Hustling until the last day

It’s the last day of the term and I should be celebrating but I am just trying to catch my breath.  I just went on a challenge akin to amazing race.  Today is the submission for both my Operations Management group project and Management Accounting final paper and I was scrambling up to the last minute.  I finished all my part in the group project last night and worked on my case study until 2 am this morning and it wasn’t complete yet.  I had to verify the costs and data and go through everything for final edit.  When I went to the classroom to submit my paper,surprise, my professor is no longer there.  He told us that he will be there from 9 am to 12 noon.  I got there at 11:45 but he left already.  So I started bugging my classmates in our viber group chat and asked where’s our professor.  One classmate said that she just left the classroom and he was still there.  So I called another classmate to ask for his mobile number. It turned out our professor is already at another building already so I ran as fast as I can to meet him there.  He told me to just wait in the entrance but there are two entrances.   When I got there, he’s not around.  So I checked the lobby and the other entrance and he’s still not there.  I called him again, his voice is so soft I can barely hear him or maybe it’s the signal.  After few seconds I finally saw him, he’s not in the good mood.   I was worried he might deduct points from my paper but then I decided to just not think about it at all.  I gave my best anyway.

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So yeah I am still that girl who crams despite getting all stressed out every time the term is nearing its end but what can I do?  Life is just so crazy!  Work has always been so demanding of my time, then there’s a couple of business trips and tons of paper works after those trips (to be fair, I was able to sneak in a few hours to explore the place).

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This week has been a crazy one for me.   I got sick on Monday and had to miss the office Christmas party, that broke my heart but I had no choice.  Went back to office on Tuesday afternoon to a table littered with paper works and a couple of gifts 🙂 Then we had to practice for our dance routine for the college Christmas party on Thursday, so I had to juggle my usual work load, back logs, practice and school requirements.  I only completed my blogs on the day it was due, I didn’t attend a class that night ( I missed another Christmas party lol).  Then came Thursday when you can barely talk to me, the good thing is we won first place in the Santa’s Got Talent competition!!!!   So at least my few hours of practice didn’t go to waste.  Friday is another super crazy day.  Paper works during the day with another Christmas party with some scholars then 7 pm onward was it was heck of a night.  Finished my Operations Management project (at least my part) and  (almost) my final paper for Management Accounting.  The night turned into morning. I finally went to bed by 2:30 am and up by 7 am to go school to edit, polish and finally submit my paper.   What a week, what a life!   I am actually used to this lifestyle 🙂  I am tired but I happy.

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Today I will enjoy my lunch, buy a book, go home early and sleep to my heart’s content.  I deserve it.

I hope to get good grades but I don’t want to obsess over it.  I gave my best and survived the term with 9 units, that alone is an accomplishment.

I just realized when I was practicing for our dance that I should really try to balance my life no matter impossible it may seem.  Only a few people know that I love dancing and it’s my favorite form of exercise (but I am not really that good lol).  This week I decided to join some of my office mates in their dance performance despite me not knowing a single dance step.  I may be so mentally and physically exhausted but when I dance it releases my stress and forgot my concerns for a while because I have to focus on the choreography if I don’t want to make a mess in the actual presentation.  The party came and instead of getting all nervous for dancing in front of almost a hundred people I just decided to enjoy the experience.  I have this awesome strategy every time I present in front of people, I call it the audience cancelling ability, where I just go through my presentation and pretend that no one is around, like I forgot they are even there.  That’s what I did during the dance and it worked.  I enjoyed it and ignore the audience especially when I was making the wrong moves lol.

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The key take away from this crazy period of my life?

  •  Do as much as you can without killing yourself, you’ll be surprised at what you are capable of doing. Just don’t stretch yourself too thin.
  • Don’t ever forget to indulge in something you love every once in a while. It could be good book , a massage or a date with your special someone and don’t let all this stuff overwhelm you.  Take charge, be in control.  It’s alright to get lost in the moment for a while but not okay to lose sight of who you are while you are so busy going after your dreams and fulfilling your responsibilities.
  • Take care of your health.  When you are surviving on a 5 hours of sleep, all stressed out and tired all the time your immune system crashes down.  Be sure to eat healthy, sneak in power naps and be a good kid and take your vitamins.
  • Don’t ignore your loved ones.  It’s hard I know but check in with them once in a while. They will understand, they are also busy with their lives.  Just let them know you didn’t forget about them.  You don’t want them to forget  you, do you?
  • Meditation and prayer is so important. It kept me sane, grounded and reminded me what really matters in life.

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And next term I bet I will do this all again.

Au revoir. A plus tard.

Overwhelmed (and not in a good way)

It’s halfway through the term so I am now buried in school work add that to my equally challenging job and I am about to lose my cool.  Today is a Saturday and while most people are enjoying their weekend doing what they want I have to attend a class in the morning, complete a report at work in the afternoon and squeeze in some personal errands before the day ends.  I don’t mind being busy, I wanted this and I just got what I wanted right? No one forced me to  enroll in MBA, this is all me.  So I better work my ass off or I won’t be able to keep up with my very demanding work and studies.  This morning, our professor in Accounting Management let us work on exercises to see if we are ready for the exam (I’m not). We reviewed some exercises on the book and while we’re at it, he reminded us about our final paper.  A paper I have absolutely no idea how to do.  He didn’t give any format or even guidelines.  We just have to apply managerial accounting principles.  Yay me.  I am so lost in this subject and if I don’t study I’d definitely fail the exam.  On top of the individual final paper each group has to submit 4 case study analysis.  Whoah!   Thank God we are done with case study presentation.

Then there’s the first cycle of Action Research that I have to complete and present before the term ends for my elective subject.   I am still undecided whether I will continue my Management Action proposal which I started 2 terms ago or change my topic.  I haven’t had the time  to actually sit down and contemplate on this.  Yeah I had a 4 day break earlier this week but I used that to really rest (so I slept and slept), study Management Accounting (a bit), read books (shuffling between Harry Potter and Robert Langdon’s adventures) and catch up with my friends that I haven’t seen for quite sometime.  So here I am torn between panicking and going crazy (crazy sounds good).

I just had my exams in my other subject; Operations Management, and it was quite difficult, the questions are totally unexpected and will force you to think outside the box.  So think outside the box I did, to the point of silliness and improbability.  My group still haven’t started on our project and I just read the required format and content and there are just so much to do!!!

OMG how true is this one??? When you have panic attack disorder...it's your daily thought process! Read this article and stop having panic attacks! #relax #dontworry:

I am okay.  I got this but I just have to write my thoughts down or I’ll blow my head off. Stay focused, keep centered, eyes on the prize!   I really feel so much better once I had written down things that our bugging me.  This is my therapy; simple, free and accessible.

 

Off you go and read that AR proposal, maybe you can simply improve it and it’s good enough for presentation. Or better yet, enjoy what’s left of the day and think no more.

36 Little Things You Can Do For A Loved One With Anxiety:

Note to Self : Cramming sucks

I wrote this more than two months ago and I just have to post this as a reminder to my self, since another term has just started and I need to start as early as now on cases studies, projects and what not for both of my subjects.

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You would think I have learned my lesson by now.  More than a year into business school and I still can’t balance my time well.  Here I am now slaving and cramming on my action research proposal due next week.  This is the hardest requirement I have ever encountered in my four terms in MBA.  My other subject this term is so demanding in terms of required output and it is basically eating up all my time for studying.  Work is equally challenging, the coming week would be so busy for me.  The other subject I am enrolled in seemed to be just fine at first (management action research aka MAR).  The discussions are interesting until we started the online class.  I don’t mind a hybrid class, I have attended one last term and it was good.  I learned a lot, it was very demanding too but I did really well and I got my highest grade so far (3.5) and to think so many students are apprehensive to take this subject (Quameth).  However, this class (MAR) is not meant to be taken online.  The topics are just way too abstract and needs actual interaction.  The online classes were basically a forum, where we can post our insights and questions and students will try to respond but that is simply not enough, we need our professor’s input.  Yes, we have exercises we need to submit but our professor rarely give feedback on online assignments.

So here I am reading and trying to understand everything.  I am kind of panicking.  I have to finish the majority of the paper this weekend or I’m done.  I still have class on Monday so that’s out and this is a very busy week at work so I’d probably end up working late at the office.  I hate cramming but I am still doing it.  I never intended for this to happen.  I had plans.  I was supposed to have two weeks to work on the paper but work is crazy and I got sick for two days (probably due to fatigue).  I had to miss work and when I returned there are tons of things to be done and last Friday I stayed at the office until 9 pm just so I can finish some paper works.  I have deadlines to beat both for work and school.  I don’t even have a social life now.  All I do is work and study, what a bore.

I wish I have this daily reminder to myself to start on a paper as early as possible because cramming sucks.  It stresses me out and the quality of my work is compromised.   I have to print this journal and bring it with me all the time.  I have to be disciplined.  I need to focus and stay centered.  I am doing this for a reason (eyes on the prize!).  I need to establish a regular study time despite my heavy work load.  I need to leave the office on time.  I have to give myself a break from every now and then because times like this really make my life so boring and stressful at the same time.   I need to manage my time well and balance my life.  I am sick of weekends spent working on a paper.  I need to get out and have the time of my life while I am still relatively young (lol).  Get a life woman!

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Lesson of the story?

Stay focused.

Work on my school stuff everyday even just for an hour, even if I don’t  feel like it.

At least try to live a well balanced life 🙂

Go out sometimes, be young and wild and free 😉

She worked hard and it paid off

I just have to write this down before I got so busy with work and other stuff again.  Today was the release of our grades and would you believe I got a 4.0 in Ethics and CSR? That subject where there’s so much output and the prof is kind of an OC? And can you believe I got a 3.5 in Management Action Research?  That subject that really boggles my mind until now.  That subject that gave me a glimpse of how research is done.

I am so grateful for all the guidance and blessings I have received all throughout the term.  This term validated my belief that hard work and discipline really pay off.   I lost count how many hours I spent slaving over a case study or a proposal be it on CSR or Action Research.  This term had pushed my limits and I never thought I had it in me to actually come up with decent proposals.

I look back a week ago and I see that version of me trying so hard to wrack her brain to come up with a a decent action research proposal, so afraid she’ll  muck it up and lose her scholarship.  And now here I am with the widest grin on my face.  How could I not?  When I actually got a 4.0!!!   I always aim for 4.0 but this time I got it and it was for a subject that  asked quite a lot and made me feel unsure sometimes.  Like that one time I had to cram and finish my group’s case study because I had to work the entire weekend and my group mates weren’t able contribute much, so  I came on class really late just so I can finish the case study and I was so worried she’d mark me absent. Or when we submitted a really short CSR group activity proposal and she asked me “this is it?”.  Thank God we had the chance to improve it and submit it at the final week.

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Right!! I am bragging!! I just have to cause I worked so hard and I deserve this!!!

I’ll just bask in fulfillment and happiness while I can.  Time flies so fast I still feel like my head is still spinning from all the things I had to take care of for the past months.  I am sure there would be more challenges waiting for me and ready

I survived this term and with flying colors!!!

And the craze continues

Last week, I was writing about all the school work I have to do.  Well, here’s another one. This is not to rant or vent.  I know what I am getting into when I enrolled in MBA, I know it’s not gonna be easy. I know there would be buckets of sweat,blood and tears.  I was ready to work hard.

And here I am working so hard I barely sleep.  At work, there’s ton of paper works to take care of, scholars to cater to, reports to submit and the list goes on.  I usually leave the office at 7:00 to 7:30 pm, to keep up with the influx of paper works.  When I get home, I should rest right? But not when you are studying.  I changed into my house clothes, eat dinner, fired up the laptop and start on school related work.  I would stay up until midnight.  I wake up feeling like a zombie, I wouldn’t be surprised if I look like one too. In the morning, I’ll drag myself out of bed, drink chocolate malt for my breakfast, take a bath, put on clothes and brace myself for the tedious and long commute to work.

Last week was intense, this week is worse.  Last week I wrote about our group’s presentation in Accounting, we were cramming, did I mention I hate cramming?  Anyway, we did our presentation, it went okay but there were some wrong values in our computations darn!!  Hate to say this but I don’t have a good rapport with my group mates in Accounting or maybe it’s just me.  I suddenly miss my former group mates in my previous subjects.

For the online class, I did really well in the forum discussions (braggart much?!). I got a grade of 96, I was so happy.  30% of the grade will be based on the write-up for the business research and 70% for the participation in discussions.  Our paper got a perfect 30, just wow. We only did the write-up on Friday and uploaded in on Saturday.  I emailed my write-up to the rest of the group Friday afternoon and ask them to improve it.  Until midnight changes are being made but the final paper was really good.

We don’t have cases for Accounting this week, thank God.  I have my hands full with Quameth.  Last Saturday was online class again and per usual we cram on the write-up but the final output is good. I was assigned as moderator in our group’s forum, which means more work. I have to police the forum, make summaries, call the attention of those who did not post anything at the end of the day, and ask some questions to keep the discussion alive.  That made me busy for the first half of the week, which was until yesterday.  One down.

My volunteer exercise for Quameth was due yesterday.  I worked on it Tuesday night and Wednesday  emailed my partner to ask if he did the exercise.  He did the first problem, I did both problems but his answer to the 1st problem seemed better than mine so I just consolidated our work and upload it.   Another off my list.

The first part of our Game (aka quiz) is take-home. Sounds cool right? Well it has to be a take home because it was hard.  We have to apply Game Theory to the conflict between CPP-NPA and the government.  I read on the topic since Monday but haven’t done anything yet.  One of my group mates started the paper and it is only now that I was able to contribute to the paper. It’s almost done, just need some polishing, I am sure the other two members will be up to the challenge.  It’s due tomorrow night. Another one down, one more to go before I can have a good night sleep.

The most critical requirement: Project Proposal. We don’t have anything yet and its due tomorrow night. How can I remain so calm?  Well, first worrying will get me nowhere, second I am going to meet the group after office to work on this and thirdly, I am calm because I am so used to this kind of situation.

So there goes another week, well not really it’s only Thursday, 6:15 pm. But of course I’ll go home late and start the paper then Friday will be as toxic as any day at the office then cram on the paper in the evening to make it to the deadline.  This is my life, it’s crazy but I love it.

Student life a of full time employee aka what have I gotten myself into

September 27, 2015

6:52 pm

Student Life

Being a student is not easy, especially if you are working full-time.  I’ve started business school more than a year ago and I am on my third term now.  This term, I enrolled Principles of Financial Accounting and Quantitative Method for Decision Making.  This is quite a busy term for me, well it always has been ever since I enrolled in MBA but this time it’s a little bit harder, especially Quameth.  There’s just so much I need to do each week just for one subject alone.  This week I have the following deliverables:

Accounting:

2 case studies, one is assigned as our group’s oral presentation. Yesterday, after my Quameth class, I met with my Accounting group mates and work case 5 (for our oral presentation). We already worked out the computations and we only have to do our ACAs and recommendation.  We haven’t really finalized the whole paper but I am hoping we will by tomorrow afternoon.  We still don’t have the PowerPoint. We haven’t started on case 6 but I have already read it, it looked complicated. Well aren’t they all.  They are all due on Wednesday yay!!  This is my last bridging course. So next term will be so much tougher.

Quameth:

This is my first foundation course after two terms of taking bridging courses (an MBA student without a business undergraduate has to take 15 units of bridging/refresher courses) so yeah technically I am just starting the MBA program.  I recently told myself, welcome to the real world, I can feel the difference already.

I was initially intimidated to take Quameth, it sound so mathematically heavy, taking it together with an accounting subject is somewhat masochistic.  At first, I play around the schedules and my course flowchart.  Then realized that no matter what I do, at some point I have to take two “Math”  subjects in a term so I just told myself might as well do it now while the other subject is just a bridging course.  Quameth is not really computation intensive, we use a softwarte for computations.  We use quantitative methods to aid in decision making and so far I can still follow the “simple” equations and learned how to use QM for Windows software.   The hard part is all the requirements we have to deliver every week.  We have online class every other week, during online class, we are assigned either a case study or a business research with quameth application, aside from the paper which is the “easier” part, we have forums assigned for each group.  In these forums, a group will be assigned to critique the other group’s paper and will be graded based on the number of comments/posts and its relevance to the topic.  Now, this is the hard part, once you upload your group’s paper to the online classroom site, bloodbath will follow.  I know it’s an exaggeration but it’s a close description.  So far we had 2 online classes and the group assigned to critique our work were hard core inquisitors, they asked the hardest questions.  I would be at awe sometimes, they made me feel stupid at times, they dig so deep and you have to do your best to come out of that hole and deflect the blows.  That’s how intense quameth online class is.  In person, they are all seemed nice and harmless human beings, just like me.  In the virtual, we all become Attila the Hun.

The first online class was close to a nightmare.  We were assigned a case study on break-even analysis.  The computation part was easy, data were given and we knew the formula.  We are kind of lost on how to present the case, we don’t know the format or we thought so.  We didn’t know that there were guidelines uploaded in the online class site.   Once we uploaded our case, the other groups started annihilating us.  Yup, that’s how it felt, they were feral, attacking us on our weakest side.  Since we weren’t aware of the guidelines, we failed to include Alternative Courses of Action (stupid me, what’s a case study without an ACA?) and the ethical considerations.  In that moment I have realized that it’s hard to attack when you are busy defending yourself.  There were so many questions on our paper’s that all I can focus on is how to answer them especially the bigger/harder ones.  We were able to answer almost all their questions but weren’t really able to critique their paper.  I felt like a loser, that was my first foray into the wilds and was just thankful I got away alive.  I swore we’ll do better in the next forum and will critique the heck out of the other group’ paper and make a solid paper and read extensively on the topic to be ready for any inquiry.  I got a grade of 88 not bad but not great either.

By the second online class we are ready for war, well suited for the battlefield.  A day before the online class though, we were still finalizing our topic, I started the paper Friday afternoon and asked the rest of the group to improve what I did.  One of my pet peeves is cramming which happens a lot when you work with a group, so I just stay patient but firm.  I would remind them from time to time that we are running out of time and that I don’t want a repeat of the what happened in the previous forums.  If I have my choice I’d rather work alone, but I have to admit that working with groups made me learn more and a group is capable of making a better product than an individual.  I am kind of use to this whole group thing anyway and so far I haven’t get in a squabble with anyone.   Until Friday midnight final changes are still being done on our paper.   Saturday morning, 10 minutes before 9 am, I logged in to our forum, read the other groups paper and started forming my questions.   At exactly 9 am, I posted my first query, answered the other groups critique and this went on until 3pm, I was on fire.  Not question was left unanswered and also grilled the other group to my hearts content.  The online class is from 9:00 am Saturday to 11:00 pm Wednesday.  We had enough time to fire questions towards each group, the discussion was so intense, it made me feel so alive.  I was loving it, I never thought Quameth would be so fun!  I have learned so much from that experience.  I was forced to read more on the oil/gas companies risks because that was our topic and also looked deeper into the Coca Cola Enterprises sustainability plan since it was the other groups topic.  I kind of feel that the other group is evading some of questions but kept on peppering us with their queries which our group just kept on answering, so basically the forum was more focused on our case than theirs.  Well next I know what to do.  Our grades aren’t posted yet but I have a feeling I’ll get a really good one.

My deliverables for this week is quite a long list.

  1. Business Research using Game Theory for the online forum.
  2. Volunteer Exercise with a classmate. We were assigned our partner (one can choose a partner but I don’t know anyone in the class). Our last week’s assignment was kinda fuzzy I wasn’t sure if we answered it all correctly.
  3. Game (it’s actually a quiz). A part of our quiz is group work and we have to apply Game Theory techniques on the CPP-NPA/Government clash. I feel like a grown up, tackling a real life issue using theories.
  4. Project proposal. Our group has to submit our project proposal which we will present on a later date.

Wow, look at that.  Every item takes a lot of time and focus.   This is going to be long week for me and this is just my studies, add it up to my work load and this girl is really all work and no play.

All of these on top of my equally challenging job, I would sometimes find myself asking “what the heck have I gotten myself into?”

A Whole New World

It never gets old. I am in my third term and the feeling is still the same. Every time I attend a class, I become an entirely different person.  When in class, I am no longer concerned with things like how am I gonna help my family, or how I can fixed some issues at work, or how disappointed I am at some aspect of my life, or money issues.  I am entirely focused on the topic and suddenly I am reminded of the things that I don’t know and how hard I should be working on improving that.  In class, I am just another student, a student plague with reports, assignments and case analysis.

Worries of the outside world can’t get to me, it’s like I am inside a bubble.  I am in a classroom, I’ll think of nothing but topics that are being discussed. Graduate studies makes me feel young. I don’t know how to explain, it just did.  I know that taking Masters is not a walk in the park. There’s so much to do and you add it up to all the things a grown up has to take care of suddenly it sounds very exhausting right?  At times it is but most times I feel good studying.  When you are in the classroom, you are all equal, it doesn’t matter what field you are from or what undergrad you took or how much you are earning or whether you came from a rich family or not.  It kind of levels the field, you all have equal chance at excelling or failing and it amazes me.

Attending a class is like some sort of a therapy for me.  I am sick of all my responsibilities in life and in class you are given more but the difference is you are doing things because you wanted to.  No one required me to go to attend graduate school and I don’t need it to be employed.  I decided to pursue MBA because I want to and I guess that what makes all the difference.

As an MBA student, I feel like the future’s so bright, like I am just beginning to shape my future, it made me feel in charge.  Seeing new faces is also a breath of fresh air.  These people from different walks of life that you may not see again after the term ends will get to see a different side of you. You can be who you want to be without worrying about them having a pre-conceived notion of what are capable of doing.  They’ll just take you for who you are in the class.  I love meeting new people and connecting them in an intellectual level.  I love bouncing ideas off them and realize that I am kinda smart.  Most of them came from good schools with fancy undergraduates but I can discuss ideas with them just fine. I have no troubles keeping up with them. I am amazing. lol

I might be singing a different tune when deadlines are beating at my door but as of the moment I can proudly say that graduate studies is one of my favorite real life alternate universes.