5 Things I wish I did prior to attending Smith

Deciding to attend business school is a very big step. Probably the biggest step that I have had to take thus far in my life. But nothing in my life could have prepared me for the realities of being an MBA student. It is nothing like you could have imagined and with just one week under my belt I can easily say that there are a few things that I wish I had done prior, to better prepare myself for being an MBA student at University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business

1. Refresh my math skills.

 “The pre-skills will teach you everything you need to know. Don’t worry about it”… these were the words from now second-year MBA students who told me that I didn’t necessarily need to stress out over refreshing my math skills months in advance. For a person like myself who struggles very heavily in anything dealing with numbers, I wish that I had followed Khan Academy’s online tutorials months in advance to mentally prepare my mind for all of the math that we would be using during the program.


2. Get all the required textbooks at the start of summer and begin to read.

Business school involves A LOT OF READING. More reading than I’ve ever done in all four years of my undergraduate career. Unlike in undergrad, the first week of school isn’t just a time for you to ease yourself back into the routine. NO! Rather it is a time to dive right in head first and begin coursework immediately. The amount of readings that we had to do in the first week alone made me wish that I had reached out to my professors earlier in the summer and ask for the names of the required texts so that I could have gotten a head start.

3. Start my pre-skills course work IMMEDIATELY.

 Many of the second years told me several times “start your pre-skills coursework early,” but of course, being a true procrastinator, I did not listen to them and found myself hustling to finish up the coursework in the last few weeks before they were due. This was not a good idea because the course work takes WAY LONGER than you think it will take. 

4. Research and figure out EXACTLY what I want to do in my career. 

Taking time out to do research and figuring out exactly what you want to do is key when you first start your MBA. Knowing what you want to do will make life so much easier and will allow you to work better with the career coaches. Once the semester starts you want to be able to focus as much as you can on schoolwork, extra-curricular activities, and searching for summer internships. If you don’t know exactly what area you want to go into it is going to make your life much more difficult during the semester because then you will have to take time out of your busy schedule to do this work.

5. Quit my job earlier than I did. 

Preparing to go back for an MBA is a lot of work. There is a lot of preparation and time that goes into preparing for this huge milestone in your life. Prior to attending Smith, I was working full time at a local television station and didn’t want to quit too early in the summer because I still wanted to collect a pay check. Fear of not having money is what made me stay at my job as long as I did, but this took away from my time preparing for school, getting my textbooks, and doing my pre skills. If I could do this over again I probably would quit my job two months prior to starting school. 

With all of these things I believe that you, as the next Smith Business School MBA class will be setting yourself up for success! Keep looking out for more tips and hacks that I will have as I continue my first year journey!

Until next time!!!! 


Kimberley Camps

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