Hi everyone! So today I’m sharing my mid-fall semester MBA update! I’m not feeling the best towards my semester right now but more on that later as I want to start at the beginning of the semester.
Before I go on, you can find more on my MBA journey here, in case you’ve missed it so far!
So this semester I started with three classes but I ended up dropping the third, the social media data analysis class, as I’ve heard it’s really bad. Apparently it is very outdated and those who have taken it or heard from students in it don’t recommend it. So I dropped that class and now plan to take two spring classes instead, which I am slightly disappointed about but next semester’s classes are going to be a lot more useful!
So I’m nearly done with one of my classes! My Leadership class was over two weekends in September and our final paper is due in about a week and a half. More on the final paper in a bit, here’s what happened during my class.
So the class was Friday, Saturday, and Sunday over two weekends. I took days off work during the week to be able to just have some days off since I work full time Monday through Friday. That was amazingly helpful! Especially since I was really ill with the flu on my first weekend of class. The way the class was structured was us reading the text and looking up articles about leadership on our own time, and bringing that all to class. Each weekend we had 6 chapters to read and then a paper due.
The class itself had many different activities that we would do and then debrief afterwards. I had many classmates that I had met in my negotiations class and a few that I had never met. I did make an effort to get to know them as I really enjoyed the class and their contributions! I ended up with a lovely group of people and we went out for lunch each day, usually anywhere from 6-12 in the group. We would walk from campus to the downtown area of the town and find a place we all wanted to eat at. I did mention my blog to my class, and then a lot of them were really surprised that I blog about school. I assured them I don’t use their names but I do mention things like how we go to lunch together and stuff like that. They were quite surprised that school is interesting for people to read about! Here’s some things about them:
- We had two birthdays during the class! So we brought in cupcakes for them on one day and the presentation groups took turns bringing in breakfast/snacks.
- My classmates had a huge assortment of fun facts about themselves such as martial arts (out of the quietest person in the class!) and one lovely classmate who has 11 siblings who ended up sitting next to the one that doesn’t have any siblings.
- One of my classmates is in my other class too so that’s fun!
- There’s three classmates that I absolutely disliked (two of which were from my negotiations class too) and apparently my face is easy to read that I disliked what they said as one classmate kept catching me making faces and would giggle every time (I think we all learned the most from her). Oh, fun story, I was telling a classmate that I was sad class was ending on the last day and I hadn’t known most of them very well before this. Then I added a few people I would be happy NOT to have in class again and one person near me overheard this and laughed although she was one of the people I was talking about.
Anyway, I ended up learning so much! It’s literally mind-blowing to me how different leadership looks on this end of things. Here’s a quick snapshot of what I’ve learned and what I want to work on (which I’m sure will be useful for my paper due in ONE AND A HALF WEEKS but more on that in a bit):
- I’m a terrible listener – for REAL. I had such trouble remembering names, jobs, things people said about the readings or what they experienced because I just wasn’t listening. The professor would stop every so often and say “what did he/she just say?” and we would instantly realize we had been thinking of what we wanted to say but not listening. I want to work to change that.
- Servant leadership, or believing in putting the group and success of everyone above a personal success is so much more important to me than I ever thought. I’m such an ambitious person, and very proud of it, so I never looked at this as something that was compatible with that trait. But during one of the last exercises one of my group members (the one that caught me making the faces) said that the professor had said the groups were divisions of one company. Each group’s job was to make a container that would allow eggs to be dropped in it from a higher level and land safely. Her idea was that we should all work together, by building our own things, but sharing ideas to make sure we had a variety of examples to try, and then helping each other too. It was an amazing experience and although none of the eggs survived we learned so much from this exercise and from her.
- People leadership, or believing that leaders help others learn and grow, was an idea that I instantly loved. Beyond that this theory of leadership also believes that you should surround yourself with people that are strong in areas that you are not so as to be able to balance yourself and learning from them as well. Knowing your weaknesses is important as well for this theory so it’s a hard one but definitely one I want to work on.
- Lastly, I want to work on emotional intelligence, which is what I presented on with my group. The idea behind this is that you learn how your emotions affect you so that you can better control them. It’s very interesting and I definitely want to continue to learn more about this.
