The Home Stretch

Two years after starting the Elon MBA program I am sliding into home plate!  As a career track student, I’ve always been focused on the value of the experience, and not so focused on getting to the end of the race.  Now that I’m just nine months away from finishing up I’m filled with both excitement and dread, all at the same time.

I’m excited about the prospects that I will have to advance in my career with a MBA degree, but at the same time I am grieving the loss of my school time.  It seems like just a few months ago that I started this program, and now the end is near.  When I came into the program I thought I’d just plow through the courses, learning about business, but that it would pretty much just be a time commitment, and that I’d add a bit to my knowledge with each class.  What I found was that I developed deep, meaningful relationships with the other students and professors, which I think will last a lifetime.

You know how when you start something new you’re apprehensive and think ‘I won’t fit in’ or ‘I can’t do this.’ That is the way I felt when I first started.
Now, I feel empowered.

There is nothing that I can’t do if I really want to do it.  Elon has given me that confidence.  Whether in my undergrad stats class (prerequisites are tough), or economics, I started with the fear that I would fail.  But I never did, and I made it through.  If nothing else, Elon will develop in you the courage to move forward – in your career and in your personal life.  I think I am a much better person, both at work and at home, just for going through the program.

For those that are thinking about embarking on the journey to advanced education I would offer this advice –

1.     You’re never too old to learn.  I waited way too long to go back because of my fear of the GMAT.  Get out there as soon as the momentum kicks in.  You would be surprised at what you can do.

2.    Go to the MBA Open House – there’s a lot of great information in there.  If you are still unsure, ask to talk to a student or recent graduate one-on-one, they will find someone for you to talk to about the school and the program.

3.    If you are scared of the GMAT take a prep course – there are plenty of private programs offered to help you develop test strategies.  In addition, there are several community colleges that offer classes for GMAT preparation (that’s what I did).

4.    If you are weak in one area (like math, for me), ask if you can enroll as a non-credit student at Elon to get a feel for the college, and beef up your skills.  It will also give you a good feel for the expectations of Elon students, and if you’ve been out for a while, it will give you a good chance to ‘practice’ school before enrolling.  I found that my undergrad stats class was one of the best classes I ever took – Elon is turning out some great quality students at both the graduate and undergraduate level.

You will never be alone once you join the Elon community.  These are folks that will be there with you through everything – and I’ve seen it all – new jobs, losing jobs, weddings, babies, and deaths.  We all seem to stick together like glue, no matter what is going on in our individual lives.  This is a bond as strong as any you’ve ever seen.

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