It gets easier: a pep talk for new MBAs

“It goes by fast,” was one of the first things I was told by veteran MBA students when I began my program back in February. As I fumbled through my first semester, I thought to myself, “Yeah, right. These papers, this reading – it takes forever!”

I also was told that life would get easier as I progressed in my studies – I would learn to balance work, school, family obligations and a social life. It wouldn’t be easy, but it would get easier.

This week I had time to talk with a student who is just completing her first semester. She was where I was back in the spring... deciding upon future classes, charting her progress in an Excel spreadsheet and wondering if she would ever get done with this big, hairy, academic monster known as an MBA that seems years away.

And then I found myself (now three semesters and six classes into the program with a target graduation date of Summer 2013) saying that, “It does get easier, and it goes by fast.”

I can’t believe that I’m more than a third of the way through the program and will be starting to take elective classes. My general classes have built upon each other, meaning the statistics work I did in the spring related to the economics course I took in the summer, which I use in my current marketing class.

One of the things I wish I would have been told is that the MBA process also becomes more enjoyable, not only because I am advancing my business acumen, but also because I have made friends in the program and am able to focus my studies on things I really enjoy.

This weekend I began writing my final paper for marketing. It’s due in a month and centers around concepts in international marketing, a topic that is (1) something I find exciting and engaging and (2) relevant to my job at a multinational organization. While nobody wants to spend a weekend doing research for a paper, it is rewarding to learn more about an aspect of business I love.