Written by Shubham Goel, MBA ’23:
As an international student who just finished his first semester and had many great experiences at the University at Buffalo, I have a few suggestions for students on how they can manage their time better. Time management is of utmost importance as there are multiple assignments and projects that involve individual and group activities. Managing time better leads to work being completed efficiently and it also leads to having more personal time to relax and refresh. It is important to take a step back and take a break during the weekends, and this can be done well with good time management.
The first suggestions are to avoid procrastination.
It is a general tendency to keep things pending until the last moment. However, this will not be possible in the Master of Administration program as procrastination will lead to an overload of work in the coming days and weeks. Many assignments are too large to be completed in a day or at the last minute. If you do this, the quality of assignments decreases greatly, and it shows in the grading. It is important to plan and understand that other classes might give you assignments with the same deadlines. Therefore, it is important to finish work as quickly as you can when you receive it. This will help you maintain your health in the long run and avoid unnecessary problems.
The next suggestion is to make a schedule.
You will that you have various commitments and classes with different deadlines. These deadlines could also have different timings, for example, one might have a deadline at 11:59 pm and another at 8:59 am. Therefore, having a schedule helps to keep a clear track of the things to be done and helps you plan and approach the week or month in a structured way. Most courses mention their schedule on the syllabus provided to students at the start of the semester. If there are changes along the way you can always make a change. Making a schedule is something that I had never done prior to joining UB, however, it is important to have one to ensure you meet deadlines.
The third suggestion is to understand your team and delegate work when required.
There will be many assignments provided regularly throughout the semester that are group projects. Teammates might have other commitments or other work that is unexpected and may not be able to contribute to projects. It is important to have clear communication and understanding as a team, and do not let one scenario define your relationship as a group as you will need each other throughout the semester. Delegation of work and trusting one another is important as the semester will bring many different challenges for assignments. Have a clear set of rules to follow as a team and ensure everyone has an equal share of work. It is important to be accountable and hold your team members accountable to have optimal results in group assignments.
The fourth suggestion is to review and assess assignments when they are posted so that you can get an idea of the amount of the work allotted.
It is common to avoid looking into an assignment in depth when you initially receive them. However, for some assignments, the size of the project is so large that you need to start the day that you receive it. It is important to look at the assignments and make an estimate of the time it might take you, and plan accordingly. This ensures that you are not surprised and find yourself busier than expected.
The final suggestion is to speak with the second-year students to understand the assignments that might take more time than expected.
They have already experienced the coursework and understand t the time required to successfully complete projects. Having regular conversations with them may help you gain a better understanding of the requirements and the time required to finish the assignment. You can benefit from their experiences and leverage the information to perform better or more efficiently.
To conclude, I would like to say that it is important to keep your goal in sight and keep moving towards it. Sometimes your schedule will get hectic and staying positive and having the right mindset towards it will help you get through it. As a student, you can always approach your professors and let them know if your schedule is hectic. They are wonderful people who will find ways to help you if possible and having clear communication with them can facilitate that. Enjoy the experience that you will have soon, and I look forward to meeting you and interacting with you in the near future!
Bio – Shubham was born in Bengaluru, Karnataka and earned his Bachelor of Commerce with a major in accounting. Following his bachelor’s degree, he earned a Master of Commerce degree from Christ University with a major in banking and insurance. He worked in the audit industry with KPMG and also helped run his family’s textile business. He is currently pursuing a full-time MBA from the University at Buffalo to build his leadership skills and expand his network. He is planning to major in finance and data analytics. After UB, he plans to pursue a career in the field of finance.