By Sanjil Garg
Podcast by Ms Anukriti Awasthi
An overwhelming majority of current management students “return” to education, sometimes building on the talents and learning they had acquired earlier; sometimes starting a replacement study program that aims to extend their career choices or elevate them up the ladder. For these students, re-entering education, sometimes after a span of several decades, presents its enormous challenge.
Perhaps the foremost common problem reported by students is that they find it difficult to urge back to the study mind: reading books, storing information collected in lectures or articles, making concise notes that may help later when referred to. Here I present a ready reckoner for the working professionals who have once again taken a plunge into the world of academics.
And You Learn Again
There is no magic wand around this problem, unfortunately. We got to accept that you need to re-learn – the way you used to learn; which can take a huge chunk of your time and energy. Remember that resuming studies after a professional experience backs you in terms of your increased life skills and maturity. It certainly offers you more benefits than others in some aspects like solving cases practically and not clinging to just theory.
Working professionals by the virtue of being multi-taskers, may find it relatively easier to enrol for learning additional tools & skills offered by their college or university. Ultimately, having the ability to review effectively may be a matter of practice and encouragement, which people with experience have in abundance.
Either Health or Work – Both
The next major challenge is to balance the study requirements with all the opposing forces that act as friction to that urge of maintaining the right mind and the right body.
Students often find themselves running in a time-bubble of family, spouse, work, etc. and seeking out time for classes, reading, and writing assignments amidst all this, is a daunting task. Affordable, top quality childcare may be a problem for many; sustaining happy and fulfilling relationships is that the biggest hurdle for others. While, many students have A level of commitment to people and groups outside their studies which goes way beyond that of the normal undergraduate.
The best strategies for handling these issues involve seeking out the assistance and support of people in your close circles. As a start line, inspect the scholar support services offered by your institution: many offer crèche and childcare facilities, for example; professional counsellors are a ubiquitous feature of recent campuses; and the likelihood is that your college or university also will have a mature student group or society where you’ll meet others within the same situation as yourself and share stories and solutions.
For me, the support that I get from tutors and lecturers is commendable. They are mostly sympathetic & appreciative towards your approach of “got to balance life”. The winning 2-cents here are not to be afraid of:
- informing someone if you’re having problems,
- soliciting help when you need it direly
- or even doing an overtime if there is a case.
Wait – Say no to Laid-back Attitude
Before it sounds as if ‘life as a comeback student is all doom and gloom’, it’s worth reminding yourself that you actually possess a variety of qualities in greater abundance than your younger colleagues.
As mentioned earlier, students tend to be highly motivated once they enter education. For working professionals returning to the black-board and books after making due calculations of future development is a reaffirmation that they want to charter their pathway and be responsible and accountable for their rise. This is suggestive of their commitment to a particular discipline and their laudable efforts to excel in it. A positive attitude and willingness to figure way out always confers a plus.
Yeah, work experience is handy!
Working professionals bring a range of knowledge and skills from diverse areas of their lives into studies 2.0. Whether you’re returning to academics after serving as full-time member of the paid workforce, or after managing a home and raising a family, you already have developed aptitudes for time management, teamwork, communication, and several other life skills that are as critical to successful completion of studies as paper-test/exam solving patience or essay writing skills.
It is a fact that work experience features a particular advantage in studying management and business. The folks can relate to the theories they’re taught in school to actual situations they have earlier been a part of. This personal experience may be a great help in developing a correct understanding of, and important perspectives on, the fabric of learning. What’s more, once you share your knowledge with others, you enrich their learning and understanding as well – Such students are a true boon to classes!
Don’t twiddle thy thumbs
There is some irony here because the most important factor which holds back working professionals resuming studies, in education is their relative lack of confidence. Although these students have such a lot to supply, they tend to be super anxious and worried about their performance in tests and exam papers.
The truth is that, like students of any age, even they carry a mixture of strengths and complexities to the classroom, which adds greatly to the training experience of everyone. With precise support and accurate recognition of their particular shortcomings, there’s no reason for working professionals resuming studies, lagging behind than anyone else. Indeed, these are often the scholars who finish the course with the very best grades in their cohort.
The result is really well, worth the effort!
The author is an MBA student from the Great Lakes Institute of Management