B-School: Lessons From Winter Quarter 2018

I’m so ready for winter quarter to wrap up.  I’m ready for winter to wrap up period.  Wednesday it was 60 degrees outside, which is pretty nice for a winter day in upstate NY. 

Today, only 2 days later, we woke up to a county-wide winter warning.  Schools were closed, and folks couldn’t make it out of their driveways due to all of the snow that piled up last night and this morning.  It’s kind of a living hell, only it’s not hot at all.  It’s freezing cold, and we’re in the middle of Nor’easter. 

This weather is almost as crazy as grad school.

Only 2 weeks left of the quarter, and 3 weeks left until the spring quarter begins.  I am REALLY looking forward to that one week off.    

I learned a lot this quarter.  That’s one of the aspects of business school that I love.  The information that I learn in my classes is readily applicable to my life.  I don’t have to wait until I graduate to start acting on my learning.  Business school gives a really fresh and current view of the world around us. 

My new-found knowledge even helps me now as I begin blogging.  I’m learning more about the science of social media, and why the big players are the big players. I’ve never talked about Amazon so much in my life.  Do ya’ll remember a time when Amazon used to only sell books?

Aside from my academics, I’ve learned/relearned a few great lessons this quarter.  I wanted to share those lessons with fellow students, as well as have a list of reminders for myself when I start to slack and get lazy.

1) Go to Office Hours (at least once).   For those of you, like me, who think you’re too busy to go to office hours, “unbusy” yourself and go meet your professor face-to-face.  I left work early last week to make it to Office Hours, and it was the most productive hour I’ve ever taken off of work. 

What I’ve learned from attending office hours is that my professors are real people who are passionate about what they’re teaching, and want for their students to truly learn and understand what’s being taught.  They’re not just some red-pen swinging authoritarians, trying to expose those unworthy of a degree.  They do care, even if some of them (a lot of my professors) come across as curt, and flat at times.  They can be a big help, and can guide you on how to study and pass their exams. Sometimes they may even give hints to what you should pay special attention to, and which topics you may want to breeze over in anticipation for exams. I’m just saying. Work that charisma.

Who knows, you may even make a friend!  You’ll need recommendations in the future. Get to know your professors.  Let them know you’re serious about their courses.

2)  Go to all of the lectures.  If you can, if you can, if you can. Go! I’ll admit, there are some fluff courses, where missing a lecture, or leaving a class early probably isn’t going to put you too far behind, but be mindful.  The professor’s approach and explanation of a topic trumps whatever you think you can go home and read about on your own.  The reading may be supplemental, or help iron out some wrinkles of confusion, but you need to understand the topic the way your professor understands the topic. Why? Because he’s the one administering the exams.  Midterms and finals are not the time to try to argue your point of view.  You most likely won’t get points for trying to disprove a theory that’s been retaught a thousand times. Just go to class.

Also, why miss out on class attendance points?  I know a small percentage of my grade depends on me just showing up, and maybe answering a question here or there.  That 10% can be the difference between you getting an A+ vs an A (more like a B vs a B-)!

3)  Make your studies one of your top priorities.  Notice I didn’t say “the top” priority.  That’s difficult to do, especially as adults.  For me, my family and paying bills come before anything, with my health and wellbeing coming last. LOL. Jk.  They aren’t that low on the list, but they can afford to move up.

But seriously, you have to learn when to limit your social activities and say no to distractions.  Try not to fill up your weekends so much that you don’t have time to glance over lecture notes, or read a chapter.  I guess it depends on your schedule.  But for me, I work full time, and go to school part time, so weekends are key to my success.

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Blogging is not more important than my MBA program, so this month I will be adjusting my posting schedule for the week before finals.  Be sure to read this month’s upcoming newsletter for updates.  One thing I’ve learned in business school is that it’s never good to work at full capacity.  You have to allow for recovery, and as we all know, especially mothers, things always pop up that need immediate attention.

I wish everyone the best of luck with their studies!  Stay focused, and remember why you’re in school.  Although it may be grueling now, school will not last forever.  Wherever you are, whether it be undergrad, grad school, or even professional nonacademic programs, know that there are other people rooting for you, even if you can’t hear them.  I surely am.

Wish me luck as I wrap up the winter quarter.  Here’s to good grades and long-lasting connections!

What lessons have you learned as a student?

Mrs. N8 Comments