During my first two quarters in the WPMBA program, I only had to travel for work once – and it was during the three-week break between summer & fall quarters. While that did mean I got a little “office fever”, it made things easier – I didn’t have to worry about missing class, group meetings, etc. Well now, I do. In the first four months of 2012, our marketing team is attending three trade shows and hosting our annual Sales Meeting and Customer Council – none of which are in Columbus. I just got back from three nights in New York City for a trade show, then will head to Las Vegas in February for another three-night trade show. Our Sales Meeting and Customer Council follows next in mid-March, also in Las Vegas (I know…you aren’t feeling bad for me!), and spans over 6 nights. And finally, I’ll be heading to Dallas in late April for another trade show.
Whew! I’m tired just writing all of that. That may not seem like a lot to some of you, but I’m willing to bet at least a few of you find traveling while in school a bit tricky. And keep in mind, this doesn’t include any weekend trips I have planned! So, I thought I would give you some tips for how to travel during the WPMBA program:
1. Try not to miss class. I know this isn’t always possible, but try not to miss class when you can avoid it. For this last trip I made to NYC, I worked it out with my manager to leave halfway through the last day of the tradeshow, so that I could fly back and still make it to class by 6 pm. This means my co-workers had to tear down the booth without my help…so I’ll buy them a coffee to make up for it
2. When you have to miss class, talk to your professors EARLY. As luck would have it, our biggest meeting of the year – the Sales Meeting and Customer Council that spans 6 nights – is during winter quarter finals week. I knew about this long before the start of the quarter. When my professors emailed their respective syllabuses a week or so before class started, I contacted them right away to tell them about my conflict. Both were appreciative that I notified them before the start of the quarter – and were willing to find an alternate time for me to take the final. Finding time to study for those finals during the last week of class is another thing altogether!
3. Prepare. Whether your travel causes you to miss class or not, you are undoubtedly missing some regular study time. The best way to combat this is to prepare, prepare, prepare! Review your class syllabuses and pack the necessary material in your carry-on – you can read it on the plane or during some downtime in your hotel room. If you are working on a group project, make sure to inform your classmates and complete any work before you leave town.
Do you travel for work? What are some of your tips?