Avoiding the Snooze Fest - MBA Electives and Specializations

With less than a year to go, I’m counting the months until I can have my weeknights and weekends back. Besides the light at the end of the tunnel, there’s another bright spot to being more than halfway through my MBA – taking electives.

Having completed five electives after this semester, there’s a key bit of advice I would’ve like to have heard before I registered.

Take at least two, if not three, courses outside your field, even if the thought of corporate finance or negotiation makes you instantly feel sleepy, which is how I felt with project management.

As I scrolled through course options last spring and saw project management, I immediately thought “boring.” After some additional thought though, I decided it’d probably be a decent course with a minimal workload, so I registered for summer.

Halfway through the course, I got a new job, and I quickly realized the course prepared me with skills I didn’t even know I needed, including acronyms I’d never heard before. Besides learning the fundamentals of project management, I gained a greater understanding of the purpose and application of certain tactics and strategies.

That was also the case in consumer behavior. Even though I’m in marketing, the class brought me out of my day job and expanded my knowledge of how and why people think and act the way they do in certain times and situations. This is a great class for anyone looking to gain some insight on how people think.

Businesses want strategic thinkers, and one way the MBA program helps students achieve that is by offering a wide range of courses. I encourage students to browse all the electives, ask around and keep an open mind. A course just might keep you engaged during all three hours every week.

Karin Gelschus is a student in the Evening UST MBA program.