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What a difference a year makes

I’m officially done with a year of the WPMBA program!  It really has went by pretty fast.  Sarah’s post is really true.  Her last bullet for me was the hardest to get used to when I started.  (Don’t obsess about grades…) When you start the program, you soon learn that you have to maintain a 3.0 average in all of the core classes.  Which is a B.  When I first started a year ago, that really intimidated me.  What if I get below a B?  Or how much work is it to get an A?  As I began to learn, B’s are ok.   There will be classes in which you know you may never use the material again and are just doing what you can to get by; but even in those classes, there are still tips and information that is valuable to learn, or enough to at least sound like you know what you are talking about in conversation.  Most of the classes incorporate current/local events into the topics which helps the “Why do I really need to learn this?” question.  Virtually nobody will know (unless you share) what grades you get and employers (for the most part) will not ask to see your transcripts, just that you have graduated.

To go along with Sarah’s list, I have a couple more bullets to add after a year in the program:

  • Commuting an hour (or more) is doable.   Patience is needed when dealing with traffic on a regular basis.  I don’t know how many times I came to class complaining about the traffic on 315, but it was a lot.  It helps to be open and accommodating when it comes to group projects.
  • Take time to exercise.  The first couple of quarters, most of my free time was spent on studying and that came back to bite me.  Treadmill time and reading articles is a great combo!
  • Beware of the vending machines.  Buying a candy bar and pop before or in between classes every day is not good for the weight or the wallet.
  • Meet as many classmates and get to know them.  Networking is such a great aspect with classmates and it helps later on when you need to form groups or need expertise in a specific area.
Enjoy your summer break!

 


The End of the Quarter System

The end of Spring Quarter will be the end of an era.  The end of quarters and the start on semesters, Ohio State has had quarters ever since the college started back in 1870…back when Ohio State was strictly an agriculture and mechanical college.  Initially, when I found out semesters were coming, I was not very happy.  Going from 10 week classes to 14 did not seem all that exciting.  What if I don’t like a class?  I’m going to have to sit through it even longer.  But, the WPMBA program has made many of classes half term which will be seven weeks.  This will give us more opportunities to take elective classes that fit our interests.

Another change that will happen with the semester switch is only taking one class per night.  I’m really excited about this.  Many times, over the past year, I have neglected reading in one class for doing homework in another.  Or, like this quarter, having two midterms on one night….that made for a long four hours!   So only one class that will last from 6:00 – 9:15 will be a welcomed change.

So as we move to semesters, there will be plenty of uncertainties, confusion, and trying times.  But we should all embrace semesters with some patience because everyone in the university will be new to this system.  Good bye Quarters.  Hello Semesters!


Balancing Act

This past weekend was a great example of the balancing act that is life.  The weekend before finals (for some) corresponding with a holiday weekend.  Three days to study?  Great in theory.  However, that wasn’t the case.  On Saturday, my sister-in-law graduated high school and is now a Buckeye!  The superintendent had five things that not only the graduates, but everyone, should do every day: pay someone a compliment; do a good deed; be yourself and love what you see in the mirror; do something for yourself; and make a memory.   Such good advice.

On Sunday, I was able to fit in some studying and attended a “Dave Boone FUNance study session” which was very helpful!   On Memorial Day, we had a homecoming luncheon at our church and then had my sister-in-law’s grad party.  Busy, busy weekend.

After a year of being in this program, there will be busy weekends like this one and there will be others that aren’t as busy.  My advice is plan ahead.  Plan out your weekend and know when/if you can fit in studying.  Also look ahead and realize that if you have an upcoming busy weekend, try to do homework or readings ahead of time.  Helps lessen the stress of trying to do all the readings and homework at the last minute.

 


Scheduling – Part Two

So last week was a busy week for many of the WPMBA‘s; well, those of us who had the fun experience of two midterms back to back last Tuesday.  I for one was not a fan of two midterms on the same night.  It made for a long weekend of studying.  And then came scheduling.  A post several weeks ago, I was very excited about the opportunity for scheduling for fall semester.  For the past year, we’ve basically been told “The switch is coming, you must take these classes.” Which was simple enough.   But now, with the majority of my core classes out of the way, picking electives was exciting idea to start.  Well, scheduling for electives can be a daunting task.  There are several options.  Some may can pick classes by days of the week, others by interests, workload, group projects, professors and so much more.  I’ve scheduled for autumn semester but I’m not positive about the classes yet; there’s still time.

So here’s my task for anybody in the WPMBA program that happens to read my blog.  What elective classes did you like/dislike?  What would you recommend to those of us choosing electives for the first time?  Those who have taken the classes first hand are great resources!


Classmates – the Fisher WPMBA program’s greatest asset(s)

After being in the WPMBA program for almost a year (which does not seem possible!), I have learned so much.  The core classes are all beneficial and the professors are (for the most part) passionate about their subject matter and helping the students succeed.  But the best part of this program has been all the new classmates I have met.  Every person in the program has a different background and different work experience but all come together two days a week to continue their education.  This network of classmates is amazing.  Need to know what classes to take next term?  Just ask a couple of classmates and get their views on professors, work load, etc.  Need homework help?  Met up with a group of people and work on it together.  Upcoming job interview?  There’s probably someone in the program that works where you are interviewing.  Ask for advice!  The options are really limitless.  They all understand the pressures of working 40+ hours, plus class, plus studying, and maybe having room for a life now and then.  They understand taking vacation days from work to study for an exam.  When I started the WPMBA last June, I was not sure what to expect.  Honestly, I was overwhelmed.  But after meeting several great people starting off, and more each quarter, the classes and workload balancing act still may seem overwhelming at times, but I know I have a network of friends that are available to help or at least understand.

