As I look back at my first year in the Carlson MBA program, I am amazed by the amount of growth I experienced both personally and professionally. So much has happened in such a short period of time. It seems like just yesterday I was looking around at over 100 strangers from all different backgrounds and geographies, none of us knowing what to expect of each other and all uncertain of what the next year would bring.
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Whenever I give a tour of Carlson to a prospective student, I like to start with a "fun fact"; my favorite fun fact is a rumor I heard on my own tour last year: Carlson, a very uniquely-shaped building, was designed to look a bit like a boat, because Mr. Carlson himself was a big fan of sea-faring activities (which makes his residency in the land-locked Minnesota a bit of a conundrum), nonetheless, the building was built in the late nineties with the tip of its bow pointed to the heart of downtown.
If you've been admitted to Carlson's Class of 2015, then congratulations to you! As you prepare to leave your workplaces in the next few months, here are a few pieces of advice from my own experience.
Now that I'm 3/4 done with my program, it's getting harder to pick classes. I've gotten so much out of every class that I've taken, that I want to take them all. Some of my choices are:
Management of Groups
Management of Innovation and Change
Preparing and Implementing the Business Plan
International Environment of Business
When I started high school I remember learning that I wouldn't be able to do both theatre and soccer after school, and that I would have to choose. I was devastated. I loved them both and I couldn't imagine missing out on either activity or either group of friends. I am the kind of person who loves to do it all and, given proper notification, can find time for nearly anything. Tell me I can't and surely, I will. But these lessons in prioritizing and choosing are inevitable, and the first year of the MBA program has proven to be no different.
It's hard to believe after wrapping up Marketing Management and Data Analysis & Statistics for Managers this week, I'm officially one-year into my MBA journey! There's no doubt it takes an adjustment to your work and personal lifestyle, but it has become very manageable and is now just part of my everyday routine. Despite having my Statistics final exam Saturday morning (and putting forth a very solid effort), I ventured across the way to the Carlson Career Summit, an all-day career conference designed specifically for part-time MBA students.
As the second half of the spring quarter kicks off it's unbelievable to understand just how much we have accomplished thus far. In classes, we are wrapping up our core and beginning to apply our knowledge in our enterprises. As social organizations and clubs we have been inducted into leadership roles and are planning events for next year. In our long term careers, we have secured internships and begun defining our long term professional paths. As a community we have identified ourselves as the class of 2014, a positive, social and motivated group who cares about one another and seeks creative opportunities for challenge. Next year's class is on campus, visiting classes, interviewing and forming itself as the Class of 2015. And it has only been seven months.
However, as I look at my upcoming day, I admit, it's not without hard work.
As an MBA candidate in the "Seasoned professional student" category I get asked a lot why I am going back for an MBA at this point in my career. The answer is simple. It's because I have always wanted to and at this point in my career, I can afford to do it.