Traveling for Work While in the PTMBA Program

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

My name is Stacia and I am a little over halfway through the MBA program and I travel for work about 50% of the time. Although those travel weeks are crazy, it is definitely doable. Obviously, online courses work best for me, but I also find a lot of value from my peers and the networking experience class brings. I can accommodate Thursday and Saturday courses since I can be back by Thursday late afternoon. Although I thought I’d hate Saturday class, the atmosphere is much more laid back and everyone seems to have more energy since they didn’t just work a full day. 

Before enrolling in a class I can potentially miss, I always email the professor. The usual response is something along the lines of being in class is important but it’s understandable. I also always email the professor to inform them once I have a scheduled trip, and then I find a classmate to catch me up on what I missed. Every professor I’ve had posts the lecture slides online. 

Some books or assigned readings have audio options which are great for long drives. I also like to listen to news stations or podcasts that relate to my courses so I can be prepared to participate in discussion when back in class or so I can post a discussion topic in the online class forum. When not driving, some of my most productive times are on the plane or at the hotel. I find that there are very few distractions or obligations. What else would I be doing anyway? My company does not cover in-flight Wi-Fi so I plan ahead and prepare everything that I could possibly do offline. Getting as much as I can done when on the road allows me to maximize my time with family and friends when back home.

If you still don’t feel completely comfortable traveling while taking classes, there are plenty of breaks throughout the year so you can do the majority of your travel then. You can also take condensed courses that are only 3 weeks long but are 8-5 on Friday or Saturday. Keep in mind that this is very different from undergrad since all of your classmates have a full-time job and the professors expect that. I hope this has eased your hesitations about traveling while in the program and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

Stacia Flicek's Headshot