The Working World

One question I get asked a lot is whether you can hold a job and still function while in business school. The answer is, well…. it’s complicated. And everyone is different.

My first year in b-school, I thought I would look into getting a part time job, but I quickly abandoned this thought after the first week of pre-term. As someone with a literature degree, I felt horribly overwhelmed at first. The thought of spending any waking moment not in class or team meetings on something non-bschool related was anathema. Quite honestly, I made a choice between having pocket money and saving my sanity. Sanity won out.

Last August, at the end of my  summer internship, my boss asked me if I would like to stay on part-time. I liked the job, I liked getting a weekly paycheck, and I was hoping for a job offer. So I said yes. I started out working 15 hours a week, but quickly realized I literally didn’t have enough hours in the day to get everything done. As a second-year, dual-degree student, I took 6 classes last semester. Additionally, I am on the board of two clubs, and from time to time I enjoy hanging out with my friends and catching up with family members. So I cut back down to 10 hours a week, which is still a significant investment of time for me (that’s 10 hours I don’t spend on homework, networking, and sleeping), but seems to be working for all parties involved. (Let’s not talk about the time winter break rolled around and I went to India for a month…)

So, yes Virginia, you can work and be a full-time student at the same time. I’m lucky in that my office isn’t too far away, I can work remotely from home in my PJs and glasses at 1 in the morning, and I have a flexible boss who understands that I’m still a student. It wouldn’t work for everyone in every situation. But it works (for the most part) for me.


5 Comments on “The Working World

  1. I also worked part-time during each of my MBA semesters. I needed the money and I loved the job, but I didn’t do as good a job as you have at staying engaged with classmates and campus activities.

    • Staying engaged definitely takes work too! And sometimes I just need to get away from the books/work/responsibilities and just chill out for a while 🙂

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