Preparing For Final Exams

Today is the start of what will be a long week here at Northwestern.  As I’ve been mentioning in recent entries, this is one of the busiest times for first year students.  The holiday season is kicking off and people just got back from Thanksgiving Break. Recruiting season is also starting to pick up, which has first year Kellogg students at events this week and next. And last but not least, classes are wrapping up, and students are finally gearing up for their first set of final exams.

At long last, it’s that time of year again at Northwestern. People just got back in town from the holiday weekend and are gearing up for finals period. And if looking at the calendar isn’t good enough for you, then you can also just take a quick look at Facebook. See what many of your JD and MBA friends are talking about.  I have over the past few days, and the number of messages is definitely up as more people are procrastinating now than they have all quarter. And many of them are talking a lot about their last classes and first finals.

But this time of year is no surprise to my law school classmates. In fact, it’s what they’ve been waiting for ever since August when classes first started.  So they’ll spend the next two weeks catching up on reading cases. Making outlines. Talking through the issues with classmates. And taking practice final exams. All in anticipation of that breakthrough moment that will change everything. That giant piece of information that opens up the entire class for us. That gust of insight that gives us exactly what we need to ace the final exams.  Though unfortunately, it almost never happens that way.

On the other hand, in business school, the process all happens more gradually, as MBAs have to learn a lot more on the way to finals period. First years have more assignments to complete and more team discussions to have.  They also have to think about recruiting activities now, even during the final two weeks of the first quarter. So not only do they have to learn but their time is also more limited. So they spend less time learning and more time on other things during the final two weeks.

But no matter which school you belong to, you’ll definitely be busy. Studying and learning, one concept at a time.  And as you study, you hope to hit a tipping point where you start learning more information more rapidly. And then you’ll eventually finish your first final exam. Then another. Then another. And at some point, you’ll be finished.

As a prize, law students go take two weeks to relax and rest up before another grueling semester of 1L. MBAs on the other hand will be heading to Telluride, CO for Ski trip (CLICK HERE for last year’s article on ski trip) to celebrate finally finishing up.

Either way, most people at Kellogg and the law school have a lot of studying to do. And eventually a lot of celebrating to do.  Stay tuned to hear how things play out.

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 Business School

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Jeremy C Wilson is a JD-MBA alumni using his site to share information on education, the social enterprise revolution, entrepreneurship, and doing things differently. Feel free to send along questions or comments as you read.

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The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect the views or position of Kellogg, Northwestern Law, the JD-MBA program, or any firm that I work for. I only offer my own perspective on all issues.
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