Alison Kelly’s ultimate back-to-school checklist for an emerging level five leader seeking to collaborate, synergize, and circle back with strategic alliances.

Congratulations! You’re headed back to school! For some, the decision to get their MBA is made after a year (or more!) of vetting different business schools, studying for the GMAT,

VP of Community Relations
VP of Community Relations: Alison Kelly, GMBA

and saving your pennies. For others (like me), it doesn’t really hit you until you realize it’s the 3rd night in a row that you’re eating Ramen noodles and convincing yourself that, hey – I don’t miss that paycheck! We all have our ways of coping…

Regardless of the path that led you to Fox, the journey on which you will spend the next few years is one that will change your life. In order to maximize the efficiency with which that occurs (because you’re a business person now and time is money), here are 3 key pieces of advice to help you ease back into student-mode and avoid some freshman-level missteps:

  1. Pay the billz

SIGN YOUR PROMISSORY NOTES,  ACCEPT YOUR FINANCIAL AID PACKAGE AND DO ALL THAT STUFF – RIGHT NOW!  The financial aid office is notoriously busy and processing can be lengthy in the fall semester. Regardless of your scholarship status, sources of aid, whatever… take care of this today.

  • Set up direct deposit through TUpay.
  • Make sure all your boxes are checked in TUportal.
  • Talk to Barry if you have questions.

Do these things now so that when your award is finally posted to your account, you don’t have to scramble to figure out how you’re going to pay your rent while also preparing slides for your first presentation.

2. Have some skillz

Have you used Excel in the last month? No? Well, get ready for a rude awakening. It is worth your time to familiarize yourself with the program, press F1 a lot, and find online tutorials. Don’t expect Professor Anderson to walk you through how to use the SUM function. He’ll do it, because he’s awesome, but if you want to maximize your ROI, you’ll let him use this time to peruse marketwatch.com and postulate the effect that today’s headlines will have on tomorrow’s bond rates.

Also, I have an accounting book for sale…

3. Drink the Kool-Aid

You won’t have many other opportunities in life to completely immerse yourself in a low-risk environment that allows you to embrace what you don’t know and reframe the things that you do. Having an open mind and a positive attitude go a long way when developing new relationships and learning how to be a good teammate. Be excited about learning – every single day. Even if you already know your debits and credits, there’s something you can learn from the person sitting next to you who’s never used a calculator. Ok, the calculator thing might be a stretch… but take these opportunities to learn about yourself as a leader. How can you help your numbers-shy teammate contribute to a group accounting project? Business school isn’t only about learning how to balance a balance sheet- it’s about developing a foundation of business acumen in order to think strategically at the organizational level to make sound decisions that enable a business to thrive. It’s about the people.

If all else fails, there’s always $2 Tuesdays at Fox & Hound. Welcome to Fox!!

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