Monday, December 16, 2013

That Time I Decided to go to Graduate School: The First Semester

It's unbelievable to me that 4 months have gone by. Four months of classes every Monday and Wednesday, of team meetings, homework, social events, new friends, new stress. I finished a take-home final exam for my other class on Sunday night.
I guess you are wondering how it went? I'll use one word to summarize: fine. I am still so excited about this opportunity and recognize how fortunate I am. I also owe myself some credit; I worked really, really hard to get here. I am proud of myself, and continue to be shocked and amazed at what I manage to accomplish in a day, a week, a few months. Sometimes it's hard to remember, and usually I doubt myself, but look at where I am now!

I thought the hardest part about starting school was going to be actually getting out of my office and going to class, and then staying awake for 2.5 hours while someone lectured. How wrong I was.... that's hands down the easiest part. The hardest part is preparing for class. Reading the materials in advance, studying the case, taking notes. I'm not talking about flipping through 30 pages of material 15 minutes before class starts. I'm talking the hours spent reading, analyzing, and figuring out what it all means. That is hard.
This semester we took 2 classes: Data & Decision Analysis and Marketing Management. We also have a 1-credit project based class that extends through each semester of our first year. Marketing was great, relevant, and relatable. DDA was miserable for me. I couldn't figure out what it meant, how it applied to me, or how I would ever use it in my job. The 1-credit class (Management Practice) was basically a consulting project and an insane amount of work.
So what's next? A couple of weeks off, and then we're back in action on January 7. It's really not enough time off if you ask me. Next semester is going to be even more challenging for me. Operations, Accounting, and Finance, plus Management Practice. I'm hoping that something speaks to me in at least one of those classes, because right now the only positive will be when the semester ends. Speaking of, we're done at the end of April, and then summer semester starts mid-May. We do have a spring break, but I'm sure it will be largely spent on that pesky 1-credit class. Or at least I hope it will, I don't want to put anything off. Playing catch up while working full-time is not easy, and I have a feeling my travel schedule next year is only going to increase, not decrease. Plus we're already planning #kanda2014, a return trip to Iceland, and possibly a long weekend in Italy. Lifestyles of the poor and infamous? :)
In general, I'm feeling good. I am still slowly making friends. It makes me smile when I see sub-groups of people doing fun things together, even if I'm not invited. I continue to receive accolades at work, I'm excited about what I'm doing at school, and somehow my personal life hasn't taken that big of a hit.

I'm looking forward to the next couple of semesters, continued friendships, maybe even some budding romances! Stay tuned.... going to graduate school is a decision I make every. single. day! :)

image 1 2 (source: don't know)

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