ALL POSTS BY: Cam Johnson
While it is important to quickly learn how to manage your time while in your MBA program, most don’t consider another important MBA, Managing Bank Accounts. It is easy to take your eye off of your personal economics when you get a lump sum check. If you’re on a student loan budget, lunches out, coffees, etc. start to add up. There was a noticeable change in spending behavior between mods 1 and 2 and mod 3. By December of my first year, classmates started going out less and were looking forward to the spring semester check to come through. I would have felt more comfortable with that check too. In mods 3 and 4 there was a clear increase in the number of classmates bringing in lunch. That’s not to mean you shouldn’t have lunches, coffees, etc., but you’ll need to keep in mind the tradeoffs and with proper planning, maybe you can have a little bit of both.
Here are some nuggets of wisdom I’ve picked up through my first year.
As if mod 2 wasn’t challenging enough, the snow on the east coast, and specifically in Philadelphia, made it much more difficult to get out of Nashville. After two cancelled flights and one evening flight delayed for over 3 hours that I switched off of, I departed from Nashville on Tuesday at 6:35am. My originally scheduled departure? 2pm on Saturday. Not exactly the relaxing start or family time I had envisioned for my break.
When put through this exercise of patience due to matters out of your control, you try to rationalize through a reason that’s not entirely rational: divine intervention. Of course the most morbid of thoughts is the easiest for your mind to develop: there’s a plane I’m not supposed be on. Thankfully, that’s not a reality in this situation. The higher purpose for my delayed departure was to experience two events.
There’s no doubt that first year Mod II has been more challenging than Mod I and Ninad addresses those differences well. Over the course of this mod I’ve started to notice assignment fatigue in my business school colleagues (and myself). There’s a lot to conquer in and out of the classroom and it can wear you down quickly. To combat this you have two choices. The first is to buckle up and plough ahead with your sights set squarely on the finish line as you continue to tell yourself “It’s only 4 more weeks… It’s only 3 more weeks…” Despite mods only being 7 weeks long, this is kind of like saying, “Serenity now. Serenity now.” As one character alludes to in that episode of Seinfeld it’s, “Serenity now. Insanity later.”
My first set of finals are over and first year Mod 1 is in the books. And I finally got to folding some laundry from last week. It’s been a continuingly challenging experience to get to and be ready for finals. I decided to make my first set of business school finals more interesting by flying to NYC on Saturday for a wedding and flying back on Sunday with the Managerial Finance final on Monday. Despite this, it would be difficult to say that I would have been incredibly more prepared than I was had I not gone to the wedding. At this point in any course you are only refining your understanding of the material, not greatly expanding on it. However, this doesn’t deter one from long hours of studying, which leads to a week of bleary eyed test taking. Have I mentioned being tired before? I find the best thing you can do when you are tired is to remain active. Some would argue for coffee, and I certainly noticed coffee cups becoming bigger and more prevalent as the week went on, but I prefer to fight through fatigue and concentrate without caffeine. Either choice has limited a timeframe before the inevitability of sleep, but one is also more flexible for winding down.