If you happen to stumble upon the Instagram account “TheMBAcohort” or you were contacted via direct message, you’ll see an account filled with students from various graduate business programs and backgrounds sharing their past experiences and fun facts. The creator, Kristina S, a part-time business student at University of Connecticut, wanted to establish a platform that can help connect MBA students around the world while creating relatable, funny content that speaks to the woes and joy of being an MBA student.
Can you give us a quick background on your MBA program and specialization?
I’m a part-time MBA candidate at UConn, Stamford campus. I am halfway done and have so far concentrated on completing my core classes. In a way I wanted to leave the fun part for the end of my MBA experience. I’ll be concentrating in entrepreneurship and honestly I can hardly wait to start my concentration classes!
Why did you decide to pursue your MBA?
As a part-time MBA student, I am doing the program a little later in life than a full-time student. The reason is multi-fold really, some of it is very personal: it was a promise I made to my dad; he passed away suddenly a few years ago so keeping my promise is a special thing for me. Secondly, I wanted to expand my professional network. Thirdly, I wanted to have a general view of how an organization works. My career has always been in marketing so I never truly knew what the accounting department did and how that connects the dots and I wanted to obtain that knowledge for a better perspective.
What made you want to start the MBA Cohort Instagram account? What is the account’s objective?
This is multi-fold as well. Originally, the account was the social media arm of a budding SaaS concept a few MBA students and I are working on. It was a way to connect MBA students and build brand awareness for the eventual product. The learnings we’ve obtained through the account are incredibly valuable. I think of it as an ongoing focus group.
Since the original plan, however, the community has taken a life of its own and I see a future where it may completely spin off from the original strategy and become a standalone product itself. I’ve had success connecting people with each other for mentor-mentee relationships. People have been very forthcoming with offering their time and knowledge to others in the community, which is incredibly rewarding. Eventually, I would love to be able to provide MBA students with access to each other in a meaningful way, to mentors and to job/internship opportunities. The specifics are still evolving.
You also create videos about MBA life, can you tell us a little bit about that? What inspired you to do it in the first place?
I mostly create videos on Reels, which is the Instagram equivalent to TikTok. Simply put, the videos are great for reach and engagement. They are also fun to make and people really relate to them. Any time I post a video, my inbox is inundated with reactions from people, which leads to interpersonal conversations, which leads to community-building, which as I said earlier, may be the future of this account as a standalone.
What kinds of responses have you gotten on your videos?
People seem to love them, and as I said, they generate the most engagement. People identify with the challenges I editorialize in them. I mostly act out my own journey as a mom and wife doing my MBA and every time I do, all the other mom MBA candidates message me to say they feel the same. Sometimes, I’ll get reactions from others saying “This is not me but I get it and I love it. Thanks for sharing.” I also try to vary the content with more general topics that relate to the overall MBA experience.
What are some of the most interesting things you’ve learned from creating the Instagram account?
So many! But the most important one is probably the fact that ultimately we are all the same, in a good way. We have the same struggles, challenges as well as little and large victories. MBA students want to connect with others who are on the same journey even those outside their own program.
What do you plan on doing with these social media accounts after you graduate from your program?
This is a couple of years out for me based on my part-time schedule but as of right now, I definitely plan to continue to manage the account even after graduation. I’m sure it will keep changing with time and as I said, I’d like to engage with corporate employers to add value and take things in that direction, so we’ll see what happens. The future is exciting from where we are right now.