The Benefits of Studying The MBA With A Buddy
When undertaking an MBA, any means of gaining additional support, motivation, and assistance should be welcomed with open arms. For a number of AIB students, this comes in the form of a ‘study buddy’ or someone who they undertake the programme concurrently with. This can be anyone from a family member, to a friend or colleague, allowing you to share the MBA journey with someone else. There are a number of reasons why studying the MBA with a buddy can be of benefit – see below for our top four.
1. Camaraderie and support
Often, studying can be quite a solitary activity as you prepare for exams and undertake research for assignments. Studying the MBA with a buddy means that you can work together when you like, and discuss key topics in order to further your learning. When it is exam time, you can work together to test each other, creating flash cards and other memory-based activities. This not only is useful for the one being tested, but also the partner, as both people work through the questions together. Having a buddy also helps you to remember key dates such as deadlines for assignments and keeps each other on their toes.
2. Keep each other accountable
When undertaking study, we are naturally prone to procrastination and are bound to experience times where we lack motivation. When you study the MBA with a buddy, you are suddenly more accountable and have an additional reason to keep on track. For married AIB MBA graduates Tom and Ann Sexton, the MBA journey was all possible thanks to the fact they completed it together. Tom said, “The advantage of us doing it at the same time was that we had the same deadlines, same amounts of pressure and we kept one another on track”. Ann added, “The motivation level was really important for both of us, particularly when it got tough with your normal work or family life, it was important to have that”.
3. Tackle challenges together
For the majority of AIB MBA students, undertaking the MBA while working becomes quite the balancing act. Students are bound to meet challenges along the way, however those who undertake the MBA with a buddy have someone to discuss these challenges with and can work through them together. AIB MBA student Shauna Paine, who studies with her daughter, explained that in times of difficulty, they supported each other to ensure deadlines were met. “When things went wrong and my computer crashed, I had a meltdown,” Shauna said. Instead of letting her feel sorry for herself, her daughter said, “Right, you’ve had your meltdown. Get on with it.” – support which Shauna described as “amazing”.
4. Open your mind to new ideas
Again, when studying alone, you can often get stuck in your own ideas and find it difficult to see other ways of doing things. When studying in a group environment, new ideas and thoughts will consistently be discussed as course content is dissected. This is also useful when starting an assignment as you can discuss the requirements together and help to generate some ideas before tackling it. You may see it one way, whereas your buddy may look at it completely differently. While different people have different learning styles, this is a great way to open your mind to other approaches and in turn, broaden your learning.
What do you think?
Can you think of any other benefits of studying the MBA with a buddy? I’d love to hear from those who have started the programme with a buddy, or perhaps met one along the way through online networking or events. Comment below to share your experience.
This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.