There are many benefits to online MBA programs. Online classes are convenient and fit into your busy schedule. However, without the motivating environment of a brick-and-mortar classroom, it is easy to fall behind.
It’s important to understand the resources you’ll have at your disposal throughout an online MBA program. Along with time management skills and a little grit, staying on top of your schoolwork is possible even with a hectic schedule.
Here are some tips for keeping your eye on the ball while getting your MBA.
Create Your Own Study Schedule
With an online MBA, your schedule is in your hands. It’s up to you to set aside time for study and classwork. Northern Kentucky University professor Chip Heath says, “Online education is wonderful because it flexes to your schedule, but that also makes it easy to forget. Plan very specific times to do your work, and do not stray from that designated time.” Building a routine is vital.
There are times when the stresses of everyday life and the demanding curriculum of an MBA can feel overwhelming. It’s important to make sure you manage your time reasonably so you don’t bite off more than you can chew. ThoughtCo contributor Karen Schweitzer writes, “Making lists and crossing things off as you complete them will keep you organized and help you with your time management.” To-do lists can be a valuable tool to help you stay organized and on track.
Dedicate a Comfortable Study Environment
Since online MBA programs rely on virtual classrooms, it’s up to you to pick a reliable study area to complete your classwork. MBANoGMAT.com contributor Zach Gary writes, “It’s important to have a reliable place to go so you don’t waste your energy figuring it out.” Set up a home office or pick out a nearby cafe to dedicate as your study environment.
Even though you’ll take your classes online, it helps to unplug from the internet during your study sessions. The internet can be an irresistible distraction, but going without it for an hour or two can help you stay focused.
Use Your Networking Resources
One of the biggest benefits of an MBA is the networking opportunities it offers. Proactive networking can lead to great career opportunities down the road. Gary writes, “The larger network you maintain, and the more forms you maintain it in, the better chance you have.”
This includes building a positive rapport with your instructors. NKU‘s own Teressa Elliott says, “Ask the instructor for advice and help whenever needed.” The professors are there to teach you, after all, and they are arguably the most powerful networking resource online MBA students have at their disposal.
While there are countless benefits to taking on an online MBA program, it’s important to prepare yourself for any difficulties that may arise. You must understand your personal learning style and how best to stay on top of the coursework. Gary writes, “You still have to be very intentional in your approach, and ensure that at every stage of your program … you’re maximizing your time, prioritizing your learning and making the connections that will someday lead to your success.”
Keep these things in mind, and you’ll stay on track during your online MBA program. Good luck!
Learn more about NKU’s online MBA program.