Going back to school to study business can be an amazing investment in your career or in a business you plan to start. However every business-minded person knows you can't just make an investment and check out. To be successful requires hard work, follow up, and diligence to ensure it pays off. Here are some ways you can make the most of your degree and time as a business student.
Keep the Goal In Mind
Before going back to school, you likely had a goal in mind. Students return for many reasons. Maybe you would like to finish something you started, set a positive example for your children, or gain the credentials you need to move up in your organization. Whatever your reason was, that needs to stay front-and-center throughout your time in school, said Janelle Montgomery, the Business Administration program director at SNU.
“Keep the end goal in mind so you can persevere through challenges that life can bring,” Montgomery said.
During your time in school, there will surely be challenges that stand in the way of graduation like ailing family members, tight schedules, work conflicts and more. Earning a degree is completely possible, but only if you have the persistence and resilience to work through whatever obstacles arise.
Juggling family, work, and a full course load requires organizational skills. Gone are the days of remembering everything in your head, because your education requires you to stay on top of your assignments and turn them in on time. You can use one of these free organizational tools or find a planner that suits your schedule. Be sure to write down all upcoming homework assignments, tests, and other deadlines. You may also want to pencil in study time each week so you and your family know when you are dedicating time to your education and when you have time for other obligations.
Even the most carefully laid plans can change, which is one reason why Montgomery said, “Stay flexible to changes during your pursuit for your degree.”
Undoubtedly, things will come up and interrupt your planned study time or your intentions to turn something in early. You may also find that your initial goal of moving up in the organization where you work has changed or you’ve been offered a position you never anticipated. That is perfectly fine. Stay flexible to new opportunities, new connections, and new perspectives as you work toward your degree. Staying open and flexible will allow you to accomplish things you never imagined.
One of the most valuable parts of your degree will be the connections you make with peers, professors and industry professionals.
“Build relationships with other learners in your cohort to enhance the quality of your experience,” Montgomery said.
Doing so will help you during your studies, as you will have classmates to share notes with, study with, and look to for support. However, much of the value of your network will come after graduation. You will have peers who made turn into colleagues and others who will help you along in your career as you search for new opportunities, grow, and build teams of your own.
Related article: The Online Student’s Guide to Networking
Develop Study Skills
Whether it's been a long time since you've been in the classroom, or you never needed to develop study school skills while in high school, it will be vital to your success that you know how to review and understand difficult material. The advanced level of study requires advanced study skills. We have several resources on our blog to help you learn how to study, but you will also have to learn hands-on what works for you and what produces the best results for you during your classes.
Related articles: 9 Helpful Study Tips for Adult Learners
Lean on Your Support System
Going back to school for your business degree can be challenging, so know who your support system is going into it. You may need various forms of help from your spouse, children, friends, colleagues, and more. In times when you are feeling stressed, reach out to them for support, and you will find how much it helps. It will make your graduation day that much sweeter, when you can say that everyone worked together to help you reach a goal.
Use Your School’s Resources to the Fullest
Most universities have many resources available to students, but unfortunately they sometimes go underutilized. Some of these include library services, counseling services, disability services, chaplain services and more. Speak with your student advisor about your needs, and see what recommendations they have on resources available to you. You may find a free writing class helps you perform better on writing assignments or tutoring improves your GPA. Your tuition often includes the cost of these resources, so be sure you use them to the fullest.
Self-care may be considered a buzzword, but it has very practical implications to your time as a business student. No one can thrive in an environment where they are burning the candle at both ends (and maybe even in the middle). You will learn that having a diet that promotes energy, being well-rested, creating boundaries around work and family time, and understanding your needs will help you perform better as a student. Be sure that you are scheduling in rest time as well as study time, as well performing self-assessments to better understand what helps you and hinders you as a student.
Related article: Feeling Stressed? 11 Fun Weekend Activities to Get Your Mind Off College Assignments
Using these tips can help ensure your success as a business student. It won't be easy, but it will be worth it. At SNU, we are here to support students along their journey toward a degree, whether it's through an undergraduate program in Business Administration or a graduate degree in Leadership. Speak with an enrollment counselor today to see how the right schedule and programming can help you reach your goals on a timeline that works for you.