ADVICE

5 benefits of an online MBA study group

SOURCE: Wojtek RADWANSKI / AFP
Train yourself to become a team player now, successfully adapt in a thriving workplace later.


By Shekinah Kannan 

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Collaboration is an indispensable skill in the workplace — and in business school, an online study group could pave the way for you to build connections that might serve you well into the future.

According to Salesforce.com, 97% of employees and executives believe lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project. Meanwhile, Gusto reveals that 54% of employees say a strong sense of community — such as great coworkers, celebrating milestones, a common mission — kept them at a company longer than was in their best interest.

That said, the earlier you train yourself to become a team player, the better you’ll adapt in workplaces.

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Study groups serve as a useful platform for individuals to connect with other students about their lectures, projects, and coursework. The same can be said for MBA students.

Regardless of your MBA journey – whether you’re in a distant learning programme, a full-time student, or a mix of the two – a study group can come in handy. Many business schools encourage discussion through team projects and course-specific study groups. 

If there are none available, you could always form one of your own. While it might be easier to form one on campus, that’s not to say it’s an impossible feat if you’re doing an online MBA programme.

Many programmes incorporate group projects the same way as on-campus MBA programmes do. This is typically done via video calls, email, messaging systems, and shared documents. 

Furthermore, online MBA programmes enable distant students to join in on talks, meet-and-greets, workshops and events whenever possible to ensure a certain level of interaction and engagement among students and other networks.

If you’re curious about the other potential benefits of forming an online study group, here are five reasons:

Eliminate procrastination

It’s normal to procrastinate when you’re studying on your own. However, students who choose to study with an online group or an accountability partner are less likely to fall victim to this problem. Consider recruiting your fellow MBAs to form a study group – this could serve as a win-win situation for everyone to stay motivated during the programme, and to encourage each other to push themselves further. 

Hone new skills

Apart from time management skills, regular interaction with fellow aspiring MBAs will help you enhance your own studying methods and techniques. You will be able to see what works for others and how you can adapt these methods to your own regimen.

Of course, in turn, you will be able to help others improve their processes. Taking the time to explain your insights can help you reinforce your mastery in certain areas or tap into strengths you have not been taking full advantage of. 

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Fresh perspectives 

While a selling point for many programmes are its diverse cohort of students, equally beneficial is having an online study group comprising of coursemates who may come from different careers and industries.

This smorgasbord of views and opinions exposes you to new ideas and gaps in your knowledge, and an enhanced learning experience that can contribute to your  success. 

Never miss a thing

It’s not uncommon to miss out on important information while balancing the rigours of an MBA. However, online study groups can serve as a useful way to both share, compare and access students’ notes for a better learning experience. If you’re shy to ask questions in class, you could do so within the safety of your small study group, before you gradually build the confidence to do so in larger groups.

Liven up the MBA experience

Back-to-back classes, assignments, and study sessions executed as an individual can eventually begin to feel monotonous. The famous saying “two heads are better than one” is true for several reasons. Apart from being an effective way to grasp knowledge, it can also be an incredibly fun way to learn. Think group pizza nights, documentary viewings, or even occasional breathing exercises.