5 Tips to Balance School and Work for MBA Students
In many ways working while pursuing an MBA is a great idea. There are the obvious benefits of earning an income while attending graduate school or getting your company to pay for part of your tuition, but perhaps most importantly, working while pursuing an MBA helps you examine business theory through real world application which may result in a more robust learning environment for you, your classmates and your professors.
So, how do you enjoy the benefits of working as your pursue your MBA, while keeping other aspects of your life in balance?
1. Strategize and Plan
Buy a planner or install a mobile app to keep track of your life. You have to be constantly aware of your many commitments. Don’t agree to a meeting time, family event, or business engagement without first checking your calendar.
It is entirely possible to manage all of the responsibilities of your life, but you must accept that your schedule will lose its flexibility; keep a close eye on your obligations to avoid double booking.
2. Make Time for Yourself
Be sure to set aside time every week to “do you” – go to the gym, catch up with friends over dinner, or watch your favorite programs on DVR. If you don’t recharge your batteries you won’t have enough energy to focus on achieving your goals.
Discuss your upcoming schedule with your family, professors and employer to address any anticipated conflicts in the coming in the months like a business trip that will cause you to miss class, or needing time off from work to study for finals.
4. Be Realistic
Be realistic about needing help from others. If your mother offers to watch your children over the weekend, or co-worker offers help with a project – say thank you. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
Be realistic about your academic expectations – a B is not a bad grade! Think about how many times people have actually asked you about your undergraduate GPA. If you struggle in a class and wind up with a lower grade than you had hoped for don’t get stressed – if you’re learning you’re accomplishing your goals. Try your best, but don’t kill yourself in the pursuit of absolute perfection
5. Take Assignments with You
Keep your schoolwork with you so you can complete a reading assignment while you wait for a meeting to start, work on a paper during your lunch hour, or respond to emails while you watch TV. Take advantage of opportunities to get small tasks done throughout the day. If you keep your coursework readily accessible you may be surprised by the amount of work you get done while you are waiting for other things to happen.
Working while earning your MBA will be a challenge, but with careful planning and good communication you may be able to balance your life and get the most out of your academic experience.
About the Author: Mandy Fricke is a community builder for Gradschools.com online masters programs. In her free time she enjoys biking, traveling, and reading in coffee shops.