It has been almost four months since I entered orientation, started my MBA journey and “left the real world”. Returning to school after working can be a big adjustment. It will be a little bit different for everyone depending on what kind of job and schedule you had before. One big difference I have found between school and work is how little time in the schedule is dedicated to class time. At work, typically you must be there between certain hours such as 8am-5pm. Being back in school will likely give you a lot of freedom to make your own schedule. This can be a real challenge for your time management skills. Establishing a regular weekly routine, using an agenda or online calendar, and being organized can really help with the adjustment. Your time in the MBA will go by unbelievably quick–even faster if you are a Fast Track student. I feel like it was just yesterday that I was getting ready for orientation and in a couple of weeks I will be half way done the program.
Here are a few tips so you can make the most of your MBA program:
- I have a 4-month calendar on the wall to organize my schedule for the semester. I include assignment deadlines, exams as well as events and personal commitments. This really helps me map out the semester to see which weeks are exceptionally busy and know which ones that are okay if I slack a little bit. I also use an agenda to schedule the week
- When I study for exams I focus on the material that I have trouble with or don’t know as well. Learning the material you don’t know can usually get you more part marks then mastering the easy concepts to get full marks
- Figure out where you study/do homework the best. It could be the library, at home, in a coffee shop or the MBA lounge depending on whether you like to see people you know or don’t mind noise. I find that I like noise when I’m studying so I choose noisier study areas like the MBA lounge. Others study better where it is quiet like the library
- Getting involved in activities, groups and events is an important part of the MBA. There are so many different options to get involved in. There is no way that you can possibly be involved in everything. You will get more value out of choosing to be involved in the activities, speakers, and clubs that most interest you. There is nothing wrong with not having time to do everything!
- Meet other students in your classes. This is particularly important for Fast Track students because your schedule will be different than the other first year cohorts. Classmates can be a great resource for questions about assignments, study buddies and can be a backup for notes if you have to miss a class
Written by Chelsea Semeniuk