Are you thinking about returning to school for your MBA? There are a number of reasons why this is a good idea. For example, the right MBA program can provide valuable insights that can translate into more success on the job. Plus, an MBA on your resume can help provide opportunity for advancement throughout your career.
After you’ve explored the ways an MBA can add value to your life and your career, take some time to consider how to make earning your MBA equally as valuable. How can you maximize your MBA education as you learn to realize ROI all career long?
At the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Gary W. Rollins College of Business, we want to help you succeed at every stage of your MBA education and subsequent career. That’s why we developed this list of seven key items you may want to purchase now, before beginning your MBA program. Add these items to your study toolkit to more effectively integrate your studies into your life today and prepare for career success tomorrow.
A computer might seem like an obvious answer, but it cannot be understated, especially if you elect to go with the versatility and portability of a laptop. A laptop computer equipped with office and business-relevant programs can help you manage your studies from day one.
Online schooling has risen dramatically in recent years, with 35 percent of students taking at least one course online during their college degree, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. UTC’s College of Business offers flexible learning options for students, including hybrid and 100% online MBA programs. Students in our programs receive a competitive education right from their computer.
No matter where you pursue your advanced business degree, computers and technology will play a vital role in your academic success. Look at the system requirements and suggestions made by your program to determine exactly what you should have available on your laptop. Consider also if you will want to complement your computer with other electronic devices, such as a tablet, based on the need for technology in your program.
2. Voice recorder
Whether you buy an actual voice recorder or spend the money to download a relevant app, a recording can be incredibly important for MBA students attending classes in person. Lectures and seminars are often packed full of important information that students will want to master. Study sessions with other students can also offer valuable insights for challenging topics, particularly during exam preparation time.
Recording technology can make it easier to keep track of what you need to know. By recording the lecture, you can feel confident that any important information discussed during the lecture will be preserved. You can listen to the lecture more than once to help complete notes that will, in turn, help you master the material.
One important point about the voice record, however, is the importance of securing permission from those being recorded. In other words, let the professor know if you want to record the lecture during class before you begin recording. Many people do not want to be recorded without permission. Similarly, check with study group teammates or others who might be on your recording before you push the button.
3. Quality backpack or messenger bag
Matriculating through an MBA program often means spending a considerable amount traveling to and from the library, the lecture hall, study groups, and more—often transporting armloads of books, a laptop, notes, and more. For years, college students have counted on backpacks (and, in some cases, messenger bags) to alleviate the issue. It’s likely the perfect solution for your MBA study needs, as well.
Select a bag option that is comfortable, as you will need to carry it around for a considerable portion of your day. At the same time, select one that is durable and can hold heavy objects, like academic tomes.
As an MBA student, you will likely find yourself transporting a variety of different materials, such as your laptop computer, in addition to your books. A backpack with several compartments can be helpful, enhancing your organizational abilities.
4. Reference manual
An MBA program requires a considerable amount of writing and analysis. Research reports and in-depth essays are essential and common throughout an MBA program. Students must know how to properly organize and cite material while understanding how to write according to the standards of different professors.
A reference manual, therefore, should have a prominent place on your bookshelf. Put it where you can easily access it. From citation structure to the proper use of abbreviations according to a particular writing style, you’ll need to refer to it throughout your studies.
Ask your professors for guidance on what book to purchase. See if there is a specific guide that would be helpful as you progress through their classes. And don’t forget your fellow classmates. Talk to them to see if they have a particular book they recommend.
5. Wi-Fi hotspot
As they research topics and prepare to write papers, students will spend a lot of time online. For some, a Wi-Fi hotspot is as essential to their learning success as a computer itself.
It could quickly become one of your favorite purchases. Rather than being restricted to your home or the nearest coffee shop, a hotspot can allow you to take your laptop and workload to any location that pleases you. If you want to go and work at the nearest park on a beautiful day for a change of scenery, this can help you make it possible.
With the hotspot, you will not have to worry about the internet connection, especially if you have an important paper due or an exam approaching. Your Wi-Fi hotspot gives you the flexibility you need to work wherever and whenever you want.
6. Financial calculator
In any MBA program, you will spend a significant amount of time performing calculations related to business and finances. A financial calculator can play an important role in making these types of questions and classes just a bit easier.
With the financial calculator, you will be able to run statistical equations and answer finance questions faster, potentially reducing frustration levels and amplifying study success.
7. Extra electronics chargers
As you progress through your MBA classes, you may find that you move around a lot. Between the library for research, lecture halls for in-person classes, a room at home dedicated to online classes, other people’s homes for study groups, and even study sessions at the local coffee shop, your degree will likely keep you physically moving.
As you travel about, you will bring electronics that get a lot of use. The last thing you need when you join others for a study session is to find your computer dying within the first twenty minutes because you forgot to charge it the night before. Extra electronics chargers can help you keep your devices ready to go and give you one less thing to worry about.
Buy an extra charger or two for the devices you will likely use most often in your classes. Keep one at home and put the other one in your backpack to make sure that you never find yourself without one.
Earning your MBA can help you open new professional doors and advance your career. At UTC, we offer a 100% online only and hybrid program options for earning your MBA degree. Our MBA programs provide a rigorous course of study that prepares students for leadership roles in the business world. Knowing how to prepare for this degree can help students get started on the right foot. Those interested in organizing themselves for their first day of class will find that these seven items can help tremendously with course preparation.
If you want to learn more about entering our MBA programs, come visit us online at the UTC’s College of Business.