How To Excel In An Online MBA: Ten Ways

Jose DeJesus, University of Maryland (Smith)

5) Connect Outside Class: “It takes a little extra effort to cultivate relationships in an online program. Spend the extra time at the start or end of a meeting to talk about something other than the assignments you are working on. A classmate of mine started an after-school video club where we hung out and watched movies together over Discord. It did not matter that we lived in different states. If you make it easy for people to connect with you, the quality of your experience will be that much better.”
Jose DeJesus, University of Maryland (Smith)

“Our cohort built out a slack channel to stay connected. It meant that we were quickly able to connect on course projects, create boards for courses, share ideas, and collaborate (and sometimes commiserate). It was helpful in building our community and maintaining our relationships. From an academic perspective, starting each module early (at the beginning of each week) is particularly important. An MBA program is not something you can start and finish each weekend. Procrastination is not your friend.”
Corinna Bellizzi, Santa Clara University (Leavey)

“Become involved as much as possible. Secure every opportunity that you think will allow you to network and meet people in the field that you are looking to practice. I met many physicians along the way and networked with them. I still keep in touch with them when I have a patient or even a question that I need advice about.”
Charles Sineri, Drexel University

6) Use School Resources: “Utilize your resources like your writing coaches. I would send my assignment to my coach a couple of weeks ahead of time, and it would come back with new insights or suggestions for things to consider including in the assignment. This complimentary extra resource elevated my work and level of comprehension.”
Bharat Datt, Jack Welch Management Institute

Jamie Gray, Indiana University (Kelley)

“My advice would be to come in eager to take full advantage of all the resources available, including course material, professors, and peers. With busy schedules, it can be easy to lean toward reviewing only the required material. Even it means saving the information to consume later, I have found these supplements extremely valuable in my ongoing learning. In addition to coursework, my professors were always encouraging us to reach out and connect on the application of the learnings into our personal and professional lives. Based on these conversations, they would often research and identify additional resources for the whole class to reference. With that said, time management will be important. Establishing a sustainable routine with your coursework will help you remain on top of assignments while not be undermined by the flexibility.”
Jamie Gray, Indiana University (Kelley)

 “Have discipline to self-study and set aside some time every day to work on assignments instead of doing it at the last minute. Also, make it a habit to attend review sessions outside of lecture even though attendance may be optional because they teach many useful tips and tricks for completing assignments and acing the exams.”
Jared Leong, University of Washington (Foster)

7) Engage With Professors: “Take the time to introduce yourself, attend office hours, and ask questions, every professor I reached out to was happy to create a connection, help with questions, or just be available for career advice.”
Robert Anthony Woblesky, Santa Clara University (Leavey)

8) Stick To A Daily Schedule: “The online MBA program is incredibly rigorous, but there is a temptation to put work off until the end of the week to try and accomplish everything over the weekend. This not only makes for ineffective learning, but also takes away from much needed weekend time. Try and do something every day and you will definitely be set up for success!”
Justin Zikias, Arizona State (W. P. Carey)

Victoria Sherwood, University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)

“It is extremely important to keep to a schedule. At the beginning of each semester, I put all due dates into my iPhone calendar and synced it with my work calendar. Because I have a hectic work schedule, it would be extremely difficult to keep track of both my work assignments and school assignments without putting them in one place. Also, if you’re not in the same time zone as your school, make sure to account for this difference. Because Hawaii is so far behind the East Coast, I often set my due dates one day early.”
Amy Morton-Sogi, University of Massachusetts-Amherst (Isenberg)

9) Watch Your Health: “Working, studying, and taking care of yourself and your family is a tall order. I have an untested hypothesis that achieving this remotely can make the time commitment appear less significant to those around you. In my case, courses occurred in the middle of the night, making the in-class commitment near invisible to others. Actively make time for self-care and master politely setting boundaries to protect your time. If you do have the time, capitalize on as many networking opportunities as possible. In-person immersions (called Summits), student advisory board positions, the student-consulting STAR program, regional networking events and online socials and webinars might not be required, but they bring you one connection closer to the professional goals that brought you to the program.”
Victoria Sherwood, University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)

10) Never Give Up: “The best advice I have received is that a jogger is measured on their physical endurance. The online MBA program will measure you on your mental endurance. To thrive, be prepared to exercise your brain.”
Kenneth Rhone, North Carolina State (Jenkins)



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