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My Advice

Belltower in spring

(Written by Sarah Petersen)

We are less than five weeks away from final exams and graduation! After two full semesters of hard work, I am excited to see the finish line. As we are in the final push to complete our degree, many prospective students have been accepted into the program and are excited to embark on this new journey.  To any new students who may be reading this, congratulations on your acceptance! The journey through the MAC program is both challenging and rewarding. In this post I have outlined items that have helped me through this journey. 

Consider summer classes

Take summer classes if possible. If you are a full time student, this will help greatly lighten the load, especially if you plan on doing recruiting in the fall. Like many, I wasn’t spending the summer of 2020 as planned. However, I am thankful I was able to utilize my time and take four credit hours since my internship was condensed. This decision decreased my course load in the spring and has enabled me to study for the CPA exam before I start work in July. 

Take advantage of office hours

As an online student, my courses have varying levels of interaction with professors built in. The majority of professors hold optional weekly recap meetings to highlight upcoming assignments and answer questions regarding the course material. Some courses include more interaction among the professor and students. For example, in Advanced Audit, ACC 550, we meet as a class on Zoom to discuss our case responses throughout the semester. As an online student, I feel these sessions are beneficial to develop relationships with the professors and to make sure I am keeping up with the material. In addition to the optional weekly meetings mentioned above, each professor holds office hours. Professors encourage students to reach out and schedule alternative times to talk if the office hours schedule is not compatible with their schedules. 

Take “me” time

Prioritize time to relax. Numerous studies have shown that rest is essential to performance and productivity. It can feel impossible to block off “me time”  when there is a seemingly endless amount of lectures, assignments, and studying to do. It is a commitment to yourself that will be worth it in the end. I know from experience.   

My husband, who works full time and is a part time Masters of Engineering student, and I committed to taking a period of 24 hours of rest on the weekends. At first, I was scared I wouldn’t be able to get everything done. I quickly noticed I worked more efficiently and effectively during the week. I was completing assignments in less time while making the same or better grades! 

Stay organized

Make a plan. Although I had taken online classes before, I had a learning curve with having 100% classes online. No longer did I have the routine of going to classes on certain days of week to keep me on track with getting my assignments done for each class. I found creating a to-do list with every assignment due in the current week was a great way for me to visualize what I needed to get done and to prioritize each task. 

Thanks for checking in and reading some of my tips for successful completion of the MAC program. 


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