5 Great Books for MBA Students

Even though obtaining an MBA degree requires a lot of reading, your course texts alone won’t provide you with all of the information (or inspiration, for that matter) you need to spur you on toward real-world successes in business. With that in mind, we’re excited to present MBA students with the following list of excellent books. Let’s get started!

1. The Marketing Plan Handbook

The first selection on our list of the Top 5 Books for MBA students has been described by more than one reviewer as a “DIY MBA”, this business classic provides a wellspring of business information. Its 2011 publication date makes it one of the older offerings on this list, however, the fundamentals that it covers make this an all-time must-read book for MBA students. This book will walk you through every step of the marketing process, from brainstorming to strategy development, all the way to implementation.

2. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

If you don’t already read Ben Horowitz’s blog, you should really change that. He has some of the best advice out there for MBA students and entrepreneurs. Whether or not you plan on starting your own business, if you want to succeed in business, you’ll need the same know-how and spirit that drives the world’s best entrepreneurs.

3. Red Thread Thinking: Weaving Together Connections for Brilliant Ideas and Profitable Innovation

Debra Kaye’s 2013 book is a must-read for MBA students with the desire to attain management positions. One of its most actionable suggestions is how to play up the strengths of each member of your team. Not only will Red Thread Thinking make you a more effective manager, it will make you a more innovative manager, one with an eye on the future.

4. The Strategist: Be the Leader Your Business Needs

This 2012 book from Harvard’s Cynthia Montgomery is one of the best leadership books in recent memory. Your post-MBA career will depend on your abilities as a strategist. Will you, for example, be able to find an upwardly-mobile position for yourself within a growing company? Do you have the necessary skills to become a leadership linchpin within that company? If you didn’t respond with an enthusiastic “YEAH!” to the previous questions, The Strategist will give you a much-needed confidence boost.

5. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

This recent offering from pop-psych bestseller Malcolm Gladwell presents an interesting point of view, one that most MBA students probably haven’t considered: positioning oneself as the underdog as a means to long-term success. Whether you agree or not, it’s an interesting testament to the business environment existing today.


An MBA is a great start on your road to success, but it can only get you so far. These books will help you commit to a life of learning and improvement.

Related Resource: How Can You Specialize an MBA Degree?

We hope you enjoyed our selections of the best books for MBA students and that you’ll find something new to inspire you while you’re attaining your life-changing MBA!