While a part-time MBA degree can significantly boost career growth and earning potential, completing the requirements of the degree can be difficult, specially for candidates who have full-time jobs and family.
Here are 11 Steps to Survive a Part Time MBA Program:
Step 1: Ensure before enrolling into a part-time MBA program that the school and curriculum of the program meets your career goals and can fit into your professional and personal lives.
Step 2: Meet with current and graduated part-time program students to confirm some of your research about the program you are considering. There is no substitute to meeting and talking with people who are in the process or already completed a program.
Step 3: Check with your employer if they assist employees with tuition reimbursement or time-off during the program. Understand in advance if the company is supportive of part-time education. Enrolling and then missing classes due to long work hours or business travel is usually disruptive.
Step 4: Discuss your plans with your significant other. This is the most important step in pursuing your plans. An unhappy personal life can ruin the chances of successfully completing a part-time program.
Step 5: Complete the application requirements for the programs of your choice. Apply to more than one program in your area to increase your chances of enrollment. However, do not join a program if it does not fit your personal and professional goals.
Step 6: Start with a low to moderate course work load. Consult with senior students and with the school recommendations on best courses to take early on. Usually, there are required courses that lay the foundation for other courses to be taken at a later stage.
Step 7: Set a personal time-table for the completion of degree requirements. Work in contingencies such disruptions due to job or family. Follow through on the time-table.
Step 8: Make the best use of infrastructure offered by the school. Part-time MBA programs are as much about course work as they are about networking with fellow students, companies and other institutions. Focus on grades alone can turn out to be short-sighted and may not help in leveraging the program to the fullest.
Step 9: Maintain the work-family-school balance. Part-time MBA program is like a tripod. One shaky leg can leave you imbalanced. Apply the lessons from the program in your work to demonstrate the value added. Set aside time for your family and try to make the time spent together special. Remember, graduating successfully from a part-time MBA program is the best signal of your capacity to lead and manage teams.
Step 10: Make thorough evaluation and estimate financial resources required to complete the course
Step 11: Graduate successfully from the program. Hopefully, the trials and tribulations are worth it and you are able achieve the goals set out before the start of the program.