$291.81 + tax – The cost of getting a bit smarter…

Classes start in a few days…

This upcoming Thursday (9/24) will be the beginning of my two-year journey towards  an MBA degree while working fulll-time in the American corporate world.

While I spent my first weekend catching up on pre-class assignments and readings, I couldn’t help but add up the initial investment towards this graduate-level education.  So far I have no complaints on this investment, but for those of you who still haven’t purchased the textbooks, here is a sneak peek on what to expect if you are purchasing new editions:WPMBABooks

MBA 812:
1) “The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else” – $13.56
2) MBA 12 Custom Book – $91.45
3) MBA 812 Uniprint Course Packet – $51.42

MBA 870:
1) “Super Crunchers” – $14.00
2) “Data Analysis and Decision Making with Microsoft Excel” – $121.38

Yes…the total just for the face value of these textbooks is nothing less than $291.81!
However, as one of the professors offered during the orientation session, it may be wise to see if you can borrow or buy a last year edition from a second-year WPMBA student, the text will be identical.

Author disclaimer: prices were quoted from Barnes and Noble online and may vary depending on the bookstore.

And So It Begins…

A day in the life of Shawn and the BFL program.

Hello Everyone!

My first blog is going to be a little overview of myself and what I do on a daily basis, but I plan on making this interesting, so please read on!

I work for a company in Columbus called Abbott Nutrition. You may know them from the great product they manufacture, such as Similac®, Ensure®, ZonePerfect®, or EAS®.  I work specifically with the EAS products and the Body-for-LIFE® program.

I basically work as an over-the-phone personal trainer, assisting callers with the Body-for-LIFE program and all of the specifics it entails. I will provide a broad overview of the program- and if you have any questions, feel free to ask!

So the BFL program is an integrated system of high intensity interval training, nutrition, supplementation and goal setting. Here are some details about the weight training and cardiovascular aspects of the program:

  • Weight train, intensely, for no more than 46 minutes, three times per week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Perform 20 minutes of aerobic exercise, first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, three times per week: Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Take Sunday off- it’s your free day!
  • Alternate training the major muscles of the upper and lower body. For example, the first week, train upper body on Monday, lower body on Wednesday, and upper body on Friday. The second week train lower body on Monday, upper body on Wednesday and the lower body on Friday.
  • Perform two exercises for each major muscle group of the upper body, which includes: chest, shoulders, back triceps, and biceps; and for the lower body: quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. Train the abdominal muscles after lower body.
  • Select one exercise for each muscle group and conduct five sets, starting with a set of 12 reps, then increasing the weight and doing 10 reps, adding more weight and doing eight reps, adding more weight and doing six reps. Then reduce the weight, do 12 more reps, and immediately go to another set of 12 reps of another exercise for that muscle group.
  • On all lifts, use a cadence of two seconds (say “I am building my Body-for-Life”) to lower the weight and on second (say “Body-for-Life”) to lift it, and “hold” in the top and bottom positions for a count of “one.”
  • For each muscle group, rest for one minute between the first four sets. Then complete the final two sets with no rest in between. Wait two minutes before moving on to your next muscle group. Complete this pattern five times for the upper body training experience and four times for the lower body training experience.
  • Follow the Intensity Index pattern and push yourself to reach higher every week.
  • Always plan your training beforehand. Plan what time you’re going to exercise, which particular exercises you’ll be doing, how much weight you’ll be lifting, and how long it will take you to complete the session.

The cardiovascular workout:

  1. Warm up the first 2 minutes at Intensity Level 5
  2. Minutes 2-3 move from Intensity Level 5 to 6
  3. Minutes 4-5, 6-10 and 11-14 work your way from Intensity Level 6 to Level 9, maintain for one minute.
  4. Minutes 15-19 work your way from Intensity Level 6 to Level 10 (High Point at Level 10), maintain for one minute.
  5. Minute 20 cool down to Intensity Level 5 for one minute.

Here are some tips on healthy eating:

  • Eat six small meals a day, one every two to three hours.
  • Eat a portion of protein and carbohydrates with each meal.
  • Add a portion of vegetables to at least two meals daily.
  • A portion is the amount of an authorized food approximately the size of the palm of your hand or your clenched fist.
  • Consume one tablespoon of unsaturated oil daily (healthy fat) or three portions of salmon per week.
  • Drink at least 10 cups of water a day.
  • Use performance-nutrition shakes if necessary to make sure you’re consuming optimal levels of required nutrients.
  • Plan your meals in advance, and record what you eat.
  • Plan your grocery list.

Once a week, on your free day, eat WHATEVER you want!

Hopefully, if you read through the entire blog, you learned something new! My goal is to post something “healthy” at least once a week. Since I am in the Working Professionals MBA program, I have class from 6PM-10PM and it is virtually impossible to stay focused after 8 hours of work. The key is to provide your body with nutritious snacks to keep your mind sharp.

Hope you enjoyed the overview of what I do everyday, and I look forward to you coming back for more!

Montana…and class is only 3 days away…

Now that school is only a few days away, I figured I’d write my first post. Yesterday I flew back from Montana where I was visiting my brother. Having never been to that part of the country before, I didn’t know what to expect, but I had a great time. I flew into Kalispell which is only a short drive from where my brother lives in Whitefish.

