Studying for a business or management course can be a great way of taking your career to the next level, but it can often be difficult to return to study mode if you have had a break from it for a while. Returning back to study after being in the workplace can require a change of mind set in order to get the most out of your study program. Read on for some useful ideas on how to polish up your study skills to help you get ahead with your course.
Learn the art of clear communication
Communication is one of the most important skills in any professional context. At any given time, you can expect to have to communicate with a variety of people, including customers, colleagues, stakeholders and external parties, across a range of different platforms. All of these require a distinctive voice and approach and in order to express a message in the most effective way, you will need to be able to communicate with accuracy and succinctness.
During the course of your MBA, such as this one, you can expect to have your communication skills both challenged and strengthened, but it is always worthwhile putting in a little extra effort to get more polished. Roleplay and listening to others speak is a great way of improving your own spoken communication – listen to professionals in a range of different contexts to help you understand how the best communicators respond to various issues. Alongside spoken communication, the written word is still of immense importance, and you will come across it in a multitude of ways, from brief, casual language on social media, to formal written documentation. By learning what the most appropriate way of communicating in each channel is, you can get the most out of your message.
Become more efficient at time management
Unlike any previous degrees you might have studied for during college, studying for an MBA often happens a little later in life, when you may find yourself with more responsibilities and commitments. These might include managing your studies with an on-going job, or learning to work things around your personal life.
So to get the most out of your course, understanding how to manage your time most efficiently should be a top priority. There are many different approaches to this, from following a detailed planner where all tasks and activities are clearly broken down into manageable blocks of time, to setting yourself goals and targets to help you stay motivated over the course of your studies.
Hone your planning and organizational skills
Being a skilled planner will naturally be an essential attribute for anyone working in a leadership and management role, and over the course of your studies, you should be able to polish this in detail. A typical MBA may include a variety of different subjects, often covered and assessed in a range of ways, and in order to perform at your best, you will need to have a clear idea of how you can fit everything in, in the most productive way.
You will need to consider a variety of things such as juggling assignment dates, attending events and balancing all of the commitments of your course with your personal life. While this may be quite demanding at times, you can rest assured that the benefits will be worth the hard work. After completing your studies, you will probably find that these skills will come in handy in a professional setting.
Invest time in research
Taking time to understand the current news and developments of the business industry is essential if you want to gain a rich and meaningful understanding of the environment you will be working in. During your course, you can expect to do extensive research into the business world, in a variety of ways. You may need to read widely, covering a range of different source material to stay up to date of the latest changes and headlines in different business settings, as well as carry out interviews, listen to others speak, and much more.
It’s important to remember that research is an invaluable skill and one you will depend upon later on in a professional context, so using your time on the course to hone this well will pay dividends in the future.
Discover your own learning style
Everyone has their own learning style that works most effectively, and no two people are likely to study and learn in the same way. This can include visual learning, where images, color and graphics can help to explain and retain information during the learning process, verbal processes, where you may learn best by reading and writing information, or any other mix of learning methods.
It’s wrong to assume that as adults, we may all learn in the same style. By taking time to understand your own approach to learning, you can make studying a productive and enjoyable time, rather than leaving yourself struggling with frustration by trying to learn in a way that does not work for you.
Take time away from studying
Lastly, one important but often overlooked, study skill is the ability to take time away from it all and allow yourself to rest and recover. By constantly trying to cram more information into your mind or work around the clock, you may actually end up negatively impacting your course progression, rather than doing better. Instead, allowing yourself adequate time to rest will not only make the course much more enjoyable, but will also enable you to retain information and understand what you are learning about more effectively.
During your business course, you are also likely to encounter a variety of people. By reminding yourself to take time away from the study materials and making the effort to get to know other students, teaching staff and experts that you may get to meet, you can make your time on your course a much more memorable and interesting one.