Executive study programs are great for breaking through the corporate ladder, and even help you find the way past corporate glass ceilings. However, not everyone can manage the back-and-forth between working and studying.
Most people who enroll in these programs are those that have been out of school for quite some time so it becomes tough to come back to a student mindset. Here are some tips to make sure you have a great experience while completing your executive study program.
1. Decide On Your Learning Outcomes
Before you start any project or pursue a big opportunity, it is important to understand what you are really looking to gain from it. Setting goals allow you to set expectations and boundaries when it comes to something that you know will impact your life.
When you are starting an executive study program, set personal and professional goals that are reasonable and achievable. The whole point of doing this exercise is to realize your limitations and learn to live with your decisions.
If you have a challenging subject coming up next semester then maybe don’t expect yourself to exceed expectations at work. Though, you must aim to achieve the targets assigned to you.
Similarly, if you have a big product launch coming up at work, take one less course to lighten your workload at school. Not taking precautions like these will only impact your mental health and stop you from being successful.
2. Strike A Balance
Studying and working full-time are both very stressful and include jam-packed schedules. Doing them simultaneously is a whole other ball game.
Striking a balance between the two while maintaining your sanity can be extremely challenging. In order to do this right, you will need to set a detailed schedule for yourself based on what your program is like, how flexible your workplace is and how you work best.
If your study program is an evening MBA, then you can work in the morning and study at night. However, if you are not a night owl and your study program is flexible, maybe you study early in the morning before work.
The ability to compartmentalize is essential to ensure success throughout your executive study program. Creating the schedule is the easy part but sticking to it is the hardest. Allow yourself some time to adjust in the beginning until you find what works best for you.
Remember that when you do create a schedule, you need to clearly put yourself in the mindset that your work and school life are separate. If you allow the overlap of homework and office assignments then you might be setting yourself up for failure.
3. Pursue Resources
The best part about working in a good company and going to school is that you get the benefits of both institutions. You absolutely should take advantage of all the resources that your study program offers from mental health counseling to subject tutoring.
A reason that students are often stressed during college is that college homework includes a lot of writing. To stay clear of the unnecessary workload, you can always find writing services that provide essays with discounts and make things easy for yourself.
Employers also often offer tuition reimbursement to incentivize employees to continue learning. So, make sure to talk to your HR department about it.
Another amazing resource that people forget about is the college’s career center which makes sense because you are not looking for a job while doing a program like this. However, career centers usually offer other services that you can make the most of such as mock interview sessions and resume workshops.
4. Network And Build Relationships
Colleges and universities are breeding grounds for innovation and can introduce you to new things even within your field of study or work industry. The best way to leave college is with established relationships with professors and a strong network of like-minded folks.
The college will provide you with many opportunities to network such as conferences, research symposiums, and career fairs.
Even if you are happy with your current job, there is no harm in keeping an open mind and talking to potential employers to explore what is out there. Connections like these will pay off when you are actually looking to make a change.
Don’t be afraid to ask someone about their passions in life and how they are achieving their goals.
Most colleges also offer access to alumni networks when you start your program so this might be the perfect time to find a mentor. If you try, you’ll be sure to find someone that is doing similar things to what you want to do after you complete your degree. Reach out to them and see if they would be interested in jumping on a call with you to just talk through some of their accomplishments and how they got there.
The hope here is that you end up making a connection with someone strong enough to get a referral for a role open in their organization or even someone who can be a recommender when you apply for any kind of scholarship.
Additionally, an executive study program might give you the chance to work overseas for an internship or organize excursions for other companies in the area. While this may be hard to do, you can always use your paid leave to pursue these opportunities or even ask your employer for permission.
The point is that the opportunities are endless and all you need to do is keep an open mind to what your future can hold.
All in all, executive study programs are usually short so it is entirely up to you how you make the best of this precious time. Working and studying at the same time not only makes perfect financial sense but also allows you to cut down on the time it would take you to get where you have always dreamed of being.
You can become the leader that you had always wanted to be or have the skills to do a complete industry shift for a new adventure.