Any MBA student starting a new academic journey will face pressure on a never before seen level and subsequently will have to develop a thicker skin and new way to manage the stress.
If you ask any MBA student about how they juggle their studies, projects, work and personal life, they’ll tell you it’s not easy but can definitely be done.
Reasons Behind the Stress
Starting with the basic pressure factor:
- Juggling work and studies
- Handling different course deliverables and tight deadlines
- Attending the classes of a full-time programme
- Potential financial stress
- Leaving work till the last minute
This being said, it’s important to point out the additional pressure international students go through.
Not only are they acclimating to a new culture, but also taking some time off to return home for a visit is nearly impossible most of the times.
Also, international business school students face some visa conditions and restrictions which adds more pressure in finding an internship or full-time job after graduating or else they have to leave the country and all their efforts would be thrown away.
MBA Student and the Error of Multitasking
Taking a course with high-performing and impressive colleagues can create an additional pressure to succeed, leading to an urge to handle things at the same time under the big title of “multitasking”.
There is no doubt that time management and doing tasks by priority helps any MBA student manage their time; however, doing things at the same time can’t be achieved properly without serious consequences, which makes any student rethink whether multitasking actually exists or not.
In fact, teachers notice that students who overwhelm themselves by recklessly multitasking, face the below problems:
- More errors: a task is not getting the students’ full attention, often leading to avoidable mistakes.
- Increased stress: multitasking means overloading the brain with stimuli and commands which can lead to many mental or physical issues sooner or later.
- Reduced memory: due to the constantly going back and forth between jobs, reports, projects, and deliverable.
- Decreases IQ: research says that “since there’s less cognitive power devoted to individual tasks, the actual intelligence quotient diminishes while multitasking”. To put it into simpler terms: if students notice certain projects or tasks becoming more difficult , it’s probably because their brain is actually becoming “slower”.
Stress Management Tips
- Managing the environment: a healthy surrounding impacts students’ learning capacity. It might take time at first, especially to figure things out, and discovering what/who triggers tension and what/who doesn’t, and the rest becomes a habit. Students should ask themselves what conditions make them productive: is it a study group? is it studying alone? It’s all about playing to one’s strengths.
- Planning and sticking to a schedule: stress often leads to severe procrastination, which ultimately leads to a never-ending cycle of feeling overwhelmed and delivering horrible results. Setting aside distractions, like unnecessary scroll time on social media, is a great way to help students follow their routine. Graduate school is not a place to panic, which is why preparing for exams, homework, and assessments in advance automatically calm the nerves and boost efficiency.
- Emotional Intelligence: and being inspired by professional athletes in how they control their emotions. It’s mainly “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.” Being stressed requires a lot of effort that can be spent elsewhere. Practicing meditation, feeling grounded, taking smart breaks, and voluntarily pushing away negative thoughts that can trigger anxiety or lower the self-esteem – It’s all about “mind over matter”.
More details about this point are elaborately explained in the video below, showcasing how managing one’s stress is a crucial soft skill that is acquired by focusing around two main pillars: control and prevention. Julien Bouret, a professional wellness coach and Soft Skills speaker at the EMLV business school, explains athletes work with their stress and how business school students can draw inspiration from them on a daily basis.
More on Soft Skills.