MBA Update – End of the (Second) Fall Semester!

Hi everyone! Welcome back to Blogmas! Today I’m going to share an MBA Update and the 21st item of the Blogmas Advent Calendar!

Fair warning, I’m not sure where I left off in the story of this semester’s activities and I plan to recap most of the semester anyway so there will be some overlap. Feel free to skip to the end if you’re caught up and want to know what’s new. If you missed anything from before the fall semester you can always catch up on it in the MBA Life section of my blog.

So, if you’re new, I’m a second year graduate student in the MBA program at Elmhurst College. This is my final year, so I have just one more semester to go after this, and I’m so excited! However, this semester has been so rough and I am officially “over it” as the kids would say.

So to quickly recap the start of my semester, I was registered for three classes, but ended up dropping one due to past students giving less than stellar reviews on it. I ended up with my two classes, Leadership and Corporate Finance.

For Leadership my class was over two long weekends. I’d go to class on Fridays after work, then also all day Saturday and Sunday. It was long hours but it was a great course. I’m sad I ended up with an A- but it was so useful and I learned a ton. I also met some other awesome MBA students and other not-so-awesome ones so it was a good blend of new people for me.

My Corporate Finance class, on the other hand, was an absolute train wreck. It started so strong, which is what breaks my heart about it. Everyone in the class loved the professor, we were really enjoying the material, and it was amazing. However, our professor was fired suddenly after week 7, class was cancelled week 8, we got a new professor for week 9 and the class wasn’t the same. Suddenly, all three projects we had already turned in counted for nothing. We had no more syllabus, no clear instruction, a professor who quite possibly didn’t know how to turn on a computer, and a few thousand dollars down the drain.

hammerschimdt chapel

I did get an A in the class but I’m pretty sure that was just to make sure I didn’t complain again. I had previously done so to the director of the program and I feel like he did do his best, but just wasn’t able to find another professor able to pick up the class, wasn’t able to talk sense into the new guy that did take it, and generally had his hands tied. Soon after grades were posted we all realized we all had received either an A or A-, and we also heard that if you did get an A- and complained the grade would be raised to an A.

One of my classmates emailed the instructor to ask for her grade breakdown to learn why she got an A- as no one knew anything about how these were calculated. She was told it was all on our online classroom tool Blackboard and that it had been there the entire time. Well, that was a lie. I got a ton of emails earlier that day (I hadn’t seen them until then because I never check my school email) about changes being made on Blackboard to my grade, so I can only assume so did everyone else. Our grades weren’t posted until that same day. Another classmate posted his breakdown on our group chat and we soon realized everyone got full points on every assignment except the final where we all got C’s or D’s. Yet we all got either an A or A-. From where we stand, it’s clearly meant to be rigged so we all get good grades and don’t cause a fuss later for the school.

Another thing about the final, a classmate looked up one of the questions because he wanted to know if he got it right or not. The final was such a mess, we had no idea that it was going to happen until the end of class and the professor handed out the final. Anyway, it was worth 300 points out of 1,000 apparently. Back to the question that was looked up. My classmate found the entire final on the Chegg website. Yes, Chegg the book rental and homework helping tool. A graduate level course took a final from Chegg… Can you even imagine?

Anyway, I can’t say I didn’t learn anything because I did learn a lot from the professor we had the first 7 weeks. We learned about 401k’s, how to determine how much cash is needed to start a new company (or two), and started to really learn how to understand some financial ratios commonly used. As for the second half of the class? Well I really couldn’t tell you what we were supposed to have learned. I certainly didn’t learn anything considering I got a C on my final and it was open notes. If I got it back and asked to explain what I even did I’d have no idea because all I did was try to copy what I wrote down in my notes, which to be honest wasn’t much because I had no idea what was going on most of the time. The professor would write equations and numbers on the board, tell us what it was called, and no further explanations so I had no idea what I was supposed to be calculating either. Considering my classmates also got similar grades, clearly I wasn’t the only one.

elmhurst college frick center homecoming

It turned into such a waste of both time and money, and I’m so furious about it! Each class is a few thousand dollars out of my own pocket. No one is paying for this but me. I will say that some of my classmates that are being reimbursed by their employers are a little less bothered by these events. Some, not all. Most of us are extremely annoyed and disappointed.

Since the class I have found out a few things about the program and my school as a whole. It’s stuff like the professors aren’t paid competitively, the school is trying hard to grow the program without too many resources because it does bring in a lot of money, and so on. I can’t say I’m too surprised. I did go to undergrad at the school but it was still disappointing to learn. Honestly, I’ve had a great experience up until now but I know a few of my classmates have had terrible instructors for some other courses. I think that this semester the negatives of the program just came out a lot more than before. It’s a small program, a small school, and there just aren’t a ton of options. The quality of education varies significantly, and almost completely dependent on the professor that is available to teach the class. Usually the same professor teaches the class each year, so if they’re not good, the class is never going to be adequate.

As far as I can tell I have two options. One is to just let it go, consider these sunk costs (although I did get an A and the credit for the course), and look forward to the spring semester, which is sure to be better. The other is to start emailing and calling everyone on the campus that I possibly can to get some sort of credit towards one of my remaining two classes. The holidays are coming up, then I am on vacation for two weeks (more on that soon!), so I’m not sure what will happen yet but hopefully it works out.

elmhurst college nativity

In order to leave you with a more fun tone and take us back to the holiday theme we have for Blogmas, here’s a picture of my school’s nativity scene! I was told in undergrad that it’s the nativity from the movie Home Alone. I don’t know if that’s true or not but I’m more than happy to help spread the rumor!

Advent Calendar Item #21

And the 21st item of the Blogmas Advent Calendar is…

blogmas advent calendar fairy lights

Fairy lights! I have these cute disco ball fairy lights from Target. I’d love to include some although I’d probably pick something different because even though these are cute, the disco ball part is too heavy and falls off a lot, scaring me in the process. That’s why the lights are now confined to this vase! Still cute but super annoying when they come crashing down. Something lighter is in order!

So that’s my fall semester update! I have been told next semester should be much better so please keep your fingers crossed that my professors don’t get fired halfway through. If you’re in school, hopefully your semester was better than mine! Do let me know how it went in the comments?

Thanks for reading!

Pamela Silva 

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  1. Awww so sorry to hear that you didn’t have the easiest time of it in your Corporate Finances class! It’s rubbish that your old teacher was fired and replaced with a completely different one who wasn’t as good. Hope next semester is better for you xx


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