How to manage an MBA with a full-time job
Studying an MBA while having a full-time job can appear daunting. But with the right tools, a bit of preparation and some self-discipline, there is absolutely no reason to worry. Tom Ryan, AIM Coach, shares some advice to guarantee success.
What can be the main roadblocks when studying an MBA with a full-time job?
For most people, the biggest roadblocks are time and energy or not having enough of one or both. It’s definitely a valid concern, but really, the main barrier is themselves and the struggles that they think up.
If you are committed to progressing your career and willing to make some changes to your routine, studying whilst working is very manageable. Your course facilitators, AIM Coaches and our Student Support team are all there to help you get through it too.
Before starting the MBA, how can you prepare yourself the best way?
Plan, plan and plan. Look at your typical week, see where you can make time to study and schedule it, the same as you would a meeting or any important occasion. Stick to your schedule strictly for the first few weeks, but then be prepared to adapt and make changes if something is not working.
Talk to people who can support you and keep you accountable: arrange with your partner to save some time free over the weekends so you can study, or agree on some progress milestones with a supportive manager.
What NOT to do to manage both efficiently?
Firstly, don’t try and do it all by yourself. At AIM, we have a great support network, with coaches, facilitators, the online community, your classmates… Not to mention your friends, colleagues and family. When you’re doing well, celebrate with this people, and if you’re struggling, talk to them.
Also, do not compare yourself to others. Nobody else has the same challenges and obstacles as you, nor the same strengths and experience. Work at your pace, your own way, and ask for help when you need it.
Finally, make sure you give yourself at least one night off each week. Study on Friday, Saturday or even Sunday is ok, as long as you respect this simple golden rule.
How to make sure to stay motivated?
Before you start your MBA, you should have a clear idea of why you are doing it, what you want to achieve at the end of the course and why. This is something that an admissions manager can help you with before you get started. Keep that end goal in mind, because that’s what will keep you going.
Is your manager’s support crucial for success?
I wouldn’t say that it is crucial, but it does indeed help. A good manager will be supportive of you learning and developing yourself, and they can be a great source of insight and advice too. Of course, if they’re not supportive of your efforts, that could well be one of the reasons that you’re doing an MBA and focussing on progressing your career, right? To create better opportunities for yourself and take your career to the next level.
If there is one secret to guarantee success, what is it?
If I knew about one, I would have probably written a bestselling book and gone on the accompanying world tour by now. I guess that is the secret too: there are no tricks and no shortcuts. There are things you may find easy, and there are parts that will challenge you. Lean into the challenges, because that is where you are really learning.
If you’re looking to get on the fast track in your management career, our TEQSA accredited MBA is one of Australia’s best value MBA. Backed by the Australian Institute of Management’s 76-year heritage, the MBA+ has been designed to be highly flexible and fit around your life. With 5 years of exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to AIM’s short courses, the MBA+ will take you further.