Campus News, HomePost, On Campus, Print Edition

Finish Strong: It’s Not Over ‘til it’s Over!

By Suzy Conway, Senior Associate Director, MBA Student & Academic Services

Suzy Conway

“So much to do, so little time” . . . “There just aren’t enough hours in the day” . . . “How am I going to fit anything more into my schedule?”

Have you recently had these thoughts? Do you find yourself constantly making decisions between activities, review sessions, recruiting opportunities, social events, activities of daily living?  As your efforts become increasingly focused on making decisions, wrapping up classes, preparing for finals and completing final presentations and papers, the following are a few suggestions to keep in mind to manage your stress levels and ensure a successful conclusion to the term

Whether you are an RC or an EC, everyone understands the importance of participation.  If you have not been getting into the class discussions to the extent that you would like or need to, consider the following: how many times has it been the case that you have thought about making a comment and hesitated, only to hear your very thought expressed by a section mate or classmate? Be confident! Push yourself out of your comfort zone, value what you have to say, and share it with your peers. You will add to the critical thinking of the discussion, as well as strengthen your class participation. It’s also not too late to ask a trusted peer to serve as a participation buddy who can provide honest, thoughtful feedback on your comments as another tool to enhance your confidence and inform the class discussion.

Feeling like you are not where you would like to be in a certain class?  In addition to reaching out to section mates and EC’s we encourage you to contact Student and Academic Services, as five hours of cost-free tutoring is available in all RC classes.  Stressed about your exams?  SAS also offers writing coaches who are able to facilitate students’ understanding of how to prepare and write for case-based exams.

In addition to specific academic resources, SAS staff can also assist students in developing an academic plan for completing this term, as well as address a variety of personal concerns which may be impacting your semester.

Echoing the many valuable insights shared during Live Well week, it is also vitally important to practice essential self-care habits as the semester winds down. Consider balancing multiple social opportunities with staying on task with cases, presentations, and final papers. While there is no benefit to trying to cram for HBS exams, research highlights the importance of sleep in maintaining decision-making skills, memory function, and other cognitive processing functions. So calibrate how much sleep you need to function well, and make this a priority.  Similarly, allow yourself adequate time to enjoy healthy meals and exercise, even if you literally have to build these into your amazingly overextended schedule – the benefits will be well worth the time spent to maintain your physical and emotional health.

Finally, make time for the valuable relationships that you have established in your time at HBS; to the extent you choose to do so, validate the incredible opportunities, friendships, and resources that you have experienced while pursuing your MBA.  Finish strong!

MBA Student & Academic Services has invited Bill Ellet back this spring to hold an Exam-Writing Workshop on Monday, April 25th 3:15-4:15pm in Aldrich 210. This 1 hour workshop is open to all MBA students. Email for more information.

Suzy Conway is the Senior Associate Director for MBA Student & Academic Services at Harvard Business School.

Get 15% off tickets with code ‘HARBUSLATAM’ to HBS’ Latin American Conference  taking place this Saturday, April 9! 

updated latam




April 6, 2016