Higher Education Anyone?

It’s weird in the past month I have gotten a lot of inquiries regarding how I managed to go back to school and finish my MBA while being a full time wife and mother and wannabe socialite…and since I have nothing ratchet to say today I thought I would drop some tips that may help somebody on their journey.

1.)    Make sure you know what exactly you plan to do with this new degree once you get it. Now if someone would’ve mentioned this to me I probably wouldn’t have gotten my MBA.  See, I don’t think I was ever cut out for corporate, I was forcing myself into the life and now I have debt and no intent to use my degree in the conventional sense of the word…and that’s fine. JUST HAVE A PLAN

2.)    Search out scholarships. I didn’t do this. I should’ve. I took out loans and paid some out of pocket but the money is out there. Take the time and look for it. Wouldn’t you rather give it to Goodwill, Benihana, or your bank account instead of Sallie Mae and her friends? I thought so.

3.)    Pace yourself. The race is not to the swift but to the one who….You know the saying. I started off determined to finish in 2 years. I burned myself out in the beginning trying to take 2 or 3 classes. Who was I racing against? I’m not sure but at the end I was taking one class at a time and it took me 2.5 years. In hindsight I don’t care if it would’ve taken me 5 years I would’ve had that time to spend with my family. The degree will be there. If you have children, they won’t be small forever. Ponder on that.

4.)    Use your time wisely. I used my lunch hours to do homework. If I rode the train that day I used that time as well. My goal was to do as much as I could before I got home so my family could have my attention in the evenings.

5.)    Take into account your best methods of learning. Having a family, career or active social life makes online learning very appealing. However, if you know you are a hands on type of person and need the structure of a class room seek that out. Online takes a lot of discipline and dealing with group work issues via Skype and email is a pain in the arse. SERIOUSLY. I wish I would’ve gone to class. It would’ve been more taxing but I think I would’ve appreciated it more and possibly learned more.

6.)    Use Amazon for buying textbooks. My foolish self was buying books from the school bookstore. Wow! It took me nearly a year before someone told me. Some books you can even buy rights to for like 6 months and read as well as print material offline for $20. Genius.

7.)    Don’t plagiarize, they have systems to check for that stuff now. One of my team members got kicked out of the program for that. Paraphrasing no longer works either. They run your papers through a system. A lot of schools are using it now. DON’T. DO. IT

8.)    Know your deadlines. If the GMAT will be required make sure you are planning at least a year ahead to allow for studying, taking the test and applying within the deadline for the term you are looking to enter.

9.)    From my understanding seek out a school that also has a physical location. Graduating from these types of schools makes you more competitive so I hear in comparison to online only schools *shrugs*

10.)  Don’t be scurred. If it’s something you want, go after it. It won’t be easy but what is?

Welp, that’s all I have. Good stuff, no? Do you have anything to add? Are you considering furthering your education?

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  • Reply
    January 10, 2012 at 1:00 am

    I am currently in school now for my MBA. I have been out of the work force for so long that I decided to go back to school to learn some things and brush up on my education. My plan is by the time my baby is ready to go to 4 yr old kindergarten I will have finished my MBA and be ready to hit the workforce….hard. I have 2 scholarships and a few loans that’s mainly why I went back because I did not have to take out a lot of loans.

  • Reply
    January 10, 2012 at 5:42 am

    Great tips! I’ve always wondered the big deal in getting an advanced degree. With my kids schedule, I have found it hard just to take time for myself. I don’t want to waste any money that can go towards my family.

    • Reply
      Dr. Reginia
      January 10, 2012 at 7:39 pm

      Advanced degrees = validation of intelligence in certain fields. Some employers see this as an advantage for their company and good “PR”.

      • Reply
        January 11, 2012 at 5:45 am

        I understand but you can also validate through experience also. I say it depends on the field.

  • Reply
    January 10, 2012 at 7:19 am

    These are great tips. I personally know being a single stay at home mom going to school isn’t easy but with dedication and motivation it can be done. Thank God I’m almost finish my Master’s because it’s been a long journey.

  • Reply
    January 10, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Great tips! I would love to go for my masters, but I know it’s going to be a while before I do it. But when I do go for it, I’m going to do as you suggest, look for some scholarships. There should be plenty in the field that I want to go continue in.

  • Reply
    January 10, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I so agree with you with all of your tips..Just one more thing. People need tobe clear about the degree they are seeking..Make sure you will be satisfied with what you get. After I got my Masters I should of immeaditely started my PhD. Now I am sitting her with 3 kids trying to write/edit my dissertation! UGHHH!!!!

    • Reply
      Dr. Reginia
      January 10, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      I have the name of an awesome editor in our area. Shoot me an email if you want her information. She has over 351 PhD graduates under her belt.

  • Reply
    January 10, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Great tips! I’m finishing up my BBA and it takes a lot of discipline especially for online classes. I try to take one online and one on campus to balance it out or I’m overwhelmed. I think having a great partner helps. I know I couldn’t be going to school without the support of my husband. His encouragement keeps me going!

  • Reply
    January 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    These are really good tips. I told most of them to my older sister who is trying to become a nurse.

  • Reply
    January 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Great advice. I plan on going back to get my masters after JJ’s first birthday. I thought about doing online classes but I kind of miss the hustle and bustle of being in a regular classroom with other students. Glad you stuck it though!

  • Reply
    January 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    I especially agree with tip #1. There was a five year gap for me between undergrad and grad school. I lived a little bit of life, met my husband, and got married during those ‘in-between’ years. As a result, I was much more focused when I went into grad school. I knew what I wanted to accomplish (which was to teach public speaking) and wasted no time doing it! Just a year after graduation and a baby, I’m teaching. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Great tips! I put off going to grad school for now because I’d rather spend my xtra time with My family than studying. I’ve already got too much on my plate. For now!

  • Reply
    January 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Such an imformative post & kudos to you Mommy!!!!!

  • Reply
    January 10, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Those are very good tips Mimi!

    I did my master’s degree back in 2007 while working full time before I was married. It was hard then, so I can’t imagine doing it with a family to care for! More power to all the super moms!!!

  • Reply
    Dr. Reginia
    January 10, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    Excellent tips.

    Also, understand trends before engaging into a graduate program unless you want the degree just to have it. Majoring in a saturated field is a set up for hurt feelings and disappointment. Also keep in mind that a graduate degree does not mean automatic employment or big bucks. If you can intern, that’s the best way to form relationships and get your foot in the door.

    Though some would disagree because the idea of is antiquated, most people are antiquated and think INSIDE the box so the name of the school carries a lot of weight.

    Hope this helps

  • Reply
    January 10, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    These are excellent tips! I especially like number 10! I always tell women who want to go back to school after starting their family that it is totally possible as long as they’re determined to do it. You better go girl with your educated self! I need to feature you on my Diva Spotlight…let me know if you’re interested!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Great advice. I think people need to have a plan in place and a good support system.

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