Taking an MBA class is not to be taken lightly. Not only is it expensive, you are also putting your career, your future, on the line.
Nor should you take it with utter seriousness that it will stress you out. Learning, to be effective and lasting, must be taken in a spirit of fun, enjoyment and participation.
To achieve both ends is a mater of strategy. Hey, one of the key learning points in an MBA program is strategic planning. You can start learning now by mapping out some strategies to take you to graduation day with flying colors.
Here are some of them:
Develop good study habits:
There are very few gifted individuals who hardly touch their reference materials, yet manage to stay on top academically. Majority of us have to work real hard to make it. Most of us have to develop good study habits to get by.
– Study regularly:
You know how habits are formed? It is doing something repeatedly and regularly for a number of days. The going might be difficult at first. But soon as you get your groove, it will become easy; becomes a part of you.
Don’t wait until the last minute to open your reference materials. That’s cramming and cramming don’t make good grades.
– Always complete your assignments:
Doing your assignments on the last minute will surely overwhelm you when the next comes along.
An MBA class can seem like an endless performance of assignments. If you fail to do one on time, you will have difficulty in performing other assignments on the pipeline.
– Eat and sleep well:
Your body can only do what is expected of it if it is well fed and well rested. Studies upon studies can support the medical and physical benefits of a good sleep and a good diet.
Consult credible nutritional guides to see what foods are best suited to keep you running through your post graduate studies.
Don’t push it when your body cries out for rest and relief. Stop, go out for a walk, jog, exercise, see a friend or a movie.
Anything that will take you away for a while to de-stress will do you much good. Sometimes it is better to stop so we can cover more mileage.
Join study groups:
Professors and behavioral psychologists all agree that study groups can help improve your performance, both in class discussions as well as on tests.
Study groups force students to change their old ways and their less effective patterns of behavior. It is peer pressure in a positive and constructive way.
In a study group, you will be less likely to procrastinate, unless you don’t mind ugly stares from other group members for having failed to deliver your part of the deal.
It will encourage you to explain things aloud for the benefit of other members; for critiquing. This is not a one-way street. You can do likewise to other members making the learning process participative and dynamic.
It will also force you to become more organized; learn to put dates and labels on your notes. All these will make your notes make more sense and the end of the week.
We can go on with a litany of reasons outlining the benefits of a study group.
My daughter became a doctor by studying with a friend. There’s always synergy in numbers.
Learn to read the SQ3R way:
An MBA class requires reading dozens of textbooks and maybe countless case studies. To stand a good chance of comprehending and absorbing all these, you need to learn how to read quickly and efficiently. These tips will help you do just that:
Scan the reading material before actually reading it. Focus on titles, heading, bold or italicized words, chapter summaries, diagrams, pictures and their captions;
As you read, constantly ask yourself what the key points are.
Read what you need to read. Focus on comprehension rather than memorization. Seek the facts and important points and write them down.
Review what you have learned after reading. Look at your notes, chapter summaries or things you have written on the margins and then reflect on the key concepts.
Recite aloud, in your own words, what you have learned until you are confident that you understand the material and could explain it to someone else.
There’s a learning factor in hearing what you are studying. It registers more clearly in the brain.
These tools, if I may call them that, can help you manage the heavy work and study load of your MBA class. Of course, if you have more effective ways to do that, by all means, use it to the fullest.