Creating the Balance between Work, Life and Continuing Education

Carolyn Brune

Friday, April 11, 2014

Returning to begin or complete your MBA studies?  One of your first concerns may be how to maintain the quality of work and life balance that is needed to be successful as a student.  Whether you are returning for part-time (LMBA) or iMBA, making time for classes and coursework requires some pre-planning and organization.

What you are embarking on is the development of new professional skills when you opt to include continuing education as part of your schedule.   There are several aspects involved in maintaining an ideal work, life and study balance.

Career and Employment Obligations

If you are studying part-time while remaining employed full-time, the flexible schedules of our LMBA program will help you to fit your classes into your current obligations.  There are a number of things that should be in place before you commence your MBA studies, which does include a conversation with your employer.

Letting your organization know that you are pursuing retraining or skills development is important to garner both their support as well as their understanding when or if there are conflicting deadlines or needs.   It may be a good time to discuss application of your coursework into your current responsibilities for practical experience.

Personal Relationships

The amount of hours of travel and study time can have an impact on your personal relationships.  Much in the same way as it is important to be frank with your employer, so too should you give your family the opportunity to understand your course load and the demands on your time.  This will make it easier to set aside an organized schedule for coursework.

Staying Healthy

If you work all day at a desk and spend your evenings and weekends in class or online, it is easy to neglect one of the most important facets of your health, which is physical activity.  When you are planning your study schedule remember that exercise is both a stress reliever as well as a tool to increase focus and retention.

Make time to walk, run or visit the gym regardless of how busy you get and plan nutritious meals and snacks to keep you fueled for the months of learning ahead.

Study Time and Projects

Many first time MBA students neglect to consider the amount of time that will be spent completing coursework (in addition to attending classes).   Create an organized schedule to ensure that you are optimizing your available study time and use lists to keep focused.  Many adult students enjoy sitting at the table and sharing study or ‘homework’ time with their children, which not only integrates study into family life but also helps to set a great example about the value of continuing education and lifelong learning.

We’d like to give you the opportunity to share your tips for work, study and life balance.  As a current MBA student, what advice or tips would you like to share with prospective students entering the MBA program at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management?

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