Making the decision to earn a post-graduate degree such as a master’s of business administration (MBA) can be an exciting time as you explore your options for school, whether you’ll attend an online program or brick-and-mortar, and what concentration to pursue. It’s best to go in knowing exactly what you’ll be facing so that you can be as prepared as possible for your MBA program. Check out a few tips on how to prepare for an MBA and what you need to do beforehand.
Choose your school and apply well ahead of time.
Your first step should be to choose where you’ll be applying well ahead of when you plan to start your program. Many schools like UCLA, the University of Michigan, NYU, or Notre Dame will have MBA application deadlines, and if you miss that deadline you could be waiting another year to start your education. Research each school and call to speak with their enrollment representative so that you are as informed as possible and can have your application in before the day of the deadline.
You want to make sure you have a completed application and that nothing interferes with your ability to apply. You might even get in soon enough to apply for an early decision, which would give you more time to prepare.
Make sure you have all the required technology.
If you choose to earn your degree online, then you will definitely need to ensure that your internet connection, home network, and Wi-Fi are dependable, since you’ll likely have assignment deadlines you need to meet, and your professors will expect you to adhere to those. You may need a new router that can be compatible with devices such as WD cloud drives, which allow you to save your data and digital content all in one convenient place. These files can be shared with anyone, which will be important as you work on your full-time MBA degree.
You’ll also need a laptop that will have all the capabilities you need for your business school courses, which will likely require word processing software, spreadsheet software, video conferencing, and more. This way, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you have everything needed in order to succeed in your program.
Set up your own private space for studying.
Working full-time and working toward an MBA can be stressful, but if you have your own workspace set up for studying, testing, and live online class sessions, that can help with giving you the room you need to concentrate and focus on tasks at hand. You’ll need to find a rhythm and determine just how many hours a day you need to spend studying so that you effectively absorb all of the course material. Set some ground rules with others in your home so that they know not to bother you during this time and let them know you need your time to concentrate.
Create a schedule for yourself and your family.
Along with your own private space, you also should set up a schedule so that you and your family know exactly when you’ll be studying, when you have large projects due, and when you have exams. That way, you will still have time set aside for your kids’ extracurricular activities, time with your spouse, and even squeeze in some time for self-care. That self-care will be important, especially if you begin to feel stress. You’ll need that time to regroup and regenerate so that you feel stronger and ready to complete the rest of your courses so that you can walk across that stage and get your MBA.