This guy set the bar pretty high for the rest of us bloggers when he wrote about his 11-year-old self coming up with a pretty sound proposition for Barnes and Noble employees to let him buy a not-so-11-year-old-friendly CD. But not all of us have that much swagger.
In fact, it was a shock I got into the Fisher MHRM program at all as I tend to stumble over words when put on the spot. One of my interview questions was, “What recent news stories regarding business have you heard?” My response? “Umm…we don’t have cable…but I do know that Bob Costas who reports on the olympics has an eye infection so he just had Matt Lauer take over. Ahem…must be some sort of PR move.” I’m not kidding. My exact thoughts were [insert favorite expletive here]. And you know what happened literally a month and a half earlier? The Target security breach. Face/palm.
What I am good at is time management (great segue, right?) Having an active two-year-old while reading, writing, organizing group projects, and studying for classes has definitely been a challenge. Unlike my undergrad self, I’ve learned that time management is actually a THING. And incredibly helpful (sorry to point out the obvious). What are your priorities? What’s at the top of that list? Get it done. What’s next? Get it done and check that off of your list as well. Repeat repeat repeat.
My main priority: Making sure my kid feels valued. Is he learning? Is he eating? Is he having fun while avoiding activities that have the potential to cause severe injury? Yes? Good. Next thing.
Reading for class. With a two year old, it’s been surprisingly manageable.
Next priority: studying for tests. In the MHRM program, our first test was almost immediately after the semester began. I have learned that I’m a visual learner (as well as experiential…but generally most everyone learns from experience). I can’t just read and memorize. I have be able to see it it. In my undergrad, I learned a trick that has never let me down: color coding.
I will only take notes in black or blue ink. Before I begin fully studying for a test, I condense my notes from the readings and class into the information I think is the most important and will likely be on the test. Instead of writing these notes in black or blue ink, I use a weird color. Red, pink, green, etc. I then use another color to underline and emphasize things I am positive will be on the test. It ends up looking something like this:
Using colors I’m not used to seeing in my notes has been a successful study approach for me. It allows me to visualize my study notes. I’m happy to report I did very well on my first test, thanks to time management and color coded test notes.
Rather than focusing on what you’re not-so-good at (like talking about the possible business implications of Bob Costas’ eye infection), focus on what you’re great at. What you’re great at is likely what got you (or will get you) into the Fisher College of Business and will definitely help you succeed in your program.
Time management is my thing. I doubted myself entering grad school with a kid and having different priorities. But after the results of my first test, I know I’ve got this.