Traditionally, online MBA programs have had limited appeal to candidates looking to cultivate a professional network, which is easier to achieve in person.
Networking is important, even for online MBA students. The ability to nurture professional relationships is a major selling point of a business school degree
Online MBA programs typically have smaller class sizes than full-time on-campus programs. This strengthens relationships among students and creates a close-knit community.
Some online MBA programs offer students the opportunity to go to campus for networking opportunities and career development events. Some also organize international study tours, expanding their networks even further.
Distance learning MBA graduates will often join an extensive alumni network from various programs, or even entire academic groups, and will also have the opportunity to meet diverse peer groups. through electives and student-run clubs.
Online MBA programs with networking opportunities
Many online MBA programs provide opportunities for networking with fellow students, alumni, and industry professionals.
Here are a few online MBA programs that are known for their networking opportunities:
Kelley School of Business at Indiana University
The Kelley Direct Online MBA program at Indiana University offers a range of networking opportunities for students.
Some of the networking opportunities available to students include:
Kelley Connect Week
This is a mandatory, in-person week-long residency that takes place on the Bloomington campus.
It is an opportunity for students to meet their classmates and faculty, participate in team-building exercises, and attend workshops on leadership development and career management.
Kelley Connect Live
This is a virtual networking event that allows students to connect with alumni and industry professionals from around the world.
There are a variety of student organizations available to Kelley Direct MBA students, such as the Consulting Club, Finance Club, and Net Impact Club.
These organizations provide opportunities for students to network with peers who share similar interests and goals.
Kelley has a strong alumni network, with more than 115,000 alumni living in over 125 countries.
MBA students have access to this network through the Alumni Career Services office, which provides career coaching, networking events, and job search resources.
International immersion trips
Kelley Direct MBA students have the opportunity to participate in international immersion trips, which allow them to explore business practices and cultures in other countries.
These trips provide opportunities to network with international business leaders and professionals.
Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California
The Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California offers various networking opportunities for its online MBA students. These include:
The school hosts a series of virtual events where online MBA students can connect with alumni, industry leaders, and fellow students.
These events include guest speaker sessions, webinars, and online networking events.
Marshall Alumni Association
The Marshall School has a strong alumni network, and online MBA students have access to this network.
The school also hosts alumni events and provides opportunities for students to connect with alumni in their respective industries.
The school’s career services team offers various resources for students to connect with potential employers, including career fairs, company visits, and job postings.
Online MBA students have the option to join various student organizations that provide networking opportunities.
These organizations include the Graduate Student Association, Net Impact, and the Trojan Consulting Group.
USC is part of a global network of business schools, providing students with opportunities to connect with students and professionals from around the world.
Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business offers a variety of networking opportunities for its online MBA students.
The school’s Global Access Program (GAP) allows students to work with international clients on consulting projects, providing opportunities to network with professionals from around the world.
The Tepper School also offers networking events, such as the Tepper School of Business DC Trek, where students can meet with alumni and industry leaders in Washington, D.C.
Additionally, the school has a robust alumni network, which provides opportunities for students to connect with successful professionals in their fields of interest.
Fox School of Business at Temple University
Fox School of Business at Temple University offers several opportunities for networking, including:
- Fox Online MBA students have access to the FoxNet professional networking platform, which connects students with alumni, employers, and other professionals.
- The school hosts a variety of virtual and in-person networking events, such as conferences, workshops, and guest speaker series.
- Students have the opportunity to participate in the Fox Board Fellows program, which pairs students with local nonprofit boards to gain experience and build their professional networks.
- The school’s Executive MBA program includes several residencies, where students have the opportunity to interact with classmates and faculty in person and build relationships.
- The Fox School of Business is part of the larger Temple University network, which includes over 340,000 alumni around the world.
Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina
Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina offers a variety of networking opportunities to its online MBA students.
The school hosts online networking events, career fairs, and other virtual events throughout the year.
Additionally, online MBA students have access to the same Career Management Center resources as on-campus students, including career coaching, resume and cover letter reviews, and job search tools.
The school also has a strong alumni network with over 38,000 alumni in 86 countries, providing ample networking opportunities for online MBA students.
Tips to build your network during an online MBA
Building a strong network is an essential part of any MBA program, even online ones.
Here are some tips for building your network during an online MBA:
Take advantage of virtual networking events
Online MBA programs typically offer virtual networking events, such as online career fairs, guest speaker series, and alumni panels.
Attend as many of these events as possible and take the opportunity to connect with other students, alumni, and industry professionals.
Join online student organizations
Joining online student organizations that align with your interests and career goals can help you connect with other students who share similar interests.
You can also consider joining online communities or forums related to your industry.
Utilize social media
Social media platforms like LinkedIn can be an effective tool for building your professional network.
Connect with fellow classmates, alumni, and industry professionals and engage with their content.
This can help you build relationships and stay up-to-date on industry news and trends.
articipate in group projects
Group projects are a core component of many online MBA programs.
Use these opportunities to collaborate with your classmates and build relationships that can last beyond the program.
Connect with your professors
Your professors can be valuable resources for building your network.
They may have connections in your industry and can offer advice and guidance on how to grow your network.
Remember that building a strong network takes time and effort, but it can pay off in the long run.
Be proactive, stay engaged, and follow up with your contacts to maintain your relationships.
Having a strong and active LinkedIn profile can do wonders for your professional network.
You will be able to connect with your peers in online MBA programs and even with professional colleagues in the industry.
Social networks like LinkedIn can also help you connect with your alumni.