The decision to pursue one’s MBA degree is a big one. It’s a large commitment and it requires an extraordinary amount of time. Luckily, more and more students are choosing to complete their MBA program online. This provides an opportunity to work from home, on their own schedule, in their own environment.
With great opportunity comes great responsibility, however. Online learning is A LOT different than being on campus. It’s not for everybody, but it is for anybody. It’s for anybody who is dedicated to higher education, anybody who doesn’t mind putting the time in, anybody who wants to take their future into their own hands.
There is a lot that goes into completing one’s MBA online but it can be done, and done well, if you simply adopt these 5 online habits of successful students.
1) Time Management is Key
This first suggestion is, quite possibly, the most important. Time management is an important aspect of any kind of work done at home. Whether it’s for a job, a class or you’re a famous writer, time management is key to getting results.
So how do you do this? The trick, according to many students, is to map out your upcoming week, including all course work and non-MBA projects. Make a ‘To-Do’ list at the beginning of the week, including due dates for projects, meetings, class discussions or study sessions and more. Making a list is a great way to practice time management, and being able to cross items off of said list is surprisingly satisfying.
Starting projects earlier than absolutely required is pivotal to remaining ahead and having a relatively stress-free college career.
Procrastination might have been your specialty in years past, but if you ‘mean business’ about your business degree, procrastination ought to be a dirty word. Don’t wait until the last minute to finish, and especially start, projects. Try to stay ahead of the game as much as possible. Start your projects early, even if it’s just a little bit of work at first. Starting a project is the hardest part of working on a project, but if you start early you can save yourself a lot of time, energy and stress.
2) Reach Out to Professors/
Don’t Be Afraid of Asking for Help
Despite what you may think, most professors actually enjoy their jobs. This is especially true of the University of Wyoming MBA professors. They genuinely want to see each and every one of their students succeed.
So don’t be afraid to reach out. Whether it’s just to introduce yourself before the course begins or asking for help along the way. Your professor is not the Wizard of Oz, hiding behind the curtain of a message board. He or she is happy to accommodate you, answer any questions you may have and even offer the occasional emotional support when you’ve been crying alone in the shower while asking yourself why you decided to get your MBA in the first place.
Speaking of asking for help- that doesn’t just apply solely to professors either. It’s okay to ask fellow students for help as well. More often than not, your fellow business students believe that you’re all in this together and they are more than willing to offer whatever support they can.
If you have questions about the course, the content, upcoming projects and more, don’t be afraid to reach out. Your peers understand, perhaps better than anyone, the struggles that you will face while pursuing your MBA. The important thing to remember, is that you don’t have to face those struggles alone.
3) No Distractions
Of course, one of the biggest struggles you may face in your pursuit of higher education are all of the distractions in your life. It’s inevitable that these distractions will present themselves, usually at the worst possible time (when you’ve already procrastinated all month). But making a conscious effort to avoid them will only serve to make your life easier.
Working with music playing in the background is acceptable; sometimes it’s even necessary. But put your phone away. Texting, Facebook, Candy Crush… they can all wait. No kitten videos on YouTube either. Let the kids know it’s mom’s or dad’s study hour, mute your emails from work, and ask your fellow parents and friends to have your back with after-school activities so you can focus on your studies. You’re here to work, and you knew that when you decided to pursue your MBA–it’s your work ethic that got you to this point anyway, so avoid distractions as much as you can!
4) Develop Ability to Work Independently
The term “out of sight, out of mind” has never been more apt than when it comes to online course work. It’s easy to fall behind on assignments if you’re not constantly keeping track of upcoming deadlines. This is why developing the ability to work independently is a vital component of online education. Previously, you would go to a school every day and you would constantly have parents, peers and teachers reminding you what’s due and when.
Now, it’s a little different. You’re responsible for yourself and your future lies entirely in your own hands. Because of that, you need to take initiative. As we mentioned, reach out to peers and professors. You will undoubtedly run into delays in responses, so it’s important to plan ahead.
You also shouldn’t be afraid to utilize resources that are available to you. Don’t wait for your professor to assign an article about a particular subject- find some yourself! There is a wealth of knowledge literally at the tip of your fingers. If you’re willing to put in the work and you have the ability to work independently, you should be quite successful as an online MBA student.
5) Make Your Education Part of Your Bigger Plan
It’s easy to get overwhelmed throughout your college career. Most college students have asked themselves, usually the night before a big test that they didn’t study for (they weren’t great at time management), this question: ‘Why am I even doing this?’
It’s a fair question, and it’s one you should ask yourself before starting this journey. Why are you doing this? What’s the ultimate goal you’re trying to accomplish, and how does your MBA factor into the equation? By making your MBA and its subsequent online classes part of the bigger picture, you’ll be even more motivated to work independently, avoid distractions, reach out to professors and manage your time effectively. At the end of the day, after all the projects and papers and case studies, receiving your MBA is not the end of the journey; it’s the beginning. And if you follow these simple suggestions, you’ll be showing the world, and yourself, that when it comes to your MBA- you mean business.
To learn more about the University of Wyoming MBA Program, or if you have any questions, contact Tanner Russell at (307) 766-2449, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.