Another year has begun and we are back in the MBA saddle. Read on to learn about five tips to maximize your time in b-school:
This might sound ridiculous, I mean, you have the next 40 years of your life to wake up early. And let’s be clear, I’m not suggesting you start waking up at 5am, but I have become acutely aware of just how important morning hours can be. When classes don’t start until 10, or even noon, it’s really easy to just lie in bed and watch Netflix, but if you’re like me, these are actually the most productive hours of your day. Do some homework, fit in a workout, and then when you get home from school late at night, you won’t have to tackle the same tasks when you are much more tired.
Grad school can be a constant game of procrastination, if you let it. I firmly believe you will get more out of your day and be happier if you set a time each morning that you will get up and get working.
Build Your Network
I’ve mentioned this previously on my blog, but it’s so much more important than I initially thought. Networking is such a buzzword that I’m often fatigued at its mention. But really, it’s the key to everything in business. You know that professor who is famous for those articles he published? Ask to be his TA. Did you hear that one of the career center advisors used to work for P&G? Set up an appointment. Even your peers will be invaluable because they are all going to be high-powered business folk down the road.
Complete a Practicum
This is the only coursework I fully remember from my first year in grad school. Sitting in class, taking tests, all of that was in one ear and out the other. The practicum, however, will stick with me for some time. I had to work on a real business problem for a client, and I got to see the impact of my work. Yes, practicums are time consuming, but it was the best preparation I had for my internship.
Take Classes that Interest You
Apparently I have an internal guilt thermometer that rages red-hot when I deviate from the norm. I decided to drop a class that aligned with my marketing emphasis (gasp!). This class was not required, it was boring, and the professor was awful. Still, because the word “marketing” was in the course title, I felt compelled to take the course. Thankfully, good sense was able to trump the emotions of the guilt thermometer, and I dropped the course and decided to take an elective that proved to be much more valuable and enjoyable.
Attend (at least a few) Parties
I am not a partier. I went through that phase in college, and I’m pleased to have come out the other side in one piece. Still, there are a few MBA parties you’d be sad to miss. You will never again have the chance to drink free/cheap alcohol in a sexy cowboy Halloween costume with the people you spend every day with (if you do, I’m curious about where you work!). Also, what’re the odds you will have the opportunity to attend another formal once you graduate? Have some fun this year and get the last of the partying out of your system before you have to attend grown-up things at your company such as dry holiday parties and silent auctions.
Anyone have other tips to make our next year in b-school magical?