How to Get the Most Out of Your Online MBA

Just because you’re in your pajamas viewing your accounting lecture at 2 a.m. from your bedroom doesn’t mean you’ll be able to skate your way into a degree.

Despite the comfortable surroundings, online MBAs are a lot of work. If you want to get your money’s worth out of them, you have to focus just like you would in a classroom, and not fall into the all-too-common trap of being tempted by the distractions of studying at home.

So how do you make the most of your online MBA program? This quick guide will help you stay on track.

First, use the tools you have and work with your fellow MBA students. MBA programs are supposed to be opportunities for networking, so you should definitely take advantage.

Try these simple tips to increase your learning potential:

  • Introduce yourself to your professors and other students via email or IM
  • Speak up in chat sessions
  • Post frequently on class message boards
  • Chat with other students to see if you have common interests or career goals
  • Make sure others have your contact information and keep in touch with people you might be able to work with in the future

Secondly, look into financial aid options. Online students can apply for federal financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). There are also many schools that have merit scholarships and loans available for students in online programs. Also, your employer might offer tuition reimbursement, so do your research and find out.

The online MBA experience is what you make of it. The flexibility of the program allows you to complete the program on your own schedule, but the easiest way to end up unsatisfied is to slack off and assume you don’t have to work at it. If you take it seriously, your online MBA program can be an extremely rewarding experience, both emotionally and through the organizational skills you will take away from it, which will help you confidently move forward in your career.