Monday, July 26, 2010

A Year in Review

What’s up KD!! I hope this blog finds you well. I am writing to finish up our double feature, as promised. Life is still busy, we have moved, and are about to move again – due to some challenging living conditions. But, we are still up beat and excited about life!

Today’s blog is some tips from my first year in the KD program. I just registered for classes for this coming fall, and it seems nuts that a year has gone by already. But, alas, it has, and with that idea, I figured that I would give you some tips as you prepare for your first year in the KD program.

  • Do the in-residence early!

Due to my career in education, I could not do the in-residence in August, but I really wish that I could have. I wound up doing the in-residence in February, which was great, but some of the information from the in-residence would have been handy during those first couple of quarters.

During the in-residence, you are welcomed to the Kelley Direct program, and meet many of your peers in the program. But, more importantly, you learn about ANGEL, the program your classes are in. You will also get a chance to meet a number of your professors and the other staff in the program. It was invaluable to have faces to go with names in this program – especially with everything being already distance, due to the nature of the program.

  • Figure out your study style.

Whether you are a person who groups assignments around certain days, or like me, someone that does a little every day, you need to figure out your study style and stick to it. I know people in the program who are successful a number of different ways, but I would advocate for doing a little every day. It makes the load more palatable, and is more manageable with a life. I have a family with two small children, so that was the only way that this was going to work for us.

If you are not sure, I would talk to colleagues in the program to see what they do. It might be a little bit of a transition moving back into school, especially if you have been out for a long time. Sometimes, getting advice can be helpful.

  • Understand your plan of study.

Whether you are a dual-degree student, like me, or just going for one degree, you need to make sure that you understand your class schedule. You need to especially understand what classes are offered at which times. If you don’t change your class schedule, you will be fine – but you may determine that you want to take different classes at different times.

Moreover, if you are a dual degree student, you really need to understand the plan of study, because it will allow you to take your dual degree classes to meet electives in your primary program. This is what I am doing with the MBA/MSSM degree.

  • Connect your class work to your everyday job.

This is the tip that is the most valuable on this entire list. Even if it is not the easiest fit, connecting your current job with your class work will make the class work much, much more interesting. I can understand if you have to strain a little to make it work, much like I had to with my job and operations management this past quarter, but you have to do your best.

If you are successful, not only will the class work seem more relative, you will be in much better position to work with other departments or individuals, as you will be able to speak their language. The best example I have of this is my experience in the finance/accounting course. My ability to get and apply those concepts made my conversations with the finance people in our department much different. They began to understand that they could not “talk over my head”. So, we greatly improved our communication – and it worked wonders.

Well, I hope that’s helpful KD! Until next time, I’ll catch you later.

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