Published: April 12, 2011

Apr. 12, 2011

I never used to drink coffee before I began the full time MBA program. I’d have an occasional cup here and there but now my day begins with coffee. Usually the alarm goes off at 6am. I brew up a cup of the good stuff and I am out the door for the morning walk to campus.

My hobbies includes triathlons so a typical morning involves heading up to campus for an early morning swim, run, or both. Luckily, in Boulder, there is no shortage of people willing to get up early and take a swim or run with you. The enthusiasm has been high enough that we’ve been able to put together a pseudo-MBA swim club. We have some international students on the squad and as a result have coined ourselves Las Mantarrayas or “The Stingrays”. We meet a few times a week to swim and catch up. It’s been a great opportunity to get to know people outside the confines of Koelbel. After a swim, it’s time to hit the books and get ready for class.

To get the most out of classes, it pays to be prepared. This normally includes reading a chapter or two of text, completing homework, reviewing slides posted on BlackBoard (the main means of communication to the MBA students) and having your questions ready. It’s a two-way street with the professors at Leeds. They expect a lot from the students, and likewise, you can expect a lot from them.

One of my favorite parts of the program has been taking advantage of the faculty office hours. The professors make themselves available for students to come in and discuss class, deliverables, and anything else on their mind. One-on-one time with someone who is passionate about the subject they teach is certainly worth its weight in gold.

After classes there is some time for lunch and catching up and, depending on your day, a networking event, meetings, or more class. After that it’s off to the library to get ready for the next day. Personally, I like to study in the library. It allows me to work away from distraction, and usually there are some other MBA’ers in the library as well in case you run into problems or want to discuss something. I have my dinner packed and during busy weeks will call it quits between 9 and 10pm. The days sound long but believe me they fly and when you are surrounded by individuals as motivated as the MBA crew, it’s a ton of fun.

I chuckle to myself as I try to describe a typical day, there really is no such thing, nor is there a typical MBA student. You don’t have to get up at 6am in the morning or be on campus until 10pm to be successful. You have to find what works for you. I decided early on that the time here was going to pass quickly and that I wanted to get everything out of this place that I could. The only thing I can guarantee is that each day is a new opportunity to learn something new and challenge yourself beyond what you thought you could achieve.

More to come!
—Chris Van Hoven (Class of ’12)