When you decide to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, you don’t necessarily have to leave your job. In fact, it’s possible to keep working while pursuing your MBA degree. Keep in mind that handling work and school at the same time does take considerable effort, though. In order to make sure you’re able to do both without feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to plan ahead. The following tips can help ensure that you succeed at school while still being able to focus on work.
1. Explore Online MBA Options
Working while earning your MBA degree can be a challenge, but an online degree program could make it a bit easier. With an online MBA degree program, you don’t have to make sure you’re able to attend classes in person after working all day. Instead, you can go through online lectures at your own pace without having to leave your home. An online program can provide more convenience while also fitting into your daily schedule more easily. You can work on projects and assignments on weekends instead of trying to handle them after working all day and watching or attending online lectures in the evening. When you don’t have to go to classes in person, this also saves you time throughout the week.
As you explore options for MBA degrees, you should look for ones that are offered online. If you prefer attending classes in person from time to time, you can also look for options that provide a mix of in-person and online classes. Keep in mind that you can look into full-time and part-time degree programs in order to find one that best fits your schedule and situation. If you’re trying to earn your MBA degree sooner, a full-time program can help you achieve this. If you don’t mind taking longer to earn your MBA, you can look for part-time options.
2. Work on Time Management
One of the best ways to successfully handle work and an MBA program is by learning to manage your time wisely. Having time management skills allows you to divide up your time, so that you’re able to accomplish work and school tasks. For example, you might want to set aside a block of time in the evening to focus on school lectures or assignments. You might also be able to handle a few smaller, school-related tasks during your workday, such as when you’re on your lunch break. Just make sure you’re able to give your schoolwork your full attention.
Managing your time can help you avoid feeling stressed about handling work and school. Time management also allows you to focus solely on work when you’re on the job rather than worrying about school and vice versa. This can help boost your performance at work and in academics. Keep in mind that you might need to try managing your time in different ways until you find a work and school schedule that work for you while also allowing you to have some free time.
3. Stay Organized
Staying as organized as possible is crucial in order to do well in your MBA program and at work. If you’ve developed organizational skills at your job, you might be able to apply these to school. For example, you might use apps or programs to keep track of upcoming assignments and tests or to plan out school projects. Apps for taking notes or managing documents might also come in handy for school. Keeping all of your school-related tasks organized can make it easier to concentrate on each one as you work toward completing them.
If you’re using digital or online tools to help you stay organized, try to choose ones that you can access on more than one device. This makes it more convenient for you to quickly open a document or refer to notes you’ve taken when needed. For example, look for apps or programs that you can sync to your tablet, smartphone, and computer, so that you can access them from any of those devices.
4. Communicate with Others Regularly
Keeping the lines of communication open with other people in your life is also important for balancing work and school. You should let your supervisor know that you’re taking an MBA degree program in case you need to work out a more flexible work schedule. You should also communicate with instructors or other faculty members as needed if you have to adjust a due date or miss a class due to work commitments. Making sure you communicate can help prevent problems at either work or school from affecting your academic or work performance.
Communicating with others also means asking your family for help managing tasks at home if needed. For example, you might ask your spouse or older kids to help out with household tasks during the week, so you can focus more on school. Being open about needing help with these tasks can help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed or overly stressed. When you’re able to balance work, school, and your personal life better, you’ll have more energy for handling school projects and other assignments.
5. Prioritize Self-Care
Although you can expect to be busy with school and work when you’re earning your MBA, you still need to make self-care a priority. In order to do your best in your MBA classes and at work, you need to keep stress to a minimum and stay as physically and emotionally healthy as possible. Make sure you’re able to sleep for 7 or 8 hours each night, so you’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle work and school in the morning. You should also plan healthy meals and snacks to eat on a daily basis to maintain good energy levels.
When you’re working on a daily schedule as part of managing your time, you should set aside time for regular exercise. Having some physical activity as part of your daily routine can help you feel energetic and healthy. With regular workouts, you’ll also feel less stressed. If needed, you might be able to combine school and physical activity, such as listening to a recorded lecture while working out on a treadmill or going for a walk around your block. Ideally, you should aim for around 30 minutes of exercise each day.
If you’re considering pursuing your MBA while continuing to work, please contact University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. We offer MBA programs that are completely online for your convenience as well as a flexible MBA program that offers a combination of online and in-person classes. Find out more about our MBA degree programs, so you can choose the right option for your situation.