Work-Life Harmony: Strategies for MBA Success at UB

Written by: Matthew Mullens, MBA ’25

Embarking on an MBA journey at the University of Buffalo is an exciting and challenging endeavor. But like me, you may be motivated to acquire a graduate assistantship to gain experience, a part-time job, or you could have an interest in working on personal projects in tandem with your degree. Whatever your motivations, the key to success lies not only in academic excellence but also in achieving a harmonious work-life balance. As you navigate through your studies, consider these essential strategies to ensure you thrive both academically and personally.  

In the dynamic environment of an MBA program, effective time management becomes your greatest asset. Creating a detailed calendar that outlines your academic commitments, study sessions and personal activities is essential. Allocate specific time blocks for each task and be disciplined in sticking to your schedule. Leverage digital tools or traditional planners to stay organized. This proactive approach not only ensures that you meet academic deadlines but also allows for intentional time allocation to maintain a healthy work-life balance. It shows you where your free time is and lets you leverage your time to recharge or be productive.  

While the pursuit of academic excellence is paramount, it’s crucial not to overextend yourself. There will be many opportunities from professors, classmates, faculty and the greater Buffalo community. Recognize the signs of burnout and prioritize self-care. Taking breaks, getting adequate sleep and engaging in activities you enjoy are fundamental to maintaining your well-being.

Remember, rest is not a luxury but a necessity. Incorporating downtime into your schedule is just as vital as meeting your project deadlines. By consciously allowing yourself moments of relaxation you recharge your mind and enhance your overall productivity. 

The MBA journey at the University of Buffalo is a collaborative experience. Don’t hesitate to seek assistance when needed. Whether it’s clarifying a complex concept with professors, engaging in study groups with peers, relying on your MBA team or utilizing campus resources, asking for help is a strength not a weakness. The university offers a wealth of resource including academic support services, career counseling and mental health resources. By tapping into these services, you empower yourself to navigate challenges more effectively and build a robust support network. 

As you immerse yourself in the rich academic environment of the University of Buffalo’s MBA program, keep in mind that balance is key. Find the things that inspire you and recharge your social battery. I personally enjoy time in nature to recharge, you can walk around the lake on campus if you need a short break. Stay active. You may have heard the saying, “Healthy body, healthy mind.”  

Juggling work, school and life requires intentional effort, but the payoff is immense. The ability to manage your time effectively, prioritize self-care and seek support when needed ensures a holistic and successful MBA experience. Achieving a balance between your academic and personal pursuits is not only beneficial for your well-being but is also a strategic approach to long-term success. Strive for equilibrium and you’ll find that the journey becomes not just manageable but genuinely fulfilling. Best wishes in your future endeavors, I know you are more than equipped to achieve any goal you set.  

Matthew Mullens, MBA '25

Bio: Matthew was born in Pontiac, Michigan, and moved around a bit while growing up, having lived in four different states before graduating high school in Charlotte, North Carolina. Matthew earned his bachelor’s degree from North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, North Carolina, with a major in Industrial Systems Engineering. During his undergraduate program, Matt worked part-time with the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce in the start-up incubator program and developed his first business, Empasta. He is an intellectually curious professional with a passion for sustainability in business practices, supported by hands-on experience across a variety of roles. In his free time, Matt loves to explore the outdoors, whether it’s kayaking, hiking or exploring new cities. He also enjoys anime, traveling, chess, reading and spending time with family and friends. Taking time to engage in these activities has been most beneficial in helping him succeed in his work and academic life.

Photo credit: Tom Wolf

One Reply to “Work-Life Harmony: Strategies for MBA Success at UB”

  1. Absolutely loved this piece on balancing work and life during an MBA at the University of Buffalo! The tips on time management and prioritizing self-care are not just useful but necessary for anyone facing the rigor of grad school. It’s great to see such a realistic approach that acknowledges the challenges and provides actionable advice. The reminder to utilize campus resources and seek help when needed is so important and often overlooked. Thanks for sharing these strategies—it’s a must-read for current and prospective MBA students looking to maintain their well-being alongside their academic goals. Keep up the awesome work!

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