Finals Week Survival Tips
Grades don’t really matter in business school, do they?
Bet you have heard that one before. You’ll hear the usual justifications to support this assertion: ‘Wasn’t I smart enough to get in here?’ ‘Can’t employers tell how smart I am from my GMAT and undergraduate GPA?’ ‘Some companies don’t even ask about it…why waste the time?’ And here’s the biggie: ‘Isn’t my time better spent networking and building relationships with recruiters?’
All true, of course. But grades do matter…to an extent. They are a piece of the puzzle for recruiters, no different than participation (and leadership) in clubs, work experience, classes taken, and achievements (not to mention the students’ internship and the interview experience). Sure, grades matter less in MBA programs than during your undergraduate days. But think about this: If you were a recruiter – and a prospective recruit produced low marks – wouldn’t it raise a red flag to you? Wouldn’t you wonder if your prospective employee spent his time taking it easy? And wouldn’t you worry that he might do the same after you hire him?
So if grades are important – or, at minimum, a means to an end – what can you do to perform your best on finals week? To answer that question, Bloomberg Businessweek reached out to students to learn their best practices for studying, juggling priorities, and managing stress. Here is some of their advice:
“Honestly, finals aren’t anymore stressful to me than the rest of the semester. In an odd way, I prefer it, because classes are over and all I have to worry about are finals – not like midterms where other courses may have assignments due, projects to work on, coupled with other extracurricular obligations. I prioritize the exams in order of importance to me and just chip away at studying. Nothing earth-shattering.”
– Spencer Shih ’15, Cornell University (Johnson)
“I see every course during an MBA as a chance to build a relationship that could last the rest of your life. If you get too wrapped up in acing the final, you may not recognize the need to celebrate and solidify the relationships you’ve built during a tough semester. As classes come to a close, there are usually a few “reading days” prior to exams. This is a good time to meet up with classmates outside of school, learn what their plans are going forward, and celebrate 14 weeks of hard work together. On the last day of class (May 7), a group of students from the Strategic Marketing practicum at Johnson planned an afternoon of pickup basketball. I will probably remember the game more than what grade I get on the final.”
– Sam Lambson ’15, Cornell University (Johnson)
“The key to handling the work as we approach finals is to be organized. I have all my deadlines, meetings, exams etc. on my calendar on Outlook with appropriate reminders and specific task lists for each item. I try to work on multiple assignments/tasks simultaneously so I can get each one off the ground, rather than start one assignment and finish it before getting to the next. Eating well, staying hydrated and sleeping enough (usually >6 hours/night for me, along with a few catnaps) make a world of difference for me when it comes to being consistently focused and productive.”
– Arnab Mukherjee ’15, Cornell University (Johnson)
For additional advice, click on the Bloomberg Businessweek link below.
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Source: Bloomberg Businessweek