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Work-School Balance: Tips from Varsity-Level Learners

1 December, 2016



By: Jennifer Beyer –

For most of us, life is pretty busy. You’re used to balancing multiple tasks at any given time. So learning to balance grad school and a full-time job shouldn’t be too difficult, right? But it wouldn’t hurt to get some advice from others who have done it. CEB is in the business of best practices, so sharing strategies and tips is what we do. Here are a few tips from scholarly CEBers for balancing school and work.

Be Present

“On the first day of my Chicago Booth orientation, the Dean of the Evening Program said to us ‘Be Present’. By that he meant be focused on whatever the task is at hand and just that item – don’t let yourself start to multi-task and get distracted.”
Lauren B., Market Director, Chicago, IL

Set Expectations

“Keep your co-workers and classmates in the loop about your schedule, especially if it’s hectic. Everybody tends to be understanding when you explain you have a lot on your plate and need extra time or to offload work.”
William C., Consultant, San Francisco, CA

Find Personal Time

“One tip I have is to make sure to take time for yourself- even if it is just thirty minutes to watch a sitcom or read a book, it really helps to focus on something that is not work or school-related for a little bit. And also to make sure to get plenty of sleep!”
Meg M., Senior Account Management Specialist, Chicago, IL

Know your Limits

“Learn to say ‘no’ whenever there’s too much on your plate to handle or with undoable timelines, or find at least a mid-way solution – be it at work or school.”
Cheshta D., Research Analyst, Gurgaon, India

Study Based on Your Schedule

“Instead of staying up late, I try to arrange my schedule to tackle course-related work in the pre-dawn hours a couple of days each week.  At times, homework causes me to impinge on family time in the evenings or on the weekends, but I’ve got support for this pursuit on the home front (and my six-year-old thinks it’s great that Dad has homework, too).”
Michael M., Senior Executive Advisor, San Francisco, CA

Split up School Work

“Break readings up over a few nights a week. Don’t wait until the last minute to read two chapters! (I have learned this the hard way).”
Erica F., IT Resource Management Specialist, Arlington, VA

Maximize your Time

“I have a decent amount of travel in my job so I try to manage my calendar based on my two-night classes each week. I find that plane time is a great time to do school work or study when internet is not required!”
Michael R., Consultant, Chicago, IL

While balancing your first few weeks of work and school may be challenging, you’ll eventually get into the groove of working by day and studying by night. As you learn to manage your time and stay focused, you’ll be on your way to receiving your degree. And then you can be the one to pass along the advice to others embarking on the same challenge.

Did you just complete your graduate degree or MBA? Check out opportunities at CEB that might be right for your level of education.

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