Graduate school is a huge and scary step. These recommendations may seem simple and common sense, however, they have helped me along the way.
Twelve years after graduating from college, and one semester into the MBA program, I realized that I had again picked up my bad undergraduate habits: not sleeping enough and eating out more. Re-evaluate your thoughts about sleep, mine were mainly that I absolutely needed it! Start planning your meals in advance and schedule some time to cook in bulk.
You will be tempted to match your classmates’ schedule or the pace at which they are going through this program. DON’T do it. It is crucial that you find out what works for you and what will maximize your learning and experience. I found out that I had to start with 2 courses even though I was working part-time. I then added two more the following semester.
Also having a 10-15 minute break in between study sessions has been the best remedy to prevent burn out, increase concentration retention, and come up with creative ideas.
Enjoy your studies
And apply it to your everyday life! I realized that my most engaging classes were the ones I applied to my everyday life, the world, my job, the United States, my personal thoughts and beliefs.
Choose your courses wisely
Seek advice and be prepared! I spoke to the professors before choosing my courses. I found out beforehand what the professors expected in each course.
Don’t be afraid to change your initial concentration to fit or complement your long-term goals. I entered as a MBA/Non-profit specialized degree. I dropped the specialization my second semester for a concentration on Non-Profit, and now I am considering a different concentration to better prepare me for my planned career.
Team work team work
For my MBA 640 online course, I worked with a classmate in order to better grasp the concepts discussed in class, which worked well. I usually prefer to work alone, so this was a big step for me and one I would strongly recommend.
During my first semester, I attended 90% of all the professional development workshops and networking events. This helped me see beyond my “student” perspective to get a “real-time” view of what a career in my chosen field would look like.
Make friends with the staff
Get to know the administrators and support staff at the business school. Share your reflections about your experience with them in a constructive way in order to promote change. Developing relationships may lead to future opportunities, career advice, and general support.
– Gaelle Gourgues, MBA in Non-Profit ‘17