10 Best Pieces Of Advice For Online MBAs

University of Maryland’s Vi Zenone

3) Leverage Your Classmates and School Network: “Make connections. Reach out to other people in the cohort, at the university, in your company and your industry. Use the topics you learn about to start a discussion with them, and you will be amazed by their hidden experience, insights, and personal or professional connections you can make. A highlight of our MBA was the Interview a Leader exercise where, as part of our Personal Leadership Journey, we were asked to reach out to C-suite executives of our current or target industries. I used the chance to speak to the Director-General of CERN and ITER as well as to the CEO and COO of my company. It was inspiring to speak to all of them and I learned a great deal about their pathways and values. Many in my cohort even stayed connected and gained an amazing mentor through this exercise.”
Eva Belonohy-Borba, Imperial College

“Time management was key to my success in the program. My goal was to stay a week ahead of assignments. Being disciplined and sticking to a study schedule allowed me to keep up with work and family commitments. Also, take advantage of the available resources. I knew I wanted to switch careers once I was done with the program. I reached out to Career Services after my first year and worked with a coach to update my resume and maximize my network. The preparation paid off so when the career opportunity presented itself, I was ready to make the change.”
Vi Zenone, University of Maryland (Smith)

“You will get out of the program what you put into it. There is a lot to balance when adding a Master’s degree to your schedule, and an online MBA is no less rigorous than any other. Time management is key to staying on top of all the work – don’t get behind. To get the most out of the program, also be intentional to reach out to those in your cohort, professors, and other academic opportunities your school provides. There are ways to be involved and add to your learning experience virtually.”
Cari G. Lim, USC (Marshall)

4) Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable: “You will be introduced to new concepts, technology tools, individuals, and ways of thinking right out of the gate. It can be overwhelming trying to keep up and also maintaining balance within the rest of your life. Be patient with yourself as you learn how to become a student again and are exposed to courses outside your areas of expertise. Befriend, lean on, and support your classmates; they are in the same boat.”
Jaime Xinos, University of Illinois (Gies)

University of Illinois’ Rebecca Radney

5) Take A Break: “Something I learned very early on was its ok to take a day off from school. If you live a hectic lifestyle and decide to add the iMBA to the mix, you can burn out. Don’t feel guilty for taking time to yourself for a needed break. School is not going anywhere, and it will be there tomorrow.”
Rebecca Radney, University of Illinois (Gies)

6) Treat School Like A Job: “My best piece of advice to an applicant for an online MBA program is to treat the program as an extension of your current job. As a student, if you can apply existing problems facing you in your career to your assignments and readings, your knowledge will multiply significantly. Your classmates and professors are invaluable resources and can drive an impressive level of performance.”
Jaime Wise, Jack Welch Management Institute

7) Use Available Time: “Carving out chunks of time during the day to prepare for the evening workload allowed me to be much more productive in the evening. I would get the readings done during the commute to work or during lunch and would have the day to mull over the lessons while seeking a way to make them relevant in the workplace. Having a notebook handy allowed me to jot down thoughts throughout the day to the point that I sometimes found myself with a good outline that just needed fleshing out in the evening, giving me more time for the kids or for myself. Also, print out the readings as much as possible. Retention is increased when reading from paper than from an electronic display.”
Joseph Peter Park Florendo, Jack Welch Management Institute

Arizona State’s Rachel Pruitt

8) Be A Good Teammate: “Make connections. Be a quality teammate. Add value to your cohort and your groups. It will make for a better learning experience for you as a student while paying dividends down the road by conditioning you to act as an effective part of a team once you get the opportunity to put your education to use. Nobody works in a vacuum.”
Patrick Brennan, University of Florida (Warrington)

9) Learn To Read Fast: “Learning speed reading and retention techniques is hugely beneficial in this program. You will dedicate hours to reading each week. Even basic techniques like using your finger to follow along on the page while reading can really decrease the amount of time you spend reading.”
Rachel Pruitt, Arizona State University (W. P. Carey)

10) Get Ready To Work: “Do not let “online” cloud your thinking, a hybrid MBA is not for everyone and it is also not an “easy” or “lite” way to earn an MBA. At Tepper, the full-time and part-time curriculum and requirements are the same, taught by the same professors in the same classrooms. Buckle up and get ready to work. This is the real deal.”
Andrew Woodward, Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)


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