Business school is an incredible commitment. Not only are you dedicating two years of your life at the bare minimum, you’ll also accrue six figures of tuition debt to get that degree. Most MBA programs are so demanding that you cannot work at the same time, or at the very least you will struggle to manage both a full-time job and some amount of classes. It will pay off in huge dividends for your career, especially if you get into a prestigious program, but you’ve got to make sure that you take absolutely everything you can get from the experience. The onus will be on you to achieve what you want from business school, but you will have the resources around you to get the job done. Here are a couple of tips to help you make the most of business school.

First of all, make sure you focus on connecting with your fellow students. What you learn in class is just one piece of the puzzle. The greater good that comes from business school often takes the form of incredible connections with the other graduates. Every individual in your program is heading into the business world, looking to cause big results. You’ll forever be connected with these folks through your shared experiences, and if you can come together during school and create some real friendships you will be able to lean on those people for the rest of your life. You never know who might end up a fellow employee, a partner or even your boss somewhere down the line.

While you are at business school to learn a good deal about process, don’t forget to really think about the larger issues in today’s business world. One of the great benefits of school is that it pulls you out of the daily grind of trying to make a living, promoting a product or moving a startup towards success. Instead you get to think about the major roadblocks facing corporate America, as well as the global factors that impact small business. Take the time to wrap your head about these major issues, as understanding business on this level will serve you well in your future endeavors.

Business is often about collaborating efforts of a large group of people, so make sure you take advantage of opportunities to expand your experience of teamwork. There will be group projects at various points of the program, and you’ve got to pay close attention to these moments. You could be tempted to blow by it, since business is so results-oriented and you are held responsible for your own bottom line. But these team projects in the classroom environment are a great way to train yourself as a leader and to understand group dynamics more deeply, which will always bear fruit inside of your company.

Finally, take the time to create relationships with your professors as well. You can pursue a deeper connection with your teachers even if you’re enrolled in the CWRU online program. Online courses are still taught by real people, and these folks are a huge resource. Check in with your professors early in the semester by making an appointment during their office hours, and let them see your commitment to excellence. Professors want to inspire students that are dedicated to learning, so if you can show them you fall within this category they will do whatever they can to give you quality insight and assistance after graduation.

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