My hints and tips for future MBA students

18 October 2019

Distance Learning MBA participant, Carla Priddon, tells us about the importance of using the WBS network and seizing every opportunity whilst on the MBA, as well as other essential advice.

1) Be yourself

You will be thrown in at the deep end with lots of different people with strong personalities and ideas. Relax, smile and be you! It’s cheesy but true, you’re the best you there is and while it can be tempting to adopt different personas, I genuinely think you will have the richest experience possible if you are authentically you!

2) Commit to studying and learning

There are no shortcuts to achieving an MBA! It’s a challenging masters so don’t try to do it in the smallest amount of time possible! Give yourself the space and time to think, reflect, read, develop and delve deeper into areas that interest you the most, or will impact the greatest on your current role or future career. The long-term benefits of this will last so much longer than the joy of receiving your certificate and prancing round in a cap and gown!

3) Seize every opportunity

Life will get busy and hectic, however, don’t use this as an excuse to sit back. There are multiple opportunities at Warwick, including careers support, mentoring, social activities, sitting on committees, business lectures, and change-maker series talks. Say “yes” to them all and take risks, you won’t be disappointed!

4) Learn how to use the library

This can seem overwhelming at the start, despite help and guidance being available. The best thing to do is get stuck in! Explore the online catalogue of articles and if you are near the university, visit it. The majority of relevant books are on the fifth floor and it’s extremely logical once you’ve done it once! It’s also inspiring to study there and look at WBS out of the window. You also get more done there without the distractions you get at home!

5) Celebrate the small things

It can be easy to drift from one module to another. However, each one is an achievement. Celebrate it! Brunch is my celebration of choice, because there’s nothing quite like a morning by myself with good food and a book I’m reading for pleasure, to relax and re-group for the next adventure!

6) Lean on your peers

You will have over a hundred peers who are on a similar journey. Speak to them, share, laugh and learn from them. I simply couldn’t have got this far without a select group of special course mates, who I didn’t know before we started, so find your tribe and it will make the whole experience easier and much more fun!

7) Benchmark against yourself not your peers

In practice, this is really difficult to do. Especially, as marks are released in a spread and you can see exactly how you’re doing relative to your colleagues. However, it’s important to focus on you. Work hard, read the material and write your essay, exam, presentation safe in the knowledge that you did your best. After that, there’s nothing else you can do!

8) Use the WBS network

Now’s the perfect excuse to contact people and learn about different careers and experiment. There are thousands of talented people in the network, make the most of this unique opportunity.

9) Personalise your MBA

This is your MBA. No-one will have the same experience. Live yours! Pick theories, companies and electives that interest you and pursue them! Take risks, try new things and explore areas you may not have considered, and you will have the richest experience possible.

10) Ask for help

You’re not super-human. There is plenty of help and support available, so ask for it if you need it. Be that from WBS, counselling services, or friends and family.

11) Stay active – find something that gives you energy and pursue it!

Sadly, studying is not an excuse to sit on the sofa eating ice cream! Make sure you get plenty of exercise and fresh air to keep you alert and maintain general wellbeing. The MBA is just part of your life. Try to avoid making it all of it!

12) Make fun plans!

If these are planned in the diary, you are more likely to stick to them! Knowing I have a fun trip planned or a visit with friends coming up helps me to stay focused on working when it’s time to do that!

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