"Just don't get too caught up in the course work and try to get to know one another," says Magat at Indiana University.
Finally, experts say, don't be afraid to pick up the phone. "Voice-to-voice is always better than email-to-email," Arizona State's Reddick says.
[Explore whether you should skip business school.]
3. Set up an accurate, professional LinkedIn account: It may go without saying, but having an effective LinkedIn presence is vital to forging connections during your program, students and experts say.
"Electronic communication is the way we do things now," says Kolde of Washington State University. "When you look at things like LinkedIn, it's a critical component of your engagement strategy for your social contacts and for your business contacts."
Once students set up a LinkedIn account, experts recommend they connect with classmates and keep their profiles up to date and professional. They also urge students to participate in discussions and join any official groups monitored by the university.
[Learn more about how LinkedIn can benefit MBA graduates.]
4. Reach out to career services, alumni and faculty: While it's important to reach out to classmates, it's also vital for online MBA students to network with former students. To do so, experts say, it's important to reach out to career services, faculty and administrators.
"Form a relationship," Indiana's Powell says. "Those are going to be friendly places with people who are going to help you get connected with people you want to be connected with."
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