Sunday, January 07, 2007

The MBA Experience Begins...

Yesterday was orientation day for the Willamette University Professional MBA program. A few brief thoughts:

  • When orientation starts at 7am, one should most likely not start out with the tech guy. Although most of us could space out during his spiel (given it included describing what a URL was) it was still a rough way to start the day. At the very least it made me wish that I drank coffee since drinking a Mt. Dew at that time of day has been deemed socially inappropriate.
  • Strangely enough, there was never a formal introduction of everyone. Although people got to know each other during the day it seemed unusual to not at least have a basic intro at the beginning of the day.
  • Our cohort, although small at 15 people, has quite a diverse set of backgrounds. Ages seem to range from 25 to 40ish and employers from big companies (Nike, Intel) to smaller companies to non-profits to none at all (me!). This should make for a wide variety of experiences to draw from during class discussion.
  • Our personality test facilitator had Lasik eye surgery a few weeks ago and evidently they over corrected her sight. As a result, she's gone from one pair of glasses to three. Plus as an added bonus she could barely read our nameplates so occasionally names were a little slow in coming.
  • Most of our day was spent dealing with learning more about our different personalities and how they all integrate into our group dynamics. I had been dreading this as I'm not usually keen on these sorts of exercises. However, it went by okay enough and the various breakout groups they did allowed us to learn about our fellow classmates and ourselves. In the end, much better than expected.
  • Our Finance professor gained points from the class by answering the question of what was his biggest mistake teaching to date: "telling a Lewinsky/Clinton joke as an Indian guy in Australia to a Chinese audience. I've never seen more blank stares in my life"
  • Our Marketing Strategies professor, on the other hand, casually dropped in our homework assignment during her spiel. I'm predicting the velvet hammer treatment from here even if she does look like my sister in law Lori in 30 years.
  • In both good and bad news, it was made very clear to us that there would be no "Gentleman's B's" Both professors are expecting us to put in a lot of work which is good as I'm there to learn. That being said, I'm quickly watching my free time dry up even before I have a job!
  • I truly think the concept of being in school hit me once I received my books. It suddenly made me realize I need things like hi liters and note cards, etc. Ugh.
  • Finally, I'm one of three people in our class to have spent the last year or so traveling. The other two are a) writing a book and b) already employed. Guess my trip wasn't so special after all :-)
I'd love to write more, but I have two chapters and a few cases to read for next week. More from the halls of academia soon!


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