This week, Taylor Greeley (@taygreeleyblog) showed us how she manages as a full-time online MBA student at Fitchburg State, while working and maintaining her blog at TayGreeley.blog. Whether or not you’re pursuing (or even curious about) an online MBA, she gets real about the experience and what you should be looking for in *any* MBA program, and offers a ton of great advice on how to kill it in your academic and professional career.
She spoke about working full-time as an admissions rep at Bay State College, managing her blog, and pursuing her MBA as a full-time student in Boston. She showed us some of the nuts & bolts of what you can expect from your online platform, and shared some advice [and some exciting career news] during a Q&A at work (aided by her marketing intern Samantha!). Definitely do not miss her takeover, you’re going to walk away with a ton of insights and a serious appreciation for the opportunity to learn and perform at the masters level as a woman in today’s world. Check out her takeover below!
After hosting her takeover, we caught up with Taylor to get her thoughts on the experience and wrap up with Qs from you…
What is a typical day for an online student? Do you work during the day?
As an online student for me at least there really isn’t a typical day. I do work 40+ hours a week I’m actually transitioning into a new position right now but during my downtime at work, sometimes I’ll do some reading or case studies. I do a lot my case studies on the train but most of my work is done on the weekends. There are certain deadlines during the week that I have to meet so I’ll go through and do those, usually it’s by Wednesday night, but then the rest of it is down on the weekends during the day. That’s pretty much my entire life.
Do you meet up with your classmates?
I do not. In my particular program it’s filled with people from all over the country. I know people who have done online programs where they’ve had to meet up for group projects but my program doesn’t really have that. All our collaboration is done through discussion boards.
Is an online MBA less expensive than a regular time MBA?
I previously worked in admissions in higher education, so from a professional standpoint, online programs tend to be a little less expensive because you don’t have as many resources as you would in a on-campus program. Also with an online program there’s less that they have to maintain so typically they are less expensive. Mine is a state program at Fitchburg State University so it is much cheaper, I’m able to pay entirely out of pocket. It’s not cheap but it’s a lot cheaper than the other programs I looked at.
Did you ever look at full-time or in-person MBAs? Or was online always your plan?
So my program is actually a full-time program. It’s an accelerated program so what is typically done in 16 weeks I do in 6 1/2. I have a crazy schedule so at first I was just looking for one that fits my schedule. It also took me six years to do my undergraduate degree because I was full-time for the first few years and half-time for the remainder. I didn’t want to be in school forever. I looked up programs that were programs you meet up on campus once a week and also evening programs. Online just fit my schedule better but I didn’t want a program where I had to log in at a specific time every week. In this program I have deadlines, but there aren’t certain hours where I have to be logged in. I don’t have time for that.
Are you a part of any clubs or recruitment events?
No, I worked at my undergrad and I recently took a new position. While I am still heavily involved with alumni, I don’t participate in any of my graduate programs events (I work in the field of recruitment so I’m not looking to put recreational recruitment on my plate either. I get enough of it.).
How hard is it to feel engaged while doing classes online? Do you have video lectures?
This program doesn’t have video lectures and each professor runs their course differently. My undergrad is in business so this program is really just diving a little bit further into topics I already know. Since it’s the same / related field I didn’t feel like I needed to do a program where I was heavily engaged because my undergraduate was heavily engaged. I will recommend if you are going from a field that is not business and you do not already have a degree in business you should find a program that is a little more engaging and less self-taught. You can still do online; there are plenty of programs where they do video lectures and video chats and you’re super involved and engaged. I just didn’t need that.
How do you manage your finances?
I pay completely out of pocket for my program so to manage my finances I really just focus on what my due dates are for major bills and I try and pay them as soon as I get the money. I’m paycheck-to-paycheck right now, so each month is kind of different.
How many hours a week do you dedicate to school? Is it doable with a full-time job?
I work over 40 hours a week and I manage a Blog so I’d say total I’m working like 60 hours a week. My particular program is definitely manageable. However when I was in my undergrad I was working 50 to 60 hours a week plus 20 hours a week in an internship, while doing three classes (minimum) at a time. So I’m used to an extremely heavy workload and to me, this is nothing. The tagline of my blog is, “what a haute mess.” I’m really the biggest hot mess that I know but I’m good at hiding it. With this program, I really just take it week-by-week — it moves so fast, you have to do it that way. The first week of the semester, you can tell how each class is going to go. My last semester I was doing like probably 20 hours of classwork — this semester, not so much.
Thanks so much to Taylor for hosting our latest #MBAchicTakeover and for giving us such a great inside look at life as an online MBA at Fitchburg State!
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