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A week in the life of an MBA student

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MBA student Choosing to study for an MBA was a big decision, but it was only the first of many big decisions to follow. The first practical question I had to confront was where did I want to study? There are excellent business schools in the UK, Europe, and further afield, and I had to decide not only which of the countless MBA programs suited my needs, but also where did I want to live while studying? I opted for London , as getting to know one of the major financial centres of the world while studying was very appealing to me.

I also decided to study full time , rather than fitting part-time study around my work. This has made financing my studies difficult as MBAs are notoriously expensive, but by combining savings and a bank loan I have been able to cover my costs. I consider my education to be an investment, and successful MBA graduates can expect a significant boost in earnings for the rest of their working lives.

So here is a week in my life as an MBA student in London. This typical week shows the combination of study, networking, and fun that makes up my MBA experience.

Monday

I am in the spring term of my first year in London, and I have settled into the rhythm of the course. I took my first exams and submitted my first pieces of coursework in January, and having taken a few days off to recover, I am now back to attending classes, reading and preparing for seminars, and making a start on my nest papers. On a Monday I have my Financial Accounting seminar at 11am, so after a quick breakfast in my student accommodation in Camden, north London, I make my way into the city centre to spend an hour or so in the library before heading to class.

After the seminar I have lunch in one of the student-friendly cafes near the university, and then meet up with a study group that I am preparing a presentation on Venture Capital with. Group work is a big part of the course and I enjoy it because it is a great way to make friends and future business contacts. We work for most of the afternoon, and then after a quick visit to the gym I head home.

MBA student books

Tuesday

Although the workload is much heavier than anything I was used to as an undergraduate, and comparable to the hours I was doing working at a bank before taking a sabbatical to return to study, I try to take advantage of some of the perks of being a student again. On Tuesdays I often attend meetings of the Debating Society which helps me to practice my public speaking and keeps my political knowledge up to scratch. I also attend debating competitions across the country with the society, and as there is one coming up this weekend I am keen to get some practice in. Student societies are a fantastic way to make friends outside your course, so after the society meeting we head to the student union bar for a few pints and a chat. I leave after 2, as I have an early start in the morning.

Wednesday

This morning I have a meeting with the careers service to discuss my post-MBA work options. The university has excellent advisory services, and I leave buzzing with ideas. One suggestion was to work on my CV, so I sit down with my laptop and a cup of coffee to make sure it is sending out the best possible picture of me. A seminar in the afternoon is followed by catching up on some reading for my Financial Modelling class.

In the evening I am attending a drinks event organised by the university for MBA students to meet recruiters from city finance firms. Networking events like these are crucial to making the most of an MBA as they can be a real foot in the door to future career options. I leave with the business cards of several recruiters and the promise of meetings to discuss job opportunities, so it has been an evening well spent.

Thursday

When I can, I take the chance to enjoy life in London. It is a fantastic city to live in and I am enjoying getting to know the place a bit better. Camden, where my accommodation is, is a buzzing area of north London filled with independent shops and cool bars and this morning I decided to walk through my new patch of the city to get to university.

Today I have technical classes in the computer lab, working on financial simulations and advanced Excel skills. Business school offers me the chance to choose my options and tailor the course to my own interests and skill set, and my desire to work in finance once I graduate has led me to take lots of numerical and computer-based modules.

Friday

Today is the day of my group presentation on Venture Capital. Although most days I dress casually for classes, presentations contribute to my final grade so I feel it is important to look as professional as I sound. Suit and tie on, I read over my notes one final time before meeting my group and going in to make the presentation. The lecturers throw some tricky questions our way but we handle them fairly well and get generally good feedback. It’s a stressful, but highly rewarding, way to end the week.

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