My advice: compartmentalize and engage with your classmates.

Getting your MBA is not cheap. In addition to costing you your time and effort, obtaining your MBA also represents a significant financial expense. But you get what you pay for, right? Earning your degree from Carlson is an investment in yourself as well as your career.

In the last month I finished my last class at the Carlson School of Management.  Taking time to reflect I found the experience very rewarding.  Let me tell you what I did right and also about the opportunities I should have taken advantage of from the start.

What I got right:

One of the best pieces of advice I can give to any prospective student is to spend some time working with your boss and significant other to agree to expectations.  Let me give you my two examples:

As I begin my final year at Carlson, I look back on what I consider to be the most important decision of my professional career.

Five years ago I made the decision to return to school to pursue my MBA, after a 10 year gap in college.  At the time I was a retail general manager with a fortune 100 company, and I wasn't quite sure how I would juggle such busy schedules between work and school.  

What helped set my course was:

There is no doubt that going to school while having children at home is a challenging feat, but not impossible.  As if life doesn’t move fast enough, throw school work in with two kids under the age of three and the months roll off the calendar.  As I write this post, I am currently half way through my MBA curriculum at Carlson and am living proof that it can be done, but getting this far has not been easy.  It’s been a slow progression of simple tradeoffs and establishing a routine that is developed over a few semesters.

As a Part-Time MBA Student, studying abroad is the single best course experience you can take while in your program at the University of Minnesota. It offers a major resume builder, a life experience, and relationship building you simply won’t get in class.

The ugly part first – it’s expensive. Really expensive. It’s roughly twice the cost of a normal 4-credit class. You’ll be paying for your own plane flight, program fees, and anything you choose to do while you’re over there. So start saving now, it’s worth it.