First Semester Lessons Learned

First semester of the MAcc program was a wild whirlwind of experience gained, learning fast on my feet, and figuring out how to be an efficient and effective grad student. Here are my tips on how to be more successful in grad school.

Fall term 1, if you are searching for a job, that will be your life. You may look at your schedule and think, this is not so bad. It is. Before I started Dr. Dave Williams told me that the job search is like taking another class. As someone who was not used to the level of intense work required by the MAcc program, I would say it is like taking two extra classes. Job fairs, information sessions, and interviews will eat up the time you would have used to study, run errands, or just generally have a life.

But!- It gets better. Thrive a little while you survive by having a non-computer oriented hobby that is easy to start and stop when you have free time, like reading, crosswords, painting, knitting, or exercising. These can bust stress and remind you that there is a life outside of case studies and upper level math.

Stay at school and study during breaks – Whenever possible, do not use 2-3 hour breaks between classes at lunchtime to run errands. There is something about being surrounded by other people studying that makes starting and continuing your own homework easier. Having classmates around also means you can ask questions- and when appropriate, commiserate- about assignments.

Keep up – This is much easier said than done, especially in times like Fall term 2 when my combination of classes required about 10 hand-in assignments due the second week of classes. If you fall behind in your reading or understanding, do not use that as an excuse to not do the reading for current classes. Picking up later in the class is better than never getting current, but it is extremely taxing to keep up with classes and trying to catch up at the same time, and you will not be able to learn everything you have missed.

Don’t be afraid to take MBA classes- I took Advertising and Leading and Managing Change last Fall and absolutely loved them. Business classes are a great opportunity to learn interesting non-accounting topics and meet people outside of the MAcc program.

Finally, if you are not a morning person and have to take an early class, try to arrange a break afterwards that is long enough for you to go home and take a nap afterwards. Like my other tips, it will give you a little more peace of mind.



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