It feels like decades since I’ve been in a proper classroom. After getting five years of work experience under my belt, I found that my knowledge of academic life was a bit rusty and that I needed to learn how to be a student again.
Within the first couple of weeks of my Full-Time MBA programme, I already had tonnes of readings, exams scheduled and group assignments - add into the mix networking events, recruitment presentations and a healthy social life, it seemed to be too much, too fast.
If like me, you were accustomed to a full-time job and have decided to get back into student life, follow my tips below to make the transition a little bit easier.
Get ahead of the deadlines (don't procrastinate!)
At first, the workload can seem overwhelming considering that your brain still isn’t in full student mode. We have several group and individual assignments for each class and most of us probably haven’t written an essay in a while, so it is best to have as much time as possible to complete them.
Creating a schedule with all your upcoming deadlines will help you stay organised. Plus, planning ahead will keep you from stressing out last minute. Also, it allows you to have extra time to check with professors if you have any questions!
Reconnecting with referencing
If, like me, you haven’t had to write a proper academic paper in years, you probably have forgotten all about citing. I would advise not to leave referencing as the last step when writing a paper, it is best to get it out of the way as you go.
If you are confused on where to start with referencing and need to dust off your skills, the Imperial Library website has amazing guides on how to reference – I would suggest the Harvard Citing and Referencing Style!
Control your budget
Studying the Imperial Full-Time MBA programme means you will take one year off work, which can be scary leaving a regular income behind. Be sure that you are aware of this from the beginning and make sure your finances are in place throughout the year to take the stress off being a full-time student.
Remember, there are plenty of student discounts to take advantage of!
Use your work experience
Professional life has probably given you a unique skill set that you can bring to your MBA programme.
For me, having managed complex projects during my work life gave me new perspectives that I can apply in class and for group work, take advantage of your experience.
Give yourself time to ease back into student life and don’t stress if getting used to being a student again is taking a bit longer than you thought.
Good things take time.