Tips on Managing Full-Time Work and Part-Time MBA

September 2016
By: Bob Wallace

Vice President/COO:  Robert Wallace, PMBA
Vice President/COO:
Robert Wallace, PMBA

With increasingly complicated demands of careers and personal lives, transitioning back to the school lifestyle can be an intimidating venture. With only 24 hours in a day, it is tough to balance the daily commutes, increasing demands of a 50-hour or more workweek, find time to go to the gym, call Mom, remember to eat lunch, and make weekend plans with friends. You may be asking, “Will adding a PMBA workload be too much?”  According to some current Fox PMBAs, pursuing your dream of becoming a future leader while managing a high-demanding schedule is possible when you realize that time is your most valuable asset.

Here are some tips on managing a full-time work and part-time school schedule:

  1. Your family and friends should be aware of your new time commitments. Communicating your limitations will help avoid any pop-up interventions because they have all concluded you are now a hermit who doesn’t seem to care how the backpack affects your public image and social life. The life of a PMBA is demanding but the support and understanding from your loved ones will certainly increase your effectiveness as a student and a professional.
  2. When scheduling your time, become accustomed to non-traditional working sessions. You may find yourself working during lunch to lead an online session with your class group, working during the train commute, or you even needing to catch up on work Saturday morning after a night out in the city. As you schedule the time to knock out a case study or start a new presentation slide deck, it is also important to schedule your downtime and to place limits on the amount of work slated for the day. Generally, 3 hours of work per day after dinner should allow enough time to cover the weekly assignments and maintain a regular sleep schedule to but to avoid burn-out. Another helpful strategy is to block out 10% of your weekly working time for Sunday evening. This allows for catching up on work and assignments, developing a schedule for the week, or adding additional downtime to refresh your batteries before the start of a new week.
  3. Capitalize on your new PMBA network and classmates. After communicating your new commitments to family and friends and you’re finally accustomed to scheduling full weeks, make sure to capitalize on your new PMBA cohorts. Teamwork and collaboration are essential to success in the program, especially when time is limited to complete weekly assignments. In general, the majority of PMBA students are viewed as some of the most hard-working individuals and willing to take on the majority of group tasks and responsibilities. However, and this goes for all Fox Graduate programs, PMBA and other graduate students are much more successful as teams by allowing each individual to contribute their strongest attributes and skills. As individuals, we are strong, but together we are unstoppable.

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