With the fall semester quickly coming to a close, now is the best time for me to share my tips on how to survive the transition from undergraduate studies to the MAC Program. I am sure you have heard horror stories from individuals about grad school, and yes, the workload is more, but I am here to give you a few tips to make it easier.
CONNECT WITH CLASSMATES
The MAC Program is full of 119 students doing almost the exact same thing as you on a daily basis – so make friends with them! The transition is 1,000 times easier when you are able to share the joys and struggles with people who understand. These are people who will study with you and will definitely go on a coffee run if you ask. They understand where you are coming from and 9 times out of 10 are struggling too. Undergrad doesn’t offer a support system like that – you may have your close friends, but chances are they aren’t all taking the same classes as you!
DON’T BE A PERFECTIONIST
Yes, grades are still important in grad school, but it’s okay to mess up as long as you are gaining knowledge! You are learning new concepts, terms, and areas of accounting. Because of this, it is impossible for you to not get something wrong at least once. Use these wrongs to learn – understand why it was wrong and how to fix the mistake in the future. Graduate professors want to see you grow as a professional and a scholar – not just ace their class.
FIND THE BALANCE
For a lot of us, we are not only students, but graduate assistants, teaching assistants, and professionals. Be sure to balance these roles and prioritize the items that each role expects of you. Communication is key – let others know what you expect of them, ask what they expect of you, and speak up when something is awry. Also remember that YOU are the most important part of this journey – set aside time to take a break. That’s where your friends in the program fit in!
DO THE WORK
In undergrad, 11 p.m. the day before an exam seems to be the prime time to start studying. This does not work in grad school! Prioritize your weeks ahead of time – know when you have exams, presentations, cases, and homework. Give yourself ample time to complete these tasks and work with your group members to meet earlier rather than later. This gives you time for edits and practice. Plus, when you do things before the last minute, your stress is exponentially less (and trust me, you have enough already).
You’re now ready to seamlessly transition from your undergraduate studies to the MAC Program! I am positive if all 119 of us can do it, you can do it too. Good luck!