Not Your Typical MBA Summer Reading List

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by: Grayson Leverenz

It’s family beach week again! Last year while Brandon and I were down in SC with my family, I shared Francesca Di Meglio’s Reading List for the Poolside MBA. I thought I’d continue the tradition this year with my own summer reading recommendations. My list is not typical of most MBA “must read” lists, but I consider these books priceless.

1. What Color Is Your Parachute? 2010: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard Bolles. This book helps you analyze your passions and motivators to identify what you want to do in life. An early edition led me to purse an MBA with the goal of one day becoming an intercultural consultant. I am one now!

2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. MBAs have a reputation for being arrogant know-it-alls, an assumption I’d like to fight. The 7 Habits teaches practical skills to succeed with professionalism, poise and good humor.

3. The Fine Art of Small Talk: How To Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills — and Leave a Positive Impression! by Debra Fine. Networking is one of the most important parts of succeeding in business, and it’s difficult to do if you have a hard time carrying on conversations with strangers. Debra Fine beautifully and easily illustrates how to engage in small talk to begin forming meaningful relationships.

4. Managing Across Cultures: The 7 Keys to Doing Business with a Global Mindset by Charlene M. Solomon & Michael S. Schell. This book articulates how to operate in the new "flat" world that global business represents. It explains the concept of culture and the impact of culture on business success. Every student that will work on or lead global teams should read this one, and that’s just about everyone these days.

5. MBA Interviews: How to Shine in Every Interview Situation by Grayson Leverenz. This downloadable e-book prepares you for interviewing excellence from admission to internship to full time placement. It provides a clear framework for answering all types of interview questions, for asking your own questions, and for following up after the interview. There are also detailed examples of each type of question. It’s so cool to have my own book to plug!

Author: Grayson Leverenz

Grayson Leverenz founded MBA in the USA® to help international students build networks, find jobs, and have fun in the USA. Hundreds of global professionals have benefited from Grayson’s intercultural workshops, and she has worked with people from Brazil, China, India, South Africa, South Korea, the UK, and the USA to build effective virtual teams and craft brilliant careers.

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