When you receive your bachelor’s degree and you’ve already been accepted into an MBA program, you’re probably feeling pretty confident, as well you should. However, you should be prepared for the fact that your MBA program is going to be very different from your undergrad study.
Graduate programs are always more intensive than bachelor’s programs, for one thing, so you can expect a much more demanding workload. However, your focus will also shift from the standard course of rote tests and essays to a more subjective form of teaching that requires you to work in groups and in some cases, behave as though you’re already in the working world.
In other words, it’s going to be a whole new experience, and you need to prepare to dive in and work your butt off. Along those lines, you can certainly benefit from a little sage advice. Here are some important tips for incoming MBA students.
Start with a Schedule
As with any graduate program, your MBA coursework is going to take up the lion’s share of your time. If you want to have time left over for a part-time job, seeing family and friends, eating, sleeping, and so on, it is imperative that you keep a comprehensive schedule.
This means writing in known obligations (class times, work time if you have a job, etc.). However, you also need to estimate the amount of time you’ll spend studying, working on projects, and perhaps even taking on internships, although you may not want to load your plate so much in your first year.
Don’t forget to add breaks and time for exercise and seeing loved ones. These activities may not take top priority while you’re in school, but they’re still important for your health and sanity.
Take a Speed Reading Course
Oh, yes, there will be reading and more reading. So much reading. The good news is that you have a couple of options when it comes to cutting down on your workload.
You could start with a speed reading course that trains you to absorb maximum information even as you skim through dense reading materials. If you’re skeptical about the veracity of this method, you could also arrange study groups so that several students split the burden of reading chapters and taking notes for the whole group.
Manage Your Budget Wisely
If you’re lucky, you’ve selected an MBA program that will help you to find job placement before you even earn your MBA. Unfortunately, there is not guarantee this will happen, which could leave you with student loan bills coming in before you even have a job.
In other words, you need to manage your budget carefully while you’re in school. While most MBA students elect to skip work in favor of student loans because of the demands of the program, there’s no reason you can’t live frugally in the meantime, perhaps reducing the debt you take on during your time in college.
If you’re not a terribly social person, you may have trouble making it through your MBA program, even if you enter the Case Western Online program. The reason is that business school requires all kinds of social interaction.
For one thing, there are going to be a lot of group projects. This is to prepare you for working as part of a team or business unit, where everyone has to work together to complete projects.
In addition, networking is a huge part of getting ahead in the business world. So if socializing is not your forte, you need to find a way to get comfortable with the prospect before you start your MBA program.