Back to school…

Student blogger Marie Cheong talks about making the transition from work to starting an MBA program at the NUS Business School. 

Hang on, a week ago I had a job and a nice paycheck…and today I’m back to school?

It’s hard to transition from the routine of a secure job to an intensive and challenging MBA program. Most of us moved to Singapore just over a month ago, some of us with spouses and families in tow, and are adjusting to our new city, coping with the hassles of finding a place to live and day to day logistics and discovering our own place in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Asia, if not the world.

It hits you hard – day one was a big shock! Our first three hour seminar was about getting our next job (but, I just quit my job?) and day two was straight into two, three hour lectures. Yes, lectures are three hours – that is three hours of solid concentration without trips to the water cooler or frequent tea breaks and chit chat with your colleagues.

In the first weeks of my NUS MBA, I’ve worked harder and longer hours than most of my career. So as I drag myself out of bed to get to a 9am class after a long night of working on assignments and studying for tests, I think ‘is it really worth it’?

Absolutely! Since starting my MBA I’ve been challenged and stretched and as a consequence I’ve learned so much in a short span of time. It’s refreshing.

While most of us moan about the weight of our books, assignments and workload (having to work most weekends is definitely not popular), there is no denying the amazing variety of people we’ve met and the experiences we’ve had. For example, today I was at campus in the morning to work on my group analytics assignment, attended a recruitment presentation from a leading financial services consultancy, spent an hour brainstorming with classmates on our marketing project, touched base with my career counselor and finished this blog post, all before 6pm!

This is what we signed up for. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth investing my time and money. Now I just have to keep reminding myself of this when the midterms hit!

Student Blogger: Marie Cheong
Nationality: Singaporean
Full-Time student, Class of 2014

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