn to get your point or pitch across in a way that is adaptive to the culture with whom you are interacting. We teach that it is not only about what you are saying but also the way in which you say it!

Related: 6 Smart Skills to Develop If You Want to Major in Business

2. Take calculated risks

The MBA teaches you to take risks. For entrepreneurs, this is essential; being an entrepreneur is never without risks. Succeeding in business is all about making calculated decisions that maximize opportunity while trying to minimize risk.

3. Adopt a “sustainability” mindset

We want students to think about the effect their actions have on themselves and others—today, tomorrow, and years into the future. It’s about more than the bottom line, though that bottom line should still remain sound. An entrepreneurial mindset grounded in an awareness of sustainability will be most beneficial to all in our global economy.

4. Embrace change

The influence of disruptive technology in most areas of business has had a major impact on the way we work. In order to stay ahead in your industry, you need to be an entrepreneur in the workplace. This requires adaptability, openness to change, and being comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Related: 5 Ways to Prepare for Your Life as an Entrepreneur

5. Present your ideas effectively

One of the soft skills taught in an MBA program is how to simply make your point. Sometimes delivering the most professional presentation might be a differentiating factor in pushing your ideas or business plans through. The MBA also teaches you to devise and present a business plan. This can be in the traditional sense of the word—i.e., pitching a new business venture—but it also refers to what happens every day at work—i.e., pitching an idea or project to both internal and external stakeholders. As the business landscape becomes more and more competitive with more and more ideas in need of support and funding, ensuring that you have a solid business plan—and solid presentation skills to sell it—is crucial.

6. Leverage opportunities outside the classroom

One of the most important aspects of the MBA experience is the opportunities you'll have outside the classroom. At Erasmus University, for example, you can be part of the Venture Capital Club and/or the Entrepreneurship Club, where you get to engage with alumni and other industry partners, providing a platform to discuss the latest trends in entrepreneurship. The Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship also offers a start-up campus and entrepreneurship boot camps.

Related: How to Find Business Internships and Land the Position

Through an MBA program, you can gain all these invaluable attributes and more that you need to become an entrepreneur. Whether you want to set up your own business or carve your way into the traditional business world, earning your MBA will help you pave your way to success.

This content was provided by the Graduate Management Admission Council® (GMAC®), makers of the GMAT exam. Learn more about graduate management education, business school, the GMAT, test prep, and GMAT-accepting universities and schools at MBA.com, or start your search for schools that offer graduate Business and MBA degrees right here on CollegeXpress.

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