Tips for Starting the Semester off Right

I hope you have enjoyed orientation and the first few days of classes in the MBA program! I am sharing 5 tips that you can use to have a great start to the semester and achieve your goals throughout the program. 

  1. Practice Working Effectively in Teams

Working in a diverse team with a group of brilliant MBA students might be different compared to what you have experienced before. My first piece of advice is to always be prepared to bring your thoughts and ideas to each group meeting. In doing this, you will make the most of each meeting and show respect to others’ time and efforts. Secondly, develop your critical thinking skills and being open-minded. Often times, there is no right or wrong answer to a particular problem, thus every time an idea is presented, give yourselves 1 or 2 minutes to think about the pros and cons before jumping to a conclusion. Try not to say “no” immediately after an idea is presented by a member of your group.

  1. Get Involved in the Activities that Inspire You

When starting the MBA program, numerous commitments and busy schedules make it easy to lose sight of your end goald and what you want to do after graduating. When I started the program, I wanted to get involved in each event and student activity but I quickly realized that it is impossible to do, as there is only so much time in a day! My advice is to think about your strengths, weaknesses, interests, and what you are truly passionate about, and use those as a starting point to determine what you want to get involved in. While it is important to acknowledge your weaknesses, don’t miss opportunities to get involved in things that will showcase your strengths.

  1. Set up Short and Long Term Goals and Reward Yourself Regularly

I will be the first to admit that the MBA program can be stressful at times and you might feel that your performance does not meet the expectations you have set for yourself. I experienced this during the first few months, and received some valuable advice from MBA Career Management Center that I would like to share with you.  Once I achieve a goal (even a small step in the right direction), I reward myself by doing something I enjoy like watching a movie, inviting friends to hang out, or cooking a new dish, etc. This strategy allows me to focus on what I have achieved so far and gives me the drive to continue achieving more in the future. I would recommend that you find your own reward system and follow it regularly.

  1. Focus on Your Own Growth

It is easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to your peers. Always remember that you are working with students who come from different backgrounds and have various life experiences. Everyone in the program is unique and will bring something different to class. Your unique perspective is valuable and helps contribute to the dynamic in-class learning environment. The true value of the Alberta MBA program comes from the improvement you are able to make in yourself and always focus on what you have learned, accomplished and improved!

  1. Reach Out to the MBA Career Management Services Team

The Career Management Center in the Master’s Programs Office provides professional support and advice to students. When I started the MBA program I wanted to improve my overall confidence, and the Career Management Centre helped me to identify my strengths and weaknesses, find the type of career I am interested in, and define my career path. They coached me on how to build and expand my professional network, how to improve my resume and cover letter, and how to present myself in the best possible way during job interviews. I encourage you to seek advice from the Career Services team as each of us are here to grow to become the best versions of ourselves that we can be!

Cheers to a great semester ahead!

Written by Miao Song