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The juggling act: Pursuing an MBA while holding a full-time job

SOURCE: Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP
Thinking of pursuing an MBA on a part-time basis? Here’s what you should keep in mind before taking the plunge.


By U2B Staff 

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Thinking of pursuing an MBA while juggling a full-time job? It’s no walk in the park, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. Many working adults have opted to pursue an MBA on a part-time basis, primarily for financial reasons. 

Quitting your job to attend business school full-time without the stress and distractions of work is a luxury that some cannot afford. 

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This has paved the way for the popularity of part-time MBAs that allow working adults to pursue their studies part-time without forgoing an income throughout their course, in addition to reducing the amount of debt they end up graduating with. 

Part-time MBAs have also cemented the need for lifelong learning and upskilling — things are changing rapidly in the workforce, and so must your skills and knowledge to ensure you remain relevant and continue to bring fresh business perspectives onto the table. 

An MBA will equip you with broad management skills that would make you an asset in an organisation across a range of industries, further bolstering its appeal. 

Discipline and hard work are two magic ingredients that will help you pursue an MBA while juggling a full-time job. If you’re ready to take the plunge, are some tips to get you started:

Speak to your superior to get their support

Having the support of your manager can go a long way when you’re planning on pursuing your MBA on a part-time basis. 

You’ll want to explain how your MBA will benefit both you and your company, which will hopefully pave the way for you to inquire about the possibility of having flexible work arrangements that will allow you to juggle both your studies and work better.

Prioritise certain outings and events

Pursuing your MBA on a part-time basis while working full-time and balancing your personal life will mean having a full plate for the foreseeable part of your business school life. 

But this isn’t an excuse to be a hermit and ignore social outings completely. Instead, it becomes essential more than ever to prioritise both your social and work-related events to avoid becoming physically and mentally drained. 

You’ll still need to carve out some time to blow off some steam with your friends while attending networking events to keep an eye out for opportunities for professional advancement, so learn to prioritise important events rather than stretch yourself thin by attending everything.

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Tap into technology

Crunched for time? In the real world, most adults struggle to meet with their teammates when they’re busy juggling time between their families, work responsibilities, and group assignments or meetings. Throw post-work traffic into the mix and you’ll find yourself gasping for air at the end of the day. 

This makes it essential to tap into technology at every opportunity you have to make your life easier. This means emailing your assignments and having virtual meetings over physical ones. Speak to your professors about posting classes or notes online to improve access to these resources.

When pressed for time, technology is a friend, not a foe.

Step up your time management skills

Like it or not, studying part-time while holding on to a full-time job doesn’t come without some sacrifices. In an ideal world, anyone would rather use their weekends to catch up on some sleep, binge on Netflix and have a lazy day. 

But going to business school on a part-time basis may mean using your weekend to polish your assignments and presentations, or studying. 

Stay on top of things by making a schedule and by keeping a to-do list. This will help you figure out what needs to be done and by when. 

Don’t forget to schedule some time to socialise with friends and to exercise, just to keep your social and physical well-being in check. 

At the end of the day, there are no shortcuts to success. Successfully juggling work while pursuing an MBA part-time does not come without sacrifices, but the efforts are well worth the reward.