How to Pick Classes (some tips!)

So last week I had the pleasure of trying to figure out what classes to take in my remaining 1.5 years at Smith. I like that most of our required classes get knocked out of the way in the first semester and that we can focus on elective choices moving forward (mostly). Besides taking the same classes as everyone for the first semester is a great way to make friends as you celebrate your successes (and the few failures – Like I said before, best way to learn is to fail at something, but just to clarify I don’t recommend you Fail your Core Classes).

Anyways, there were quite a few choices to choose from and while I was only picking for Spring Semester 2016 and not the entire 1.5 years, you do have to make some strategic choices and plans. While interests and passions will lead you down one path or another (as well as ideal job functions in the future), I figured I would pass along some of the tips and ideas for classes to take so that you can benefit from the wisdom as well.

Last Chance: So will we will all continue to grow and learn in the future, post MBA odds are the chances of you sitting in a class learning something for a semester straight will be relatively low. So really look at your strengths and weaknesses and really try to figure out what your career path will be for the long term. I know it is hard to think that far out, but one of the most repeated bits of feedback I received was not to skip out on the Quantitative courses (especially if they are hard for you). The farther you progress in your career, the more these get used. Of course I am writing this while still in my MBA program, but I will say that I trust the words of those who are several years out and offering this as a piece of advice. Time will only tell me whether or not they/I were right (after all hedging your bets is one way to get through life right? J).

Try New Things: Sort of along the lines of the previous paragraph, take this opportunity to sign up for classes that interest you or that will challenge you in new ways. Do not come back and get your MBA to repeat your undergraduate degree. As I have mentioned before, this is one of the few times in your life it is okay to not to have all the answers or even the right answer. Challenge yourself! Make sure the classes you pick or want to take push you out of your comfort zone.

Have Fun: Seriously though, make sure you can enjoy or appreciate the classes you take. Once again part of your MBA should be growing yourself and being miserable for two years is not the best way to make yourself better. I agree that Point 1 and 2 might be in direct contrast with this point (especially if you are not super into the Quantitative courses and you challenge yourself by taking a few more than you had expected). But I will say reward yourself with some classes that you will enjoy or even experiences. Here at Smith we offer SmithX experiences that allow you to learn while not being stuck in a traditional classroom for x amount of hours per week. We all learn in different ways and the SmithX experiences can be a great way to have fun and supplant your traditional classroom learning.

I guess I will let you all know down the road how my class choices worked out. As always, thanks for reading!

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