As an Evening MBA student, the title of this article may be deceiving. The intention behind this is to bring awareness to a topic that is dear to many “part-timers,” including myself. The sad reality is that the perception of part-time MBA students is that we are busy bodies that are too invested in our jobs to give up two years to go back to school again. Let me be the first to say this is largely false. The decision to go part-time, is typically a prudent one. Whether it’s because your employer is investing in your advancement, you are looking for a professional change but can’t afford to give up that paycheck, you are thirsty for more knowledge, or any combination of these and more, the choice to go part-time simply makes sense. I’m here to assert that the learning and experience beyond the classroom is profound and invaluable. During my nine months as an Evening student and student leader, I’ve met many engaging individuals, drastically enhanced my interpersonal skills, and developed new capabilities, all through resources and opportunities available outside of class. To the part-time students that are reading this and only attending classes, I implore you to get involved – you will regret not being a part of the Booth community. To those of you that are involved, I say take it to the next level. Here are a few reasons why it is paramount to your Booth experience:
More Than Just Networking
It’s been hammered into our heads that networking is vital to success both in and out of school. Involvement in activities outside of class is the easiest way to build your Booth network. More so than networking though, you will find yourself building lasting friendships with your fellow Boothies. I’m happy to say that some of my closest friends happen to be part-timers that I would not have met had I not made the decision get involved. Moreover, how many times have you heard your manager boast about a wildly successful friend from business school?
Real Professional Development
If you haven’t met with a career counselor, you are missing the secret sauce in getting that promotion, landing the job, or winning your negotiation. The career counselors cater to your professional aspirations, whatever they may be. The quality of my resume and ability to articulate my experiences has improved tenfold, and I credit Anita Brick and the Career Services team largely for that.
Elevate Your Perception
By not engaging in opportunities out of the classroom, you risk missing valuable events. If you are a career-switcher, that could be the invitation to the coveted invite-only recruiting dinner. As a social butterfly, you wouldn’t want to miss the summer boat cruise or winter formal. Being active in the Booth community not only enhances your student experience, but helps you develop a more favorable perception in your network.
With that, I hope you decide make the decision to get (or stay) involved. Push your chips in, and go all in.