Shout out time:   Two of those classmates that I met on Day 1 who I call friends now are Vince and Dave.  They are great!  I’m going to miss them over the summer when I’m not sitting by them every day in class, since we’ll be taking different electives…as much as Dave has tried over the past six weeks to get me to like Finance.


8 Habits of Highly Productive People

This morning, I came across an article called  “8 Habits of Highly Productive People”.  I thought it was a really interesting article and are some really great tips to get through not only a workday, but that added four hours of class time.  Plus, an added bonus to the article, was a little plug to the Fisher College and a research study!  So, in case you don’t want to read the whole article, here’s a quick summary of the 8 habits.

1. Make it a point to take breaks.  

2. Start your day off on the right foot.

3. Make mindful food choices.

4. Keep a flexible to-do list.  

5. Use technology with intent.  

6. Balance workload.

7. Put perfection in its place.  

8. Know how to say “no”.  

These are all really important to think about.  I know there’s a lot of times during the day I feel that I’ve done a lot but haven’t scratched anything off of my to-do list.  Taking breaks is also important.  Usually sitting something aside and coming back to it later in the day helps my perspective on projects.

Take a look at the article and apply some of these tips to your work or school life.  :)

 


Scheduling Time

It is week four of the quarter and the semester conversion is right around the corner!  I cannot believe it is almost time to register for another set of classes!  When your registration appointment opens, you will be able to register for both Summer Term and Autumn Semester.  I’m excited about registering this time around because of the ability to schedule whatever classes I choose.  Since I began the program last June, we have been on a pretty strict schedule with the conversion looming.  To best align with the switch, we had a specific set of core classes to take each quarter.  After this quarter, I’ll only have two core classes left which will be offered in next Spring Semester.  So that means a wide variety of electives available to fit my schedule, work experience, and interests.

From my experience as an undergrad at OSU, here’s a few pointers when scheduling for electives.  Before your appointment opens, take a look on BuckeyeLink of the different class options that are available.  Some electives only have open seats of 20-30 people so it’s good to have an idea on what classes you want to take and some backup options.  Read the course descriptions and ask fellow classmates if they have any recommendations on classes or professors.  Also, check out some of the graduate opportunities outside of Fisher as well.  You can request to take a free elective outside of the Fisher College if it aligns with the MBA program.

Happy Scheduling!


Benefits in applying for the Fisher WPMBA Program

The deadline to apply for the Autumn Semester for the Working Professionals MBA program is right around the corner!  May 15th is the deadline.  If you are unsure whether you want to participate in this program, here are just a few of the benefits that I have experienced over the past year of the program.

  • The majority of the students in this program have at least three years of work experience and are currently working during the day.  This leads to rich discussion in class with examples of concepts currently happening in the workplace.
  • Professors understand the students are working professionals and are willing to work with students on balance work and school commitments.
  • The core classes cover a wide variety of topics, from marketing to finance to statistics and the material used is (for the most part) current and relevant.
  • You can specialize in an area by taking a specific set of electives, or you have the ability to take a variety of electives that covers all types of topics.
  • The students in this program all want the same goal (get a MBA) and are willing to work well in groups, are all really friendly, and are willing to help each other out whenever possible.  This makes for a great class experience.
  • Along with the last bullet, the students in this program are the best.  There’s endless networking opportunities.  Plus, with so many different backgrounds and a lot of different workplaces, there’s opportunities to network if you needed to get a new/different job.

These are just a few benefits for applying for the WPMBA.  If you are still unsure, I’d recommend taking an evening and sitting in on a class or two and talking to several students who are currently in the program.


Spring Quarter Is Here

Welcome back to another quarter; or your first (and last quarter) of the WPMBA program!  I’m sure many of you agree that Spring Break went by far too fast.  Spring Quarter brings warmer weather which makes sitting in class a little harder.

This quarter, the my classes are two of the core: Finance and Marketing.  So far, both classes seem interesting and engaging.  A positive this quarter is the minimal amount of group work.  After last quarter of having a group project or presentation in all three classes, a break from group work is welcomed.  Now, I’m all for group projects and see the benefits, but it’s such a challenge on the part of scheduling time to meet when you have a group of working professionals.  Like Sarah, I also welcome the Marketing class!!  What I do every day aligns more with Marketing aspects over any other area.

When I came to class on Tuesday, I sat by someone who was unfamiliar to me.  Marissa is starting her first quarter in the Working Professionals program.  As we were talking, I realized what a “veteran” I began to sound like about the program.  It does not seem possible that I’m starting my fourth quarter in the program.  For those of you who think that the (at least) two year program seems a long time, the time really goes by fast.  As a student, you get into a routine of work, class, and study time.  I do not feel as stressed going into the start of another quarter and I feel much more comfortable around my fellow classmates.

Welcome Spring Quarter – one week down, nine to go!!

 


My Spring Break

Wow!  What great weather we are having for Spring Break. As a Working Professional, “Spring Break” for most is a week when you just go to work and then come back home and not head to campus for four hours.  But, I hope you are all taking advantage of this wonderful weather after hours.  So far, I have jogged a bit outside, rode my bike a few miles, read a couple books on my front porch while listening to the birds chirp, did a little shopping (ok, so this doesn’t have anything to do with the weather, but it’s more fun to buy flip flops when it’s nice out), had the windows open most afternoons, and on Saturday, we even had a fire going outside.  We created a new twist to the traditional smore.  Since the only chocolate in the house came from a couple boxes of Girl Scout Cookies, you’ll see our concoction (not the best picture, but you get the point).  And yes, it was delicious and a little less messy than a regular smore.

Hope you are all enjoying Spring Break and I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it is going by very fast!


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