If you’re thinking about pursuing a Master of Business Administration, you obviously aspire to take your career to new heights. Obtaining an MBA will place you among the highest echelon of business professionals and garner the attention (and respect) of employers who understand the significance of completing an MBA program. However, if you really want to set yourself apart, there are other things you can do to enhance your resume.
When you’re pursuing an MBA, you have many things in common with the other students in your classes including your field of study and pursuit of advancement or change in your career field. MBA classmates offer support throughout the program of study but also opportunities for networking.
For many professionals, it is important to continue to network within their field after they complete their Master’s. This is where MBA associations come in. A hybrid of an alumni group and a networking group, MBA associations allow like-minded members to learn from one another, find mentors and expand their circle of contacts.
Many universities that offer MBAs are also affiliated with numerous MBA associations, but many more exist that can help MBA grads and aspiring business leaders expand their professional network. Here is a brief list of MBA associations offering chapters across the country:
MBA Associations to Consider
- The MBA Association(MBAA): Connecting with fellow MBA graduates can open new doors, and the MBA Association is all about connections. The MBAA “enables its members to leverage the network of graduate business professionals around the world by sharing experiences and opportunities.” Each month, MBAA members receive bulletin announcements and newsletters that announce what other members are doing and how MBAA members may help or benefit. MBAA membership is beneficial for entrepreneurial-minded MBAs who wish to market themselves and their ideas, as well as career-changers and ladder-climbers who wish to expand their “sphere of influence” and learn about opportunities around the world.
- Net Impact: Net Impact is not exclusive to MBAs, but students and graduates who wish to make a difference in the world will find themselves in good company. The mission of Net Impact is to mobilize new generations to use their skills and careers to drive transformational social and environmental change. Net Impact members can join local chapters to make connections with local, like-minded professionals who aspire to leverage their experience and skills to drive change in the world.
- Ascend Pan-Asian Leaders (National Association of Asian MBAs): Billing itself as “the largest, non-profit Pan-Asian organization for business professionals in North America”, The National Association of Asian MBAs was founded in 2005. It reaches 60,000 members and offers 17 professional and 34 student chapters in the United States and Canada. According to its website, most its members come from fields where there is a high concentration of Pan-Asians – accounting, financial services, technology, engineering, professional services, and others in business, government, and academia. Its objectives include connecting Asian members across industries, supporting young professionals and “enabling its members, corporate partners and the professional Pan-Asian community to leverage the leadership and global business potential of Pan-Asian professionals worldwide.”
- The Association of Hispanic Professionals (Prospanica): Prospanica was formerly the National Society of Hispanic MBAs. Founded in 1988, its mission is to “empower Hispanic business professionals to achieve their full educational, economic, and social potential” by supporting higher education for Hispanics, making resources and support available, and encouraging leadership in the corporate world. The organization offers 45 professional and university chapters. Members can access job boards, apply for tuition benefits and attend career management seminars, among other things.
- The National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA): This organization, founded in 1978, serves four primary client groups: women who are MBA students, female business professionals and MBA-level entrepreneurs, universities and corporate partners. It is dedicated “to empowering female business professionals, to assisting women into leadership positions in business, and to enhancing the diversity of the workforce worldwide.” It has 19 professional chapters. Membership benefits include a career center and job fairs, an invitation to the annual conference, and discounted admission to local and regional events.
- The National Black MBA Association (NBMBA): The NBMBA was established in 1970 and has 45 professional chapters across the United States. The organization’s mission states that it is “dedicated to developing partnerships that result in the creation of intellectual and economic wealth in the Black community,” and to that end, it works with more than 400 business organizations and universities. Among other benefits, membership at various levels of the organization gives you priority placement on the group’s jobs site, access to its project management certification program, and special access to local events and programs.
- Reaching Out MBA (ROMBA): This MBA association is specifically for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender MBA graduates and MBA students. It was founded in 1999 as a student-run conference at Harvard and Yale universities, and now has a board of directors and an annual MBA conference as well as an annual student leadership summit. It also sponsors the LGBT MBA Fellowship, in which recipients receive mentoring, leadership development and up to $20,000 in scholarship awards. ROMBA’s mission is “educating, inspiring, and connecting LGBT MBAs.”
Next Steps in Your MBA Planning
Participating in a professional association after completing an MBA program is just one way you can continue to grow professionally once your educational requirements are completed. To learn more about Notre Dame de Namur University's online MBA, call 855-275-1088 to speak with an admissions advisor or request more information.