Lessons from a first-year MBA: Mod 1

Susan Hedglin (MBA '17) and Rameses.

Susan Hedglin (MBA ’17) and Rameses.

It’s amazing how time flies! With final exams finished, I’ve had time to think about takeaways from my first quarter (aka “Mod 1”) as an MBA student at UNC Kenan-Flagler.

Here are my insights:

GMAT prep is just the beginning of your quantitative studies.

The GMAT may be the last time you have to think about rules of divisibility, but your work with numbers won’t stop there. Most post-MBA careers – whether in marketing, finance, consulting or general management – require familiarity with basic statistics and data analysis.

Core classes at UNC Kenan-Flagler focus heavily on quantitative work. If you don’t have a strong quantitative background, I recommend taking at least one statistics class and one calculus class to help you prepare. UNC Kenan-Flagler also offers Analytical Skills Workshop (ASW) each July for incoming full-time MBA students. I’m glad I took advantage of ASW – it’s a great opportunity for students who want to brush up on statistics, finance and accounting before school officially starts.

The experience can be overwhelming—but there are many resources to help you navigate the work.

I thought my last job was busy—but nothing compares to my packed MBA schedule! It can be difficult to balance schoolwork, recruitment, social activities and home life. However, UNC Kenan-Flagler has many resources to help students handle the workload. I’ve reached out to school tutors, study group teammates, the career center and professors for help.

Don’t be afraid to reach out early and often if you need help with coursework or career preparation. The atmosphere at UNC Kenan-Flagler is remarkably supportive.

An MBA is a major investment, but it’s the most valuable one I’ve made to date.

I came back for an MBA to make a career change and deepen my finance skillset. I am amazed how much I’ve already learned in my short time here. I’ve met remarkable classmates, alumni and professors. I know the program is equipping me with the tools I need to move into a new industry and succeed in my post-MBA career.

Getting an MBA is a major investment of money and time, but I am already reaping the benefits.

By Susan Hedglin (MBA ’17)