The best part of the weekend was our trip to Glacier National Park on Friday where we hiked the Siyeh Pass Trail. As you can see from the link, the highest elevation is 8,080 feet (more than 1.5 miles high) and I can attest that you get tired quickly when you are hiking in air that thin. Luckily, we avoided the bears, but were able to spot some bighorn sheep, mountain goats and mule deer. All told, it took a little less than 5 hours to hike the trail with many stops along the way to rest, drink and take pictures. I was exhausted at the end, but it was definitely worth it and I strongly recommend checking out the park.

How does any of this relate to school? With all of my travel time to and from Montana, I was able to read all of “The Mystery of Capital” and most of “Super Crunchers” while I was sitting in airports and on the plane. They were good reads and should make for some interesting discussions in class. Only 3 more days until class starts and I still have a little bit of reading to do for class on Thursday…

Here are a few pictures I took along the Siyeh Pass Trail.

I hate textbooks!!!

Hi everyone and welcome to my blog!

I was hoping I could hold off on complaints until at least day one of class, but come on, textbooks, come on.

Do you really have to cost $60 plus? And by $60 plus I really mean at least $90? Does there have to be at least two of you and then a Uniprint course packet on top of you? Not to mention the bottom-of-the-line cheap-kid WC parking pass that I bought for $80 and is only good for parking after happy hour?

I once had a class called Managerial Accounting where the textbook was optional and also available at the library. True story!

Professors, publishers, library book buyers…how do we get more of these books in the library? I’m not trying to kid anyone – I may be a “Working Professional,” but truth is, mama left her full-time job last spring and a girl needs a break!

I’ve been working in publishing for the last five years so I’m on to you “new editions.” Don’t play. Most students will most likely pay full retail price but all I’m asking is for one library copy for those less fortunate. (Me).

What does everybody think? Have textbook prices been making you max out your Discover and cry since dorm days? Do you know of any good websites to get cheap ones?

While you’re thinking, take a look at a picture of my cat on top of my Financial Accounting textbook from this summer. This one was worth it…it doubles as a learning tool and sleep aid for humans AND felines!

HPIM2428

A little background about a mid-level career engineer

As a new blogger, to this or any other site, I think it’s appropriate to give a little background on myself.  Hopefully some of you will be able to consider my perspective when evaluating my comments.   Or, perhaps I am thinking to much into this.  Regardless, here we go …

I am a mid-thirties engineering professional with both a bachelors and masters degree in electrical engineering.  I have worked in industry for nearly 15 years with a progressive career track.  I have worked for a large government contractor, a telecomm spin-off, a biomedical start-up, an independent contractor, a instrumentation product developer and even my own electronics distributor proprietorship.  I had the opportunity to see businesses launched with the promise of exciting break-through products and I’ve seen millions of dollars lost when a company can’t deliver what is promised.     My experience comes not just from the engineering side, it’s from the real business world.  I hope I can deliver these varied experiences and perspective to the blog.

As one of the older student bloggers on this site, my blog will primarily be geared toward the mid-level career-focused professional, trying to juggle the responsibilities of home, work, school and life.  I am writing not to give advice, but just to share my thoughts on the matter.

…  Perhaps you all will give me advice.

Best,

Richard

Experiencing O-H-I-O: Corn Maze + Picking Apples

ApplesThis past weekend was my last free weekend before classes start and to mark the day I decided to enjoy a bit of O-H-I-O by visiting a corn maze and by picking apples at Lynd Fruit Farm in Pataskala, OH.  My husband and our little brother and little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters also joined me in this countryside adventure.

From what I understand, Lynd Fruit Farm is well known for its fresh and locally grown produce and also for being a great place for picking your own apples from several different varieties of the fruit.  This time of the year,  families can also enjoy going through their 4.5-mile corn maze which takes an average human being 30 minutes to get through – that is if you manage to find the exit without getting lost like we did.  This year’s theme is “Persian Nights” and the organizers created lots of little tasks to be completed (if you wish) while going through the maze.

Below is some contact info on Lynd Fruit Farm if you’d like to check it out – I’d highly recommend it especially if you have children or teenagers around.  For young adults, check out the maze at night (they are open until 10PM) and you can try to conquer the maze with flashlights – very spooky!!

Lynd Fruit Farm – http://www.lyndfruitfarm.com/
Address: 9090 Morse Road SW, Pataskala, Ohio 43062
Phone:  740-927-1333

CornMaze

Enjoy the last few class-free days!

O-H-I-O – My first OSU experience…

Thanks to a couple good friends (thanks Mel and Sue!) who provided me with tickets to the OSU vs. Navy game I was able to attend my first OSU sports game AND my first football match ever.  While I enjoyed every minute of it (alumni band, Ohio script, OSU band, etc…), I must confess that I could hardly understand the rules of the game.

OSU_GAMEBack in my home country (Brazil) we watch soccer and, let me tell you, the rules for soccer are so much easier. Watching the Bucks was almost like trying to understand Calculus for the first time and I failed miserably!!  Hopefully I will be able to get the game down by next year when I am able to get student tickets – something new I learned way too late this year…

In the meantime – GO BUCKS!!!