MBA School Supply Update!

Hi everyone! I thought I’d update you on the school supplies I actually used (and did not use) in my first semester of my MBA studies.
If you recall, I did a video that I included in my Back to School Haul post a few months ago. If you haven’t watched it yet feel free to do so!

Of course, this will vary widely based on the program any student is doing. But I know when I started grad school I couldn’t find any school supply lists/guidelines for people not in grade school or moving into the dorms. I knew I wouldn’t need much but a simple list would have helped since it’s always such an exciting time when the back to school stuff appears! Either way, I managed to get a few things so here’s what I actually ended up using. This is in order of the video (because I can’t remember what I included anymore!).


  • My laptop sleeve: I used this every time I took my computer to campus, which I didn’t often actually. I mostly did for the times my group met up to work on our presentations as we had computers in the classroom already. During this j-term class it was nearly useless as the add-in we had for Excel didn’t work on Macs. Luckily that portion of class is over and now it works great because the other one is available already in Excel, including on Macs!
  • My blue bag: I did use this bag for most of the semester but since I didn’t need my laptop too often I changed it a few times. Plus the straps aren’t the strongest so I was worried it would break if I kept using it so I did go out and buy a bag specifically for when I need to take my laptop with me. Right now I’m using the quilted dark blue tote bag that is pictured. It fits my laptop, notebook, and nearly everything else!
  • The cute bag scarf: I did use it for a bit but it kept coming undone and I was worried I’d lose it so I did take it off.
  • Hair brush: yup, because I didn’t want to look like a hot mess. I didn’t use it as often as I thought I would though. (Not pictured because it’s at work since during the fall and spring semesters I go straight to school from work.)
  • Writing utensils (pens/pencils/highlighters): I didn’t use any of them except the gel pens that my mom actually bought me. They were much better quality than the ones I got myself!
  • Index cards: I used a good amount of one pack because of my presentations. I practiced with note cards and for my first presentation I had them with me. However I didn’t end up using them during the presentation and didn’t have any with me for my last three presentations.
  • Notebooks: I have only used a few pages of one. I took notes on the computer for my accounting class and printed the slides out for my management class. I did use the black notebook (to match the next item I’ll talk about) this past weekend for notes on how to use the aforementioned add-in. So far I’ve only used a few pages so I could have just used an old one but oh well. I imagine the others will eventually be used though.
  • Folders: I did use the blue one during the fall semester and it was very helpful to have all my class handouts in one place. I am using the black one in J-term as it’s smaller, perfect for one subject and I’m only taking one class. The blue one will be reused for the spring term and I’ll likely use the black one again in the summer for the next time I only have one class. I purposefully picked out sturdy folders so I could reuse them and not have to worry about them falling apart.
  • Planner: I didn’t use it as much as I had thought because I ended up keeping my blogging schedule separate but I am trying again to use it. I honestly keep my personal schedule on my phone, my blogging schedule on printed monthly calendars, and school stuff is on the syllabus but I want to try to keep it all in a written planner again. So far what’s working for me is that I keep it open on my desk to the current week so I can jot down stuff as I remember and when I move to the next week I add everything I may have missed. It’s not color coded as originally intended but I don’t mind!
  • Bonus! USBs: I didn’t buy these but I did end up getting some and using them for class. My former boss at work had a bunch of USBs and gave me a pack. Then when I needed another in an emergency I got even more. So I have like 10 and have used two. One I used in my fall classes although not by much as I ended up using Google Drive. Another I’m using now for my stats class for all the Excel files and it’s so crazy helpful!


What did I not use? I actually bought so little that I used nearly everything. So much of the work is on a laptop now (except my stats professor keeps asking us to print stuff, so weird).

  • Any of the EC gear I was given. I never wore that tshirt, still have no idea what to do with that random charm, and I haven’t used my water cup yet. I did also get an MBA specific water bottle but I haven’t used that yet either. Ah well.
  • Pens: Like I said, I used the gel pens my mom gave me, not the ones I bought. They were $1 from the Dollar Store anyway and I’ll probably donate them next year for our annual school supply drive at work.
  • Pencils: Nope but I will keep these in case I need them later. Plus I already opened the pack they came in so I can’t donate them now.
  • Grid paper notebook: I bought this for stats because I needed it last time I took a stats class but we don’t need it. Everything is on Excel. If I don’t use it in my finance class I might donate it. That’s the only other math related course I can think of. I might specialize in finance so if I do use it then I’ll need more for next year!

I think that’s everything from my haul! As you can see, I didn’t buy much to begin with and used even less. I’m glad I had everything though as I didn’t want to worry about trying to find stuff midway through the semester. Since I haven’t used so much I don’t have to worry about shopping again in the summer – except for a new planner as mine is a school year calendar. I’m sure I’ll use nearly everything during the course of my two years though.

So that’s my MBA school supply update! What’s the one thing you wouldn’t start school without? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!


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  1. It may be different for different subjects but I couldn’t go to lectures without coloured pens/highlighters. There was always a need for me to make something more clear in lecture notes with a different coloured pen/highlighter!

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