Posts filed under 'Working Professional MBA'



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.

 


I’m going to be a M.O.H.

M.O.H – Maid of Honor.  That’s a title I’m donning for the first time in my life this year, for my best friend Ashley’s wedding (and no, it’s not going to be like the movie).

Ash’s wedding is August 25.  While August 25 may seem like a long way away, my MOH duties began long ago.  Dress shopping for her dress and the bridesmaid dresses, dress fittings, many discussions of wedding details, and the best part – the bachelorette party!  Ashley will be a bachelorette for another 4 months, but we chose to start celebrating early to accommodate her busy schedule as a second-year medical resident.  As a former member of the Ohio State Equestrian team, and lifelong horse lover, she wanted to attend the races at Keeneland in Lexington, KY – similar to the Kentucky Derby, but much more affordable.   Planning your best friend’s bachelorette party is no small task – especially with an already packed schedule like the ones we have as WPMBA students.  So how did I do it, you ask?  By tapping into the planning and organization skills I have acquired both at my job and at school.

The planning started with scheduling.  Finding a weekend that would work for both Ashley and her 12 friends attending the party was not easy – starting early, so that everyone could set aside the weekend, was key.  Then came the big things, like finding a hotel, scheduling transportation to and from the races, and buying tickets.  Once those critical items were crossed off the list, I started delegating.  I asked another girl to be in charge of making restaurant reservations.  I asked everyone to bring food and drinks for the hotel room.  I bought fun stuff for weekend, like blow-up stick horses – which were a really fun way to look like a bachelorette party!  I took a cue from my experience planning trade shows and meetings at work and rather than ask everyone for input on certain things, I made the call and communicated what each girl needed to do – without being “bossy”.

In the end, the girls told me how appreciative they were of my planning – they knew where to be when, what to bring, and what to wear – all the things that are key to a successful bachelorette party.  And a success it was!  Despite the lousy weather, we all had a fantastic time – especially the bride.  MOH success #1!  Now for the wedding shower (which, luckily, her mom is planning most of) – and writing that speech!

Horse Races!

At the Horse Races!


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!


Electives…Friend or Foe?

With almost four quarters in the WPMBA program under my belt, the time has come to make the big leap from core classes to electives.  I am not entirely completely with the core courses, but due to the quarter-to-semester conversion, I won’t be taking my last quarter of electives until Spring of 2013. Which means it’s time to start taking electives.  Now, many of my classmates have been looking forward since day one to getting the core classes “over with” so they could begin taking electives.  I, on the other hand, am terrified of electives.

Why terrified, you ask?  For one, the choices themselves are overwhelming.  Fisher boasts a wide selection of course offerings, which is a good thing, I know – but makes deciding which ones to take a bit stressful.  What if you pick the wrong ones?  How do you know if the professor will be good, or if the class will be too challenging or not challenging enough?  I will do my best to talk to my older, wiser classmates who can provide advice on what to take and what not to take, but without a central depository for that type of information, it’s almost impossible to have the “in” on every class.

Perhaps even more disconcerting to me is the loss of “core comfort”.  For the past year, I have been told exactly what classes to take and when to take them.  I have gotten to know my classmates well.  Now, we are all going to be spilt up based on our interests and schedules – and that makes me sad.  I really like being in class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, seeing the same people.  Now, we will be spread out – I will probably have class on Monday and Tuesday, while some of my friends will have class on Wednesday and Thursday.  And what about seeing everyone at the bar on Thursday nights?!  “Growing up” is making me sad.

I need to remind myself that I am not in this program just to socialize (although that’s what makes it bearable) – that I am actually paying a lot of money to learn – and learn what I want to learn.  I also need to remind myself that new classes are an opportunity to meet new people, which means an opportunity for new, refreshing class discussions.  Change can be good!  At least I’ll keep telling myself that…

How Electives Make Me Feel


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.


Fisher “Prom”!!!

I will use this post as my first unofficial action as the WPMBA Internal Public Relations representative (I am running uncontested, so I think I’m OK to say that :-) ).  This post is a shameless plea to get you, WPMBA student, to attend the Fisher Formal on Friday, May 18!  Reasons to attend:

  • It’s not just for the full-time students, although it may feel that way.  Let’s show the full-timers that the WP’s know how to party, too!  They shouldn’t get to have all the fun.
  • It’s downtown, in the Smith Brother’s building – I’ve never been, but I hear cool things
  • $40 all you can eat and drink.  Nuf said.
  • It’s a reason to dress up a bit and wear that new, cool tie or fun dress
  • It’s a great opportunity to have a fun night out with your school friends without having to drive home and go to work in the morning!
  • It’s my BIRTHDAY!

Hope to see you on May 18th!

Better Than Your High School Prom!


Expectations

This post is dedicated to a topic that many of us struggle with in our everyday lives – that of expectations.  This topic may be a bit personal for the My Fisher Grad Life blog, but it’s one that recently reared its ugly and ever-present head, and I’m guessing it’s one that many of you have struggled with as well.

I was recently promoted at my job after being in the same role for quite some time.  I didn’t actually physically move – I am still working with the same people in the same group.  The promotion was more of an acknowledgement on the part of my employer that I am a valued contributor to the organization, and thus, at some point must be recognized as such.  It came with a welcome title change, more responsibility, and perhaps some more respect from my peers.  And, of course, I also expected it to come with a nice financial boost.  This is where the expectations come in.

I had a certain percentage in mind for what I thought was a typical, standard promotion.  Not having gotten a true “promotion” at my company before, I expected the number to lie close to that percentage.  And so, when the number was lower, and even though it came with a good explanation and positive reinforcement, I was upset.  I expected something different from what was reality.  After stewing over it over the course of the weekend, and discussing it with a peer and mentor, I realized that, in fact, I really didn’t get “the short end of the stick” as I felt I had.  Rather, my expectations didn’t match up with the reality of the situation.  Another conversation with my manager showed me that, much to the contrary, the raise I was being given was actually quite fitting.  In giving me that raise, he felt that he was doing right by me, and paving the road for my continued growth at the company.

I am not suggesting that one should never have expectations.  Having no expectations is a difficult state of being, and in fact, can lead to a state of mediocrity.  Setting expectations for yourself and others means that you care, and expect a certain level of performance, which is far from being a bad thing.  So the goal is not to not have any expectations, but rather, to learn how to manage them.  This philosophy is extremely relevant in the WPMBA program.  With busy lives, we have to learn how to manage our expectations for ourselves and our peers.  Setting realistic and manageable expectations ensures that we will rise to our potential without being disappointed in the process.  It’s easier said than done, but I will continue to work on it every day!


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!


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