How To Juggle Life and My Carlson PTMBA

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Life is busy. While putting 100% of my focus and efforts every day on furthering my education would make me a great student, it’s unrealistic. The reality is, like most of my fellow students at Carlson, I have commitments and priorities on top of my schoolwork that need my attention. Between providing for my family, staying ambitious in my rigorous career, hobbies, a social life, and my schoolwork, there is a lot to juggle. Being successful all of these areas of my life is my goal, but balancing them is a challenge. While I have been in the Carlson program, I have begun to develop strategies to juggle my life, and continue my pursuit of my MBA.

Schedule My Time – With a busy schedule and many competing priorities, it’s critical that I schedule my time. If I don’t plan to do homework, I often don’t have time. I’ve found that regularly reviewing my calendar, and adding in time to run errands, complete tasks, and completing homework help me stay focused with my time, and complete my priorities in an order that works for my schedule.

Adapt – Classes change each semester, and with different classes come different professors, priorities, and required work. While I have to put in effort to learn and make the most of my MBA, the requirements change dramatically from class to class. Figuring out what is required of me, and understanding what principles will help me be successful in my career help me stay focused and work efficiently at my degree.

Communicate – Life is not only busy, but it can sometimes be unpredictable. For me, communicating with my family is critical. If I have a pressing assignment, or a group project that will require more time that initially anticipated, I need to communicate. Not only do I need to communicate to my wife about the time I need, but I also need to listen to her about her priorities and how we can juggle raising our daughter. Further, I need to communicate with my school groups about the time I am able to dedicate to projects and group work. By being transparent, I can ensure that I am maximizing my time needed for school, and still being responsible to other priorities in my life.

Take Advantage of Flexible Program – I often travel for work, and can find myself in different states many times in a month. I am glad that the University of Minnesota’s Carlson school of business is the most flexible top-ranked Part Time MBA program in the nation. In order to stay on top of my classwork, I often have to work with my professors to fulfill class requirements. In the past, some of my classes offered ability to watch past classes online, or attend another session at another day and time. The staff within Carlson fully understands that the students in the Part-Time program are busy, and most are working professionals. They are more than willing to work with each student as they complete their degree. On top of that, the different types of classes offered (e.g. evening, weekend, or even block classes) allow each student to plan their studies around their schedules. The flexibility of the Carlson PTMBA has been one of the greatest perks of studying at this top-tier university.

Find Time to Relax – I find that my life is similar to my iPhone. I have tons going on, am constantly multitasking, and often need to be recharged. As I schedule time to recharge my proverbial batteries, I am reinvigorated with motivation and energy to pursue my MBA and be successful.

Everyone’s priorities will change week to week. Life is busy. Life requires juggling.  Throughout my life, I have found different strategies for completing my MBA while juggling the other priorities in my life. I will continue to learn as I have more experiences in Carlson, and I look forward to earning my PTMBA from the University of Minnesota.

Jake Higgins