One of the larger adjustments I had to make this year concerns my daily class schedule. Last year, as a new MBA, my schedule contained mostly core classes which are held between 8:30am and 3:20pm. Most days equaled four hours of in-class time with additional time spent outside of the classroom in meetings and events. Those days seem long past.
My current schedule is enough to make anyone cringe (I actually did as I registered) but sometimes you’ve just gotta do what you’ve gotta do (i.e. suck it up and deal with it). As second-years, many of our classes are in the evenings, shared with the Working Professional MBAs, so it is not uncommon to be in class at Fisher at 8:30am and then again later that day – sometimes from 8-10pm at night. Sacrifice becomes a regular occurrence during a full-time MBA program. The more comfortable you are with that reality, the faster you’ll adjust to life as a grad student.
I love my classes this quarter. I’m taking 18 credit hours… so for the first five weeks of the quarter I am in five classes (one ends halfway through). My thought was: just as I begin to snap, my load will get a bit lighter, helping me survive. Mind you: 18 credit hours is the same amount the first-years are taking right now. The difference is that I have four of the five classes on the same day. Mondays and Wednesdays I run the gauntlet: my own personal warrior dash. The classes I have are: Multi-Channel Consumer Experience Creation, Consumer Behavior, Corporate Finance, and Advanced Strategic Analysis. My day goes from 8:30am through 8pm with one break from 10:30-1:30 and another from 5:20-6pm. Tuesdays and Thursdays are lighter class days: one class, Advanced Competitive Analysis, in the afternoon. Each class requires team assignments… which translates to five different teams to meet with outside of class. During my first year, there were team assignments in each class but we had the same team for most of the year. Scheduling was a lot easier for all involved.
So, if you’ve heard MBAs are a bit hard core, you’ve heard correctly. B-school is not for the faint of heart. If you decide it is for you, I guarantee that it is worth every cup of coffee and sleepless night. You’re not in it alone. At the end of it all, you’ll emerge from b-school stronger than ever with some of the best friends you’ll ever find.
FYI: This week’s post was inspired by these three lovely ladies that happen to be my classmates. I took this picture of them while we were touring Machu Picchu last spring. One adventure just wasn’t enough – while in Peru, they decided to compete in an actual Warrior Dash event. Their trip to Nashville, TN was planned before we returned back to the States. I’m happy to report, despite one injury, they competed well and returned to Columbus safely and in time for the first day of classes. I respect and admire their tenacity – congratulations Kelly, Rema, and Jamie on a job well done. Keep the inspiration coming!
A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water. – Eleanor Roosevelt