5 Tips to a Successful Start in College

Posted by on October 8, 2012

Welcome to Fall Quarter!
5 Tips to Start College Successfully
from Minnesota School of Business-St. Cloud Campus Director, Jim Beck

Minnesota School of Business-St. Cloud Campus Director Jim Beck

Minnesota School of Business-St. Cloud Campus Director Jim Beck

Although we have classes year-round at Minnesota School of Business-St. Cloud, fall quarter traditionally brings us the highest number of students.  I would like to be the first to welcome you all to campus!

Whether you are a new or returning student, I think you will benefit from my 5 Tips for a Successful Quarter.

1.      Attend Class.

I know, this sounds like a no-brainer, but it is sometimes easy to fall into a pattern of thinking that missing a day or two here and there throughout the quarter doesn’t matter. In actuality, attendance is a huge predictor of your success as a student and as a professional. It also pays to attend! That’s right: perfect attendance in your classes can earn you up to 20% off your textbooks for the next quarter.

2.      Get Involved.

Join a student association in your field of interest for real-world experience and networking opportunities. Attend workshops on campus that focus on your professional development. Participate in student appreciation and other events to connect with community members and other students. Volunteer to become an active part of the surrounding community and build skills toward your future career.

3.      Ask for Help.

As a recent graduate put it, “I haven’t met one person [at MSB] who wouldn’t help me.” Know that your instructors, the Resource Center staff, Student Services Coordinator and Administration are all here to help you succeed. Your part is simply to ask for what you need, and we will do all we can to provide you with resources. Know, too, that I have an open door policy to my office. Just stop by the front desk and ask to see me.

4.      Learn to Manage and Balance Your Time.

A key to success for adult learners is to learn early how to effectively manage and balance time. The demands of class, homework, family and employment can quickly become overwhelming. Create the habit from the start of keeping an up-to-date calendar with you—on your smartphone, tablet or personal planner—with time blocked off. Include study times and personal time along with your class and work schedules. Respect your time and use it wisely.

5.      Communicate.

Learn to communicate early and often with all the “players” in your education: your instructors, the Education department, Financial Aid and Career Services. Too often students find themselves stressed and behind at important times of the quarter like midterm or finals. They miss deadlines and ask themselves how they suddenly seem so boxed in and without options for success. As campus director, I can tell you from experience that most of these problems can be avoided by just talking to the people involved immediately. Are you unclear on your instructor’s expectations? Email him or her or stay after class. Not sure when your FAFSA is due? Stop at the front desk and ask for a member of Financial Aid so that you keep on track. Eliminate the guess work about your education by communicating with us all along the way.

Follow these five tips and I can almost guarantee you will have a successful and rewarding quarter. Enjoy!


Thank you for your Interest in Minnesota School of Business.