As for the paper, I have three or four so pages of ideas and half finished paragraphs, so I really do need to sit down and focus on it all of this week and the weekend to finish it. We’re supposed to make an action plan on what we want to continue to work on and such so I think I will take the four items I mentioned above and work on that.
Onto the next class!
So this class is the class that I’m having issues with right now. Up until now it has been one of my favorite classes, as it’s one of the most useful as well. Just in the first two weeks we learned so much about retirement savings plans and we did a cash flow project for a new business. At this time we had been in the middle of another project involving ratio analysis but now I’m not sure what’s happening.
So this past Thursday we suddenly got an email saying class was cancelled for that night and that our professor was no longer teaching at the college. We were all in shock as we absolutely loved our experience so far and our professor was amazing. Many students were planning to take the portfolio class he was going to teach in the spring too. I don’t know what happened but I’m very, very disappointed as it was such a great class. The professor that is taking over the class is one that I had as an undergrad and he was absolutely terrible. He doesn’t believe in technology and our projects were all in Excel. So I imagine that now our projects will have to be hand written or something since he’s so backwards. I also reached out to a classmate who had him in both undergrad and grad school and she told me not to expect great things from him as he moves very slowly and if he makes a mistake he sticks to it and refuses to acknowledge that he’s wrong.
I’m extremely disappointed that this is the only option we’ve been given too. We’re nearly halfway through the semester so we still have to deal with this until December and it’s such an awkward place in the semester to have this sprung on us. We weren’t given the option to drop without penalty or pick a replacement class in the second half of term or a future term either, which really sucks. I’m not looking forward to the rest of the course as I’m sure we’re not going to learn anywhere near as much. However, it’s so late that I doubt that there are any other options and the director of my program did admit that he’s never had this happen before so I’m sure that he did the best he could and we might be lucky we even get to continue the class at this point. Hopefully I still learn something and if not, we did get some great instruction in the meantime.
First Year Mentor Program
Unfortunately this is not going so well! Most of my first years never replied or replied with times that showed they hadn’t actually read my emails. I had said I’m on campus after about 4:30pm on Thursdays and they all kept replying asking if we could meet on say a Tuesday at 11am. Well, I work sooooooo no that doesn’t work. I did manage to meet a few of my first years and it was nice but it’s clear that they were forced to do it and that they didn’t care much for the program. It’s quite unfortunate as I thought they had chosen to do it and would be more excited for it.
We also didn’t get any guidance as mentors whatsoever, which I thought we would get. I haven’t gotten any emails on the program since perhaps mid September from the program coordinator and it’s quite disappointing. I’m going to renew my efforts to reach out to my mentees but overall, I’m not thinking it’s going too well unfortunately. The program just isn’t strong enough yet to support the work that needs to go into it from my perspective.
This is where I normally put any miscellaneous thoughts. I do have a few! First, the food options on campus are terrible. I remember actual meals from undergrad but now it’s more like snacks, sandwiches, and wings. There’s a really sad salad bar and the few sections in the cafeteria areas that do actual meals don’t ever have options that interest me. It’s so disappointing! I normally end up with a warmed up sandwich and a water for dinner, which is not my favorite.
The drivers in the town around campus and the students are horrendous drivers and terrible at crossing the street. Its a mystery to me how they are all still walking around and driving. It’s like they don’t know the right of way or to actually look before attempting to cross if they’re walking.
My finance class is in the lower level of the chapel and there’s always a concert or something happening upstairs. One night the nursing students were getting their white robe/jacket/things that they wear and first they were being obnoxious in the bathroom about it and then later they were making a racket upstairs. Another there was a band concert or something happening. Its slightly distracting.
It occurs to me that this is a downer of a post, and I swear my semester isn’t going terribly at all. It’s just that the situation with my professor has really, really disappointed me and now I’m in a weird mood about it. Keep your fingers crossed that I do keep learning please!
That’s really all I have for today. If you have any tips on how I can work on the leadership items I mentioned, let me know!
Thanks for reading!
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