February 5, 2010

To Work or Not to Work

[Post by Lauren Ferris, 2010 MBA/MPH Candidate]

As a current student, I often get questions from prospective fulltime students about working while in school. When most people ask this question they are usually looking for some confirmation that working for their current employer on a part time basis is a good idea. I will admit that the summer before I started the MBA program, I considered working part time as a consultant for my former employer. However, I did not realize how time-intensive the first year of the MBA program actually is. People told me the first semester was very time intensive, but I figured “well, I work 45+ hours a week now, so how much more time would going to school require?” Well, it turns out it takes a lot more time and in general evenings and weekends are filled with team projects, homework, and studying for tests.

That being said, I think working during the first year can be done if the job is very flexible and on or near campus. I was fortunate enough to get a job at the Graduate Admissions Office which allowed me to earn a little money on the side while having something other than school to focus on for a few hours a week.

While I would not necessarily recommend working during the first year, the second year is a great opportunity to work part time to earn money or experience. Most elective classes are held during the evening or afternoon and intensive courses at the beginning of the semester can help you get some of the classes out of the way to open up your schedule.

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