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.

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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.

Term End

This is really disappointing.  Saw my grades for this term.  I got a really good grade in one subject but I was expecting it to be higher.  I did everything in that subject to get excellent grades but turned out it wasn’t good enough.  Now for the other subject, the grade was really disappointing. I got a passing grade but considering all the efforts I did for that subject, I was hoping to get a little bit higher than what I got.   I am a bit down now, all the hard works and endless nights of studying and I got a mediocre grade in one of the subjects, pulling down my GPA.

Oh well, I still managed to earn the GPA requirement for my scholarship so this is still a good news.  It’s just that I expected more.  What really matters is that I have learned so much in both subjects.  Something I was able to use in my job and in real life.  Guess I just have to work harder next time, give my 110% and aim at excellence.

Another term down, more to go.  I am slowly working my way to the finish line.  Keep going, eyes on the prize.

On the bright side, the term is officially over.  I can now take a breather, focus more on work and life.  I have so much plans for the months to come.  I need to recharge and start the incoming term with fresh perspective and enthusiasm.