Making the decision to start your journey toward a graduate degree in either Integrated Marketing Communications or Data Marketing Communications can be challenging — especially when you are working a full-time job, juggling your personal responsibilities, and trying to maintain a social life. However, committing to graduate school does not mean giving up on the other parts of your life. It does mean, though, that you need to acknowledge the challenges that are about to come your way and come up with a game plan to overcome them.
We talked with a few IMC and Data students and got their perspective on how they went about managing their time.
Acknowledging the biggest IMC/Data challenge:
Almost every single IMC/Data student and alum had the same answer when asked: "What was the biggest obstacle you faced as a working marketing professional enrolled in an online marketing communications graduate program?"
The answer was simple — time management.
We've quoted a few students below to back up this claim:
- “The biggest obstacle is being able to
manage your time well."
is going to be your biggest challenge, from engaging with discussion
posts to projects and their due dates.”
- “In addition to the program, you have your personal life. Just being able to balance that and make sure that everything is getting in on time is a challenge.”
Overcoming the challenge of time management:
So, now that you've heard from students, let's talk about what IMC/Data students had to say about how they individually navigated the challenge of time management.
- “It was difficult to balance school, work, and family — and just life in general.
So, I think it was important for me to
focus on the end result and my end goal. It was worth it at the
- “For me, I have a full-time job. Just
managing your workload and learning prioritization are
going to be critical. Prioritizing is going to be key when you take
your first class; it’s going to be the first thing that you have to learn.”
- “I’ve always been kind of a last-minute person. Because I was a straight-A student,
I was always able to crunch it out and still be able to pull out an A. With the
IMC program, you really have to
stay focused and organized. I really think I not only grew as a student
but as a person.”
- “What I loved about the program is that every class has a very similar schedule,
the deliverables are due on the same days of the week so that you’re not having
to revamp your schedule constantly.
You know when you have to do work, you know when you need to be proactive, you
know when you need to get something done. For me, that meant
that I couldn’t procrastinate. I spent a lot of time on weekends working, but
it didn’t interfere with my job during the week.”
- “Make sure that you
take adequate time for yourself and for your projects because it’s not just a
one-and-done type thing. It’s not one of those things that you can
wait until the last minute.”
- “So, I had to designate time for everything so that nothing fell through. I mean, of course, you want to study because you want to pass, but you want to still be able to enjoy time with your friends, family, and things of that nature. So, I tried to intentionally set aside time to study, set aside time for my friends and of course, and set aside time for work.”
Looking for more student and alumni insight? You can hear from a variety of IMC and Data students by exploring our Student & Alumni Stories .