Monday, December 13, 2010

A Day in the Life of a BC MBA Student

6:00 am: Wake up for a morning run...Who am I kidding? Hit the snooze button....five times.

6:30 am - 7:45 am: Shower, check and respond to e-mails, peruse The Wall Street Journal online, prepare books and binders for class today, and breakfast.

7:45 am - 8:30 am: Swing by Athan's to pick up a coffee for the day...resist their delicious scones. Travel to Boston College.

8:30 am - 10:30 am: Meet with my Marketing Team to work on our final project. For our final project, our team will be launching a brand extension for The Arbor Collective. The Arbor Collective, a small, privately-held company headquartered in Venice, CA and founded in 1995, specializes in the design of eco-friendly snowboards, skateboards, surfboards, and affiliated apparel. Our team has chosen to create a comprehensive marketing plan for the launch Arbor Nix, a new line of freestyle skis. Today, we will work on Buyer Behavior and Consumer Segmentation exhibits.

11:00 am - 1:00 pm: Managerial Economics with Professor Cliff Holderness. Today, we discussed Search Theory. Apparently one can search for a spouse by using the same basic economic principles you use when shopping for the best price of a car. This is probably not something you want to mention on a first date.

1:00 pm - 1:45 pm: A quick lunch in Lyons Hall with my classmates.

1:45 pm - 3:45 pm: Marketing class with Professor Gerald Smith. Today, we covered Conjoint Analysis. We looked at three attributes consumers consider when selecting a hotel room: size, rate, and location. Upon running a conjoint analysis, we concluded that the males in our class were the most price sensitive (big surprise!) and size did not matter to the females. Attention: If you're a Super 8 with small rooms and more than 10 miles away from an urban setting - you're going to have to ramp up your marketing efforts - at least for the demographic of our MBA class.

4:00 pm - 6:30 pm: Work on Finance Problem Set with classmates.

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm: Attend a Net Impact Lecture. Dunkin Brands was on campus to discuss their Corporate Social Responsibility efforts. Those Munchkins were much needed to hold me over until dinner.

7:30 - 8:30 pm: Return home for a quick dinner - homemade chicken soup picked up from my parents when I visited last weekend. Hey - you're never too old for Mom's Chicken Soup!

8:30 pm - 11:30 pm: Return to BC to read in the Bapst Library. Preparation for tomorrow's Information Technology ( a case study for Google, lecture notes, academic articles) and Finance classes.

11:30 pm - 12:30 am: Chill with my roommate and watch a "pretty good; pretty, pretty good" episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

12:30 am - 1:00 am: Read a bit of Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. And bedtime.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The MBA Experiment

As a Theatre and Psychology double major during my undergraduate years at The College of the Holy Cross, I read my share of Surrealist plays and academic research papers (see Yale's Milgram Experiment or Stanford's infamous Prison Experiment). If someone decided to combine the metaphysical intent of surrealism with the complex design structure of research methods, you would have created my first week in business school!

Prior to enrolling at the Carroll School, I worked as a higher and secondary education fundraiser and a theatre director. Though I developed a deep interest in creative strategic planning through my work in nonprofit management, I had never taken an economics, accounting, finance, or general business class as an undergraduate student. This left me feeling much excitement and, frankly, a little agita as I began classes this fall. During the first week of class, I would often joke with my friends saying I felt like I was part of an elaborate psychological experiment. Was there a group of psychologists observing what would happen if they placed a theatre major in the middle of a top MBA program amongst accountants, financiers, and business consultants?

I soon realized that I was not alone. In the first semester, I have met classmates with many different professsional backgrounds (musicians, engineers, educators, etc.) and from all around the world.  I also felt a strong connection to BC's many international students - while English may not have been their first language, Statistics was certainly not mine!

In my first semester, I have left my comfort zone, but I have learnt so much thanks to the encouragement and assistance of my classmates and the dedicated faculty at Boston College. From group study sessions to professors' office hours, the support received from the Boston College community has allowed me to succeed in this new, challenging environment. In less than three months, business school has changed the way I view the world: I have explained to a friend the plot of the Zeitgeist Theatre's production of ENRON in terms of a balance sheet equation, engaged in topical investment conversation over Thanksgiving dinner, and was told by a mentor/friend that a personal e-mail of mine read like a marketing survey. Here marks the beginning of two years of intellectual growth and self-discovery. Thanks for following along!