So it’s been just about one month into the full-time MBA program at the University of Washington Michael G. Foster School of Business, and we have a moment to relax. So what is it like?
The actual coursework itself is manageable, but keep in mind that I’m a little biased. I took some online accounting courses from Oklahoma State and I have a technical background, so the quantitative stuff has been pretty easy for me. The qualitative stuff (i.e. marketing, strategy) is pretty easy to understand at a high level, it’s not rocket science. I’ve been pleased overall with the quality of the education…our professors are all very good at engaging the class and, well, teaching. Assignment grading and the course workload are pretty fair, I don’t have any complaints. It’s not at all like undergrad at Berkeley where the curve lies around a C- average. If you’ve been in the military and been through a deployment, this is way, way easier. If you’re disciplined about how you use your time and manage your energy, Fall Quarter will be a breeze!
I made myself a little busier by attending a lot of extra events like Entrepreneur Week and Seattle Startup Week. I’ve met a lot of great people through these events, and heard some inspirational stories. I also went to Chicago for the MBA Veterans Conference and got to meet representatives from a lot of great companies and got some interview practice. Loved being able to reconnect with some old Air Force buddies out that experience, to boot!
I also get to be a co-chair for UW’s Business Plan Competition, which will be a great opportunity to meet a lot of people in the Seattle startup community, and stretch my event marketing/planning skills! Last time I had to do some serious event marketing was for the launch of an Air Force/Boeing satellite. It’s times like these where I’m really grateful to have been a part of so many random additional duties and projects in my career…while they were great for Officer Performance Reports, they also helped develop some great transferrable skills and experiences.
My favorite thing about this program is still the opportunity to work alongside a great set of amazing people who really want to learn and change their lives. The core MBA classes teach a ton of useful information, but that’s just a small part of the equation. It might be a little cliche, but I feel that a ton of my growth comes from hearing other points of view and learning from the other students here. But that’s what I came into this program for – not just to learn the hardcore skills of business, but to expand my thinking and get to know people outside of the military. It’s so tempting to just find people who are really similar to you, but why limit yourself?