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What is it like transitioning from a school environment to the workplace, and potentially the other way around?

I am asking this question because I am always thinking about my future and life after college. The future excites me because I am working hard to ensure I have ample opportunities after graduation. Business school is one of my top goals. So, what is it like going from college to employment? And for those who went to graduate school (MBA), what was it like going from the workplace back to school? I am interested in this topic because all I have ever really known is the schooling environment. #college #school #graduate #degree #mba #executive #ma #ms

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Daniela’s Answer

Hi Kyle,

Recent grads who are starting their first jobs may need to adjust their expectations, said Tres Loch, assistant director of admissions at Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business. Loch shared his tips for how to make a smooth, successful leap into the working world.

  • Expect your social schedule to change. Working eight or more hours each day takes some getting used to. Don't expect to be able to go out with friends several nights during the week, or stay up until midnight (or later) every night like you did in college. Early on, create healthy work habits that will contribute to career success. Eat well, get enough sleep and maximize your free time to keep a work-life balance.

  • Be aware and respectful of generational differences. The company you're working for may have a lot of young employees, but this doesn't necessarily mean your office will be just like your college campus. Be conscious of the negative stigmas associated with "millennials" (lazy, entitled, poor communication skills, social media crazed), and break away from them. Not everyone you work with cares about social media, or even has social media profiles. To build rapport with co-workers from other generations, take interest in things that are important to them rather than talking about who you're following on Twitter or what happened on the latest Hollywood award show.

  • Create and stick to a personal budget. For most new professionals who are used to living on a college-student budget, seeing that huge dollar amount on their first salaried paycheck seems like an invitation to do all the things they couldn't afford in school — rent a nice apartment, take expensive trips, purchase designer clothes, etc. If you're out on your own for the first time, it's important to create a budget to figure out how much disposable income you'll really have each month after all the bills are paid. If you're paying off student-loan debt, be especially careful when taking on new debt to finance a large purchase or run up your credit card bills.

  • Keep challenging yourself. Every job has some element of repetition, but when you find yourself bored or unchallenged at work, talk to your leaders about taking on additional assignments, getting involved in professional development activities or other ways to expand your involvement with your organization. One of the most effective ways to grow as a professional is to take on projects you haven't done before or those that challenge you.

  • Stay true to your values and motivators. You won't last long in a job or company that conflicts with your morals and values, or a job that doesn't motivate you. Make sure you consider your own personality traits before accepting a new job, and continuously evaluate how your job, company and career fit with your beliefs and motivators.

  • Remember that this job will not be your last. Spending your entire career with one company is now the exception rather than the rule, so don't fall in love with your first job or company. You may suddenly find yourself wanting to move on, or your company may hit hard times and face layoffs. It's important to always be thinking about your next move, even if you enjoy your current position.

  • See more at: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6486-transition-school-to-work.html#sthash.XsO6Ul9y.dpuf

I hope this information can help you. Good luck!

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Rimsha’s Answer

You ask a good question Kyle and it's great that you're wondering about it now and trying to mentally prepare yourself for the future. I will share from my experience because I worked after my degree and then went back to school for my MBA and now am a working professional again.

When you first start work it is going to be extremely exciting because you will be financially independent for the first time. There will be so much to learn and you will be eager to prove yourself. It will also be quite scary because you will realize you are in the real world now. You have expectations you need to meet, deadlines, targets, deliverables. You no longer get to choose your friends but rather need to learn to enjoy working with all of your team members. There are two tips that helped me most:

  1. Don't be afraid to make mistakes or ask questions. You are new, it is your first time. No one expects you to know all the answers already. Ask lots of questions and don't worry about sounding silly :). And accept that you will make mistakes and that is okay. Get help and learn from those mistakes.
  2. Find a mentor. When you're working for the first time, navigating through organizational behaviors and culture can be challenging. Mentors go a long way in coaching you on how you can use your strengths to start building a brand for yourself.

Now about going back to school after you have been working a few years. For me this was more difficult than the first transition. You get used to receiving a paycheck every 2 weeks that pays bills, and now you need to survive on your savings. Also MBA is extremely demanding. Work is typically 8am - 5pm and weekends are completely open to pursue your hobbies. But an MBA tends to consume your life completely. But I would still highly recommend it because it broadens up your horizons, you make lasting friendships and it gives you a great platform to find your dream job.