October, 2009

What free time?

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

For anyone considering pursuing an MBA, here’s a little insight into life as a grad student at Foster…

I had two classes today – 8:30 am and then not again until 6:00 pm. This left me with over 7 hours on campus to get work done, attend a few short meetings and even get some exercise! I enthusiastically packed my running shoes and the necessary gear this morning and brought it all with me to campus today.

My 6:00 pm class is now nearing and the running shoes haven’t left my bag.

7 HOURS completely filled with the aforementioned homework and meetings, along with some impromptu conversations about bidding on next quarter’s electives, a short lunch with a classmate, time out to organize some files and return some emails and 7 hours are gone. Just like that.

I say it all too often but… maybe I can find time for a run tomorrow.

Preview your life as an MBA

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

As I write this there is a room full of curious people next door listening to staff, faculty and current students talk about life as a Foster MBA. They are here for the first Preview Weekend* of the year and will likely be overwhelmed by the amount of information they receive, but after having countless conversations with current students they should leave with a very strong sense of what Foster is all about.

Current StudentsHopefully they’ll also walk away from a long conversation with a first year student and realize that she has voluntarily given up time in her busy schedule and remained on campus during her first Friday afternoon without class to chat with those interested in Foster. She likely has a list of assignments waiting for her, midterm exams to study for, as well as an endless supply of other demands on her time. This is one undeniable thing about Foster – the students are really n-i-c-e!

This morning I spoke with prospective students from Portland (right down the road a mere three hours) to Hawaii and Thailand (not exactly right down the road)! It’s a huge commitment to travel that far to just visit a school, but it’s a bigger commitment to take two years out of your life to pursue an MBA! I think it’s a wise decision to learn as much as you can about a program before you take the plunge and there is no better way than being on campus and meeting the people who make up the program.

The next Preview Weekend will begin on January 21st. Visit the Foster website for more info.

The MBAs Are Coming!

Monday, October 19th, 2009

NSHMBALast weekend, I joined thirteen of my Foster classmates for an adrenaline-filled trip to Minneapolis for the 2009 NSHMBA National Conference & Career Expo.  More than 300 corporate and academic sponsors that embrace diversity participated in the conference, which attracted an estimated 7,000 MBAs from around the world.  From Deloitte to Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft and American Express, attending companies attracted ambitious, smartly dressed hoards.  After an early morning pep talk with my new Foster friends, black coffee and standard hotel breakfast fare, I snapped on my nametag and got to (net)working.  At this conference, on-the-spot interviews were the norm.  If I stepped within a 6-foot radius of a company’s booth, I was fair game, and was prepared to answer any number of questions about my past experience, my academic credentials, my preferences, my opinions and my goals.  At first, the speed and precision with which the recruiters, managers and others administered these questions was jolting (yet entirely appropriate for the setting). Recruiters readily answered questions about their respective companies, and I walked away with quality contacts for follow-up.

With seven days of classes under my belt, the fact that I was participating in interviews for a potential internship in 2010 was almost unreal. Not only did I get an inside look at a wide range of companies and MBA recruiting practices up-front, but I had a chance to bond with my classmates. Over the three days, we talked about more than just school assignments, but what our hopes and dreams were for the future. The experience was truly invaluable!

Guest Blogger: Adrienne Matthews, Foster MBA Class of 2011

An Intense First Week

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

One of my classmates was pondering on Tuesday if the start of classes would feel anti-climatic after 2 weeks of orientation and leadership training.

After two days of classes, I think I can safely say “nope”. Not anti-climatic at all… As a matter of fact, I don’t think the effort and energy required in this program will peak until we sign our job offers. (And even then, because hopefully we’ll all get offers post-internships, we’ll have to finish up the school year.)

The MBA program at Foster is intense.

The professors are intense. One of them knew all of our names and faces on Day 1. (He also knew about my personal blog! Aye.) Another one gambled with us. And another one shouted, “Show me the data!” Jerry MacGuire style. These people are passionate and well trained, and I’m going to learn a lot. (By the way, one thing I heard today from our accounting professor was, “Don’t confuse comfort and learning.” So true.)

The MBAA clubs are intense. I’m still grappling with what clubs to join… In the mean time, there are club events almost every day and evening. One of the clubs, just as an example, organizes around case competitions, which are essentially math club for MBAs. (Someone made that analogy for me, and I love it.) Case competitions are going to be intense.

My fellow MBA classmates are intense. Smart people, who are all accomplished, and who are all ready to take this MBA program and run. I’m going to have to become one with being very, very average. Not to mention the 2nd years who are back from summer internships, full of experience.

Speaking of… Searching for an internship/job is intense. We had our first job fair this week. I had my photo professionally taken last week. I ordered business cards. And I’m scheduling info interviews for, you know, that extra time on my hands.

So, what I’m figuring out is that I need to be intense. This pretty much means staying on my toes at all times. I need to do as much as I can proactively. And I need to load my Husky Card with money so I can ensure I’m caffeinated at all times.

As I wrap up my first full week of classes, there’s definitely one thing I feel very intense about… Show me the weekend!

Guest Blogger: Allison Bilas, Foster MBA Class of 2011

Club Leaders & National Conferences

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

IthacaAs a 2nd Year MBA student, multiple new responsibilities have found their way on to my plate… and have wedged their time commitments into my crowded Google calendar! One of the major differences between a year ago and now is that I’ve gone from being a passive attendee at MBA Club events – speakers, company visits, panels – to being part of the leadership of those clubs. The 2nd Year students are in the driver’s seat of all MBA clubs – setting agendas, holding meetings for the general membership, planning events. Today I spent the morning meeting with my fellow Net Impact leaders to discuss the year ahead and update them on my coordination of our attendance at the 2009 National Net Impact Conference in Ithaca, New York in November. We’re hoping to have a strong turnout out in Ithaca – not only to represent Foster well, but to experience what’s touted as one of the best conferences many students have ever attended. Having been an undergraduate in Ithaca, I’m particularly looking forward to it!