Category Archives: Student Life

TMMBA Week in the Life: David Ginsberg, Day 7

David Ginsberg, TMMBA Student, Class of 2014

Today we had a problem set due for Operations & Supply Chain Management. This one is a team submission and my team decided to all take a stab at it and then compare our work over a conference call in the afternoon a few hours before it’s due. I hadn’t really felt certain that I was getting some of the concepts, so working through the problems and talking though it with the team was really helpful. It turns out I understood more than I thought, and my answers aligned with what we decided were the correct answers.

We decided t meet again tomorrow to discuss the upcoming “Beer Game” and “Littlefield Simulation for the same class. For some reason we’ve ended up having class 2 Saturdays in a row this month so we’ve got class next weekend as well, which isn’t helpful for those of us who’ve got kids and schedules that must be kept to, but at least the quarter is nearly over.

Sunday night after we got our work submitted I headed up to my brother & sister-in-law’s to celebrate my dad’s 81st birthday. Was good to have a few waking hours away from studying finally, though the time went to quickly and before I knew it the day was over.

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And with that my Week in the Life draws to a close. It’s been fun but I’ll be glad to have this time back, and just in time for another midterm and then finals. Thanks for reading!

TMMBA Week in the Life: David Ginsberg, Day 6

David Ginsberg, TMMBA Student, Class of 2014

Woke up this morning to a gorgeous blue sky, a very welcome change from the last few days.

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I slept a bit longer than I should have so I left a bit late, and sped over the bridge, through Seattle, and across the lake to the EEC, missing breakfast for only the 2nd time since the program began. I did manage to grab a bowl of yogurt and granola and get into class less than 10 minutes after it started, and I think the extra sleep was worth it because it will help me stay focused better throughout the day. Our first class this morning is Managerial Accounting, and unfortinatley we’re not going over the midterm today. We are, however, reviewing the two case studies that were due before class started this morning. We just went over the solution for the first case and I got it almost entirely right, even catching some of the ‘gotchas’ hidden in the case. This bodes well for our next exam, which will cover this material. Accounting has probably been the biggest surprise for me – I dreaded Financial Accounting last winter quarter and it ended up being my favorite class that highly quantitative quarter, and this time Managerial Accounting is a close second to the Leadership Development during our Leadership Immersion at the beginning of this quarter. Not that I’m going to suddenly shift direction and go into accounting, but I’ve ended up enjoying both subjects and have done reasonably well in them.

During our morning break I talked to a couple students from the Monday section who told me that our Operations & Supply Chain Management professor told their class this morning that up until now it’s been easy and we should expect it to become more difficult from today on and to take much more of our time. Awesome, because I’ve been looking for things to do with all that spare time I’m spending sleeping 5 hours per night!

Lunch was delicious…today I was a bad vegetarian and had the beef vegetable stir-fry. I don’t regret it (the cow might, but that’s a question for a philosophy class). For the afternoon section we had five visitors. Visitors come periodically, sometimes prospective students, sometimes former students. It’s rare to have so many at once but always nice have visitors, especially when they engage in the discussions. This group was from next year’s class, and I think the first half of class scared them off because none of them came back after break (this is probably just as well, because after break came the most difficult and technical lecture of the entire course). By mid-afternoon I needed another cup of coffee. Caffeine is your friend in a full-time graduate program designed for working professionals. I like to call it liquid sleep.

Do not be alarmed…
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It looks like the rest of the quarter will be pretty intense: the midterm for this class gets released Thursday, immediately after that’s due the final for our Strategic a Management of Technological Innovation is released, and once that’s done we have the finals for this class and Managerial Accounting. Winter break has never looked so good!

TMMBA Week in the Life: David Ginsberg, Day 5

David Ginsberg, TMMBA Student, Class of 2014

This morning I met with our CMO to engage marketing in an initiative I’m working on, and this afternoon we had a department outing to The Garage where I bowled solidly in the 80s. Ok so maybe I don’t have a career in professional bowling ahead but we had a good time and nobody took it too seriously. All but my team are moving to a new office down the street and their things were being moved as we bowled, another sign of a rapidly growing company.

Today it finally feels like November again and it was raining at lunchtime. Luckily there are plenty of loaner umbrellas available at the office.

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After The Garage I met a group of old friends for happy hour, a rare occurance with such a busy schedule which made it all the more enjoyable. Tonight will be an early night, we have breakfast at the EEC early tomorrow morning before class starts at 8:30. It was good to have a little down time, it’ll help refresh me for tomorrow’s seminars

This quarter seems to be flying by, I can’t believe we’re halfway through it already. Class 14 had their welcome reception recently. I remember ours last November…in a way it seems so long ago now because we’ve learned so much and gotten to know each other quite well, but in another way it’s hard to believe it’s already been a year. We’ll be graduating in June and that’ll be here before we know it.

On that note, goodnight!

TMMBA Week in the Life: David Ginsberg, Day 4

David Ginsberg, TMMBA Student, Class of 2014

Today my schedule opened up a bit at work and I had chance to actually produce some work. I also found time in the morning to meet a daytime Foster MBA student for coffee and an informational interview. I also passed along resumes and glowing recommendations of 2 of my fellow TMMBA students to our recruiting department, helping to shepherd them through the screening gauntlet so they can secure an interview. The rest will be up to them – good luck guys!

On Thursdays we have review sessions, and the number of them varies from one to three depending on what’s going on in each of our courses that particular week. Next week, like last week we’ll have three reviews in a row which makes Thursday nearly as long as Wednesday, but this week we only had one: Operations and Supply Chain Management. I decided I couldn’t spