A Day in the Life of a First-Year MBA Student

The following blog post was written by Aileen Maria-Ritchie, 2017 MBA Candidate

Life as an MBA student is a whirlwind of activities and deliverables—but with the proper planning, it can be productive and fun. Planning is crucial because it keeps me sane and gives me a great sense of satisfaction. Here is a snapshot of a typical Tuesday during fall quarter.

Maria-Ritchie_Aileen_MBA 2017My day really begins the night before with food preparation. I eat often, probably six times a day or more, so I must plan ahead on food. It is also more cost effective to cook at home and bring leftovers to school. I like to pack at least one granola bar, some fruit and snacks, and lunch. I pack this in a lunch bag and have it waiting in the fridge before I go to bed.

My typical morning starts at 6:45 a.m.—wake up, shower, and walk my dog, Capo. I attend Simon Business School at the University of Rochester in upstate New York. I’m a California native and an Austin, Texas transplant. This year is my first time experiencing the seasons on the east coast! As a result, taking my dog on morning and evening walks requires bundling up as the seasons change. Even though it’s chilly in the autumn and winter, I really enjoy my morning walks because it gets my blood pumping and helps me clear my head for what I know will be a long day.

After our walk, I feed Capo and sit down to a quick bowl of cereal. While I eat, I boil water for tea (because I definitely need a caffeine boost). By the time I’m done, I pour my hot water into a travel mug, steep my tea, and rush to my car. The drive to school is quick, and the rest of the day is packed:aileen_schedule

8:30 a.m.: Attend Business Modeling class on simulations and optimization + eat my granola bar.

10:20 a.m.: Attend Marketing Management class on promotion and brand management + eat a snack.

11:50 a.m.: Break for lunch! Usually, I meet with a classmate who also tutors me in finance.

1:00 p.m.: Swing by my finance professor’s office hours to clarify some questions on the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) topic. If I have time before 2:00 p.m., I also stop by the accounting office hours to say “hi” to the teaching assistant and review some practice problems.

2:00 p.m.: Meet up with my assigned team for the quarter to prioritize our upcoming team and individual assignments. I also eat something to keep my energy going.

3:30 p.m.: Rush to additional office hours with the finance TA. I utilize these office hours every Tuesday because I have never taken a finance class prior to this one (I was an English and art major at UC Berkeley).

5:00 p.m.: Take a quick break to eat a snack before heading to a third set of office hours.

5:30 p.m.: Additional finance office hours—I like to use this time to prepare for the next day’s lecture by doing practice problems and reviewing concepts.capo_dog

6:30 p.m.: Wrap up, walk back to my car, and drive home to this amazing dog face.

7:00 p.m.: Then it’s time to go on our evening walk! Afterwards, I eat dinner (this is usually leftovers from cooking over the weekend).

8:30 p.m.: Networking emails, school emails, and planning for the next day. Then homework. Every day, this is different—sometimes I will be reading case studies and writing papers, or other times, I’ll be modeling a business problem in Excel. Whatever I do, the time passes quickly because there is so much.

10:30 p.m.: Pack my backpack and my lunch for tomorrow, get ready for bed, and go to sleep!

During the fall quarter, I took five classes and networked to lock down my summer internship. It was the most packed schedule I will have during my two years at Simon Business School, and even though parts were tough—the learning process was rewarding, fulfilling, and 100% worth it.

This post originally appeared on the Forté Foundation’s Business 360° Blog.

 

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