Week in the Life of a Part-Time MBA Student: Balancing Work and Studies

Weekly routine of how a part-time MBA student can balance work, study & personal life.

When I decided to pursue a Master of Business Administration, I wanted the opportunity to advance my career but was put off by the degree’s cost and time commitment. Luckily, the school I wanted to attend, the University of Hong Kong, provided a part-time program that would allow me to continue working my day job to fund my studies. At the same time, I could directly apply what I was learning from the MBA program in the workplace.

Balancing work, school, and daily life might seem daunting at first, but the part-time program has taught me an important lesson: time management. Part-time MBA students have to squeeze in classes, homework, and group projects in between their full-time jobs, but with the right attitude, discipline, and a solid routine, it can be done. Here is my week as a part-time MBA student and how I balance studies with a full-time job.

Monday

6:30-7:30am: I start every day with one hour at the gym. Getting my daily workout done in the morning ensures I have the rest of the day to focus on other things.

7:30-8am: I make my way to the office. On my way to work, I pick up a bagel for breakfast and a sandwich for lunch.

8am-5pm: For the rest of the day, I focus on my day job at a media company in Hong Kong. I use my one-hour lunch break to catch up on readings for my part-time MBA class.

5-10pm: I leave work and grab dinner. For the rest of the night, I focus on completing homework assignments due the next day. I’m in bed by 11pm.

Tuesday

6:30-7:30am: Start the day at the gym.

7:30-8am: Pick up breakfast and lunch on my way to work.

8am-5pm: Focus on my day job while using my lunch break to catch up on readings.

5-6:30pm: I leave work and grab dinner. Tonight, I have class at the university, located in a central district in downtown Hong Kong, so I start to make my way there after dinner.

6:30-9:45pm: I attend class for the rest of the evening. The University of Hong Kong’s part-time MBA program is structured so that students only take one course at a time. Each course lasts for about a month, and classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This month, we’re taking Analytics for Managers, which trains us in how to use data to make business decisions.

9:45-10:15pm: Class ends, and I make my way home. On the way back, I review my notes from the evening’s lecture. I’m in bed by 11pm.

Wednesday

6:30-7:30am: Start the day at the gym.

7:30-8am: Pick up breakfast and lunch on my way to work.

8am-5pm: Focus on my day job while using my lunch break to catch up on readings.

5-7pm: Tonight, I have dinner with a classmate. We’re working on a group project which we have to present during the next class. During the meal, we update each other on our progress and leave with action items.

7-10pm: I work on my part of the group project for the rest of the night. I’m in bed by 11pm.

Thursday

6:30-7:30am: Start the day at the gym.

7:30-8am: Pick up breakfast and lunch on my way to work.

8am-5pm: Focus on my day job while using my lunch break to catch up on readings.

5-6:30pm: I meet up with my classmate again for dinner. We run through our group project, which we’ll be presenting to the class tonight. We then make our way over to the university.

6:30-9:45pm: We attend our second class of the week and deliver our presentation. The professor gives us a thumbs-up.

9:45-12am: Class ends, and to celebrate, my classmate and I head to a bar for a nightcap. But we don’t stay out for too long because both of us have work the next day. We head home at 12am.

Friday

6:30-7:30am: Start the day at the gym.

7:30-8am: Pick up breakfast and lunch on my way to work.

8am-5pm: Focus on my day job while using my lunch break to catch up on readings.

5-10pm: After a busy week, I dedicate Friday night to personal time and grab dinner with my partner. We look forward to relaxing during the weekend.

Different part-time MBA programs are structured differently, but they generally allow students to balance work and study by holding classes during weekday evenings or weekends. Campuses are often located near city downtowns for easy commutes. In the case of the University of Hong Kong, the campus is right next to the central business district. And since the program is structured so that students only take one course at a time, the homework and readings are manageable. If you’re considering a part-time and MBA program or just want to hone your application, Crimson can help. Don’t hesitate to reach out to one of Crimson’s expert advisors. We can’t wait to meet you!

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