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Juggling Elephants: One Month Down

We have officially completed our first month of the Jenkins MAC program, and are beginning to get a feel for the flow of our classes. Our group and individual assignments are starting to pile up, and the added responsibilities of recruiting can further stretch our time and energy. To borrow the metaphor of author Jones Loflin, it certainly feels like we are juggling elephants. That said, I believe it’s good practice to reflect on the past in order to best prepare for the future.

The past month has tested my time management and preparation skills, and I feel that many of my peers feel the same way. Sarah Peterson, our online student blogger, listed some practical and helpful tips on managing and prioritizing our academic workload, you can find her post here. I would like to add a few more fun and useful tips to staying focused and productive.

  • The Pomodoro method of studying is great for maintaining productivity during long periods of study. It was helpful when I studied for FAR this summer, and I find it quite helpful in tackling my current assignments and readings.
  • Set time aside to take care of your mental and physical health. Personally, I partition time in the morning to go for a run or workout as it gives me the mental clarity to work efficiently throughout the rest of the day. These small investments will pay dividends in other areas of your life, so don’t neglect it!
  • Prioritize learning and staying curious. I recently expressed to Scott Showalter, Director of the Jenkins MAC program, my frustrations with applying the research framework we are learning in his ACC 533: Accounting and Tax Research course. He assured me I was not crazy for feeling this way, and that most undergraduate programs don’t prepare you in the application of more conceptual and nuanced aspects of the profession. Therefore, we should focus on extracting new skills and knowledge from each assignment we complete.

Although I am not participating in recruitment this fall, I did have the opportunity to get a glimpse of what my peers are going through. Learning to do interviews well is a difficult skill to develop, so adding on the element of interviewing well via Zoom can make things more challenging. That said, the MAC student’s who participated in recruitment prepared well for the transition to online interviews. In anticipation of fall recruiting, they went through practice Zoom interviews before hand, and had polished their resumes’ with the help of Kelly Hardy, Associate Director of Student Programs and Career Services. The MAC students are currently engaged in the recruiting process, and are attended virtual Meet the Firms events the past two weeks.

Next Wednesday, September 23rd, I will be taking over the Jenkins MAC Instagram account. Be sure to join me as I show you a day in the life of a Jenkins MAC student. Follow along at @ncstatemac! See you around, and go Pack!

Jon M