It’s hard to believe that I’m a quarter of the way through graduate school. It’s even harder to believe that I completed two semesters worth of courses over the past 16 1/2 weeks, thanks to the inimitable mini-semester. Now that I’ve had close to a month away from school to reflect, here are two things I think I’ve learned so far.
Grades don’t matter - As much as I hate to admit this, everyone else was right: getting an MBA is less about achieving academic success, and a lot more about setting yourself up to land your dream job. That’s not to say that you can blow off class completely, but putting in the extra time to get an A instead of an A- probably isn’t worth it in the long run, especially if that time could be better used researching career paths or networking. This became especially apparent as I scrambled to submit my internship applications on time, which first required scrambling to figure out where I wanted to apply. The lesson? Spend a little less time worrying about school, and a little more time trying to figure out what exactly my “dream job” is.
But people do – Again, I’m a little late to the game on this one, but the past five months have really helped me understand why so much emphasis is placed on building strong connections with the people you meet during grad school. Sure, it’s nice to think that someday, ten or twenty years from now, I might be able to help one of my classmates get a job, or vice versa, but I’ve never really liked looking at things that far in the future. In the short-term, however, grad school is just a lot more fun if it’s viewed as equal parts work and play. I think I’ve done a decent job of getting to know my classmates so far, but there’s definitely room for me to be a bit more social going forward.