All posts by Chris Rosenquest

I'm a software engineer that has extensive experience architecting, developing and deploying enterprise and ecommerce web applications. I started my career at a dotcom startup in San Francisco and after several successful acquisitions the company moved to Minneapolis. From there I began consulting and in 2006 decided to take on a new adventure where I found myself in Seattle to fulfill. Here I live with my Tracy (my wife who is a playwright) and my cat Benson. We enjoy Seattle very much and call it our home.

It’s all fun and games…

Chris Rosenquest, TMMBA Student (Class of 2011)

Well maybe not but it certainly has been a lot of fun!

Yes, still, after 13 months, I’m still having a lot of fun. I cannot believe how quickly this has gone by.

The current semester holds entrepreneurship, one of my favorite classes so far. Due to the sensitive nature of our product, I’ll refrain from describing it here but if you’re interested please reach out. I believe we have a truly great business model in a market that’s dying for a innovative products.

We’ll get the opportunity to pitch to to some VCs and get excellent feedback and direction on where to take it next. We’ll also consider entering into the business plan competition to see how far it will go there as well. And we also have a *working* proof-of-concept. We’re very excited!

The thing about this program is that it’s all practice! A place to test your personal boundaries and to go beyond where you’d normally go. It’s a safe environment and a testing ground for growth. This opportunity to test yourself is combined with the prestige of the professors who will teach you some of the most interesting topics on business and management.

I’m really having the time of my life meeting great people, learning and expanding.

Your Schedule and the TMMBA

Chris Rosenquest, TMMBA Student (Class of 2011)

Since I started this program a lot of people have asked me, “How do you manage school, work and everything else you do?” Here’s my take on scheduling during the 18 months of the program.

The first thing I tell them is yes, it’s possible to manage it all and do well at all of it. The second thing I tell them is I use a calendar.

Schedule Your Life:
So a lot of people say “work-life balance”. Now add school into the mix and then make it all work. It’s entirely possible to make it all work and be satisfied and happy without suffering. In fact, it’s entirely possible to not only make it all work but to excel at it all.

This part is more training on scheduling than having specifically to do with the TMMBA program, but for those of you who haven’t had much training with your schedule you’ll find that being thrown head first into school will provide that for you.

Schedule everything. And I mean it. When you get up, when you go to bed, when you have lunch, when you spend time with friends, when you spend time with family. Schedule work meetings, home work, classes and personal days…
All of this scheduling is more of an exercise and less of a necessity. I recommend all of this scheduling for the first two months of your TMMBA so you can get a real sense of how long things actually take.

You might say, “it only take me 25 minutes to get ready in the morning,” when it actually takes 35. “It takes me 10 minutes to get to work,” when it really takes only 5. All of this scheduling will allow you to find out how long things actually take. This alone will give you a good sense of scheduling and how to maximize your time. From me doing this, I know it takes 3 minutes to read an 8×11 page of normal size font. This comes in handy when scheduling time during the lunch hour to read an assigned case.

Find a way to share your calendar with friends and family. This allows you to easily schedule your school time, work time and play time. The people you enjoy spending time with will be able to easily schedule time with you because they will also see when you’re free.

You will become hyper efficient with your time and ability to accomplish tasks.

Keep it in mind:
This is an 18 month program that will end in 18 months. Meaning, your friends and family will be there at the end of the 18 months so keep them in mind during that time and make sure you’re spending time and appreciating them through this process. Schedule time with them or at the very least keep them in the loop on a regular basis. This is the same thing with work. Let people know what support you need and reach out for help when you need it.

Besides, you want people to be at your graduation don’t you!?

2011 TMMBA International Study Tour: Turkey & Germany

Chris Rosenquest, TMMBA Student (Class of 2011)

TMMBA Class 10 just got our international trip assignments.
We’ll be traveling to Turkey and Germany for our business/education trip.

I’m very excited about this. My first choice was Japan. However, I resolved early on that I’d be going no matter what countries were chosen!

The opportunity to meet new people from other countries in the context of both business and education is an opportunity no one should pass up. This is one of those things about the TMMBA that go above and beyond what’s expected by the students. I feel this will provide significantly more value than studying about business in other countries. We’ll have the opportunity to discuss business issues in their economies and then compare what we know about business in our economies.

This will be fun.

Expanding your skills…

Chris Rosenquest, TMMBA Student (Class of 2011)

So the TMMBA is not all about attending classes and doing schoolwork. For me it’s a construct in which I can develop all of my business skills and not just increase my business knowledge.

Expanding myself as a business leader is the primary context for me and the reason why I applied and accepted. And as I go through each semester there have been opportunities outside of class to expand.

I was recently invited to do a short presentation to potential TMMBA students at an informational meeting. Getting in front of people and talking is very easy for me when I know the subject and have prepared well. In this case it was in short notice and I had a select list of topics from which to choose. This was an opportunity to expand and stretch myself. I did well and also noticed areas of development in public speaking.

My team, The Fantastic Five, was chosen to be presented in the TMMBA newsletter and the TMMBA website (http://www.foster.washington.edu/academic/tmmba/Pages/StudyGroups.aspx). Again, this was an opportunity to reflect on the team work as well as provide some insider information on the TMMBA process.

Both of these examples allowed me to step outside of the classroom and homework to expand, and that’s what school has been about.

It’s Not Too Late. Take the GMAT!

Chris Rosenquest, TMMBA Student (Class of 2011)

I know, you’ve got 6-weeks to the TMMBA application deadline. You might not be sure which way to go. Should you apply to the TMMBA program? There’s that other program you’re also interested so should you apply to that program.

But you can’t apply to either if you haven’t take then GMAT!

It was about this time last year I decided to go for it. The only thing in my way was the GMAT. That test. The test that would define my whole college career. With all of the concerns and 6 weeks before the application deadline, I registered to take the exam.

The thing about the GMAT is that here at TMMBA it’s a part of the whole package. An essential part, but just one part nonetheless. Your application isn’t judged solely on your GMAT score. So don’t sweat it. Study hard and take the exam and then apply. When you talk to Tracy or another TMMBA staffer they’ll tell you the same.

After I registered I hired a tutor. Mostly because I knew I’d need someone standing behind me preparing their swift kick whenever necessary. Although I wasn’t 100% satisfied with my GMAT score, I was satisfied when I was accepted into the TMMBA. I don’t regret the timeline I chose to apply but I wouldn’t recommend the extra stress on anyone.

Do you have a great GMAT story?
Do you have recommendations for prospective students?
Are you a prospective student that wants more advice?

Leave your questions or responses in the comments section below.

Semester 2 wrap-up: Reflecting on the 1st and 2nd Semesters

Chris Rosenquest, TMMBA Student (Class of 2011)

Semester two is officially come to an end and I want to take an opportunity to reflect on the beginning of the school year through the first and second semesters…

Semester 1:
The first semester was extremely challenging and upon reflection, the majority of the challenge came from managing my schedule.  The course work and content, although challenging, I found the majority of the my struggles coming making time to complete the course work, meet with my team, attend class and the review sessions.

At first I attempted to keep my other engagements (BOD work, volunteer work etc…) but in the end found I needed to temporarily give these up in order to focus solely on school.  I don’t regret giving these up as I know the work I’m putting into school will make a lifetime of difference when I take these up in the future.

Semester 2:
Now that I’m in stride, the second semester started and ended very well.  Not only was school now well integrated into daily life but my grades also showed improvement because of it.  Below is what I’ve resolved will be my schedule for the next year.

Monday: Team study night – It’s highly recommended you meet with your team at least once a week.  This is the evening we take to review our workload for the week, work on team cases and discuss topics from class that are more complex
Tuesday: Personal study night
Wednesday: Class night
Thursday: Class review – Very important!  I found that making time to attend these can ensure a above average grade versus an average grade.  The TAs know what they’re talking about and as long as you’re willing to ask questions you’ll solidify your understanding of a tough topic.
Friday: Personal study night
Saturday: alternating class days/team study days
Sunday: NOTHING – Yes, I don’t do school work (or any other kind of work) on  Sundays.  This has worked out very well for me and my family and friends.  For me it’s a well deserved rest from the rest of the week and a recharge going into the upcoming week.  Finding time for myself has been imperative to my experience and success in school and that spills over to the rest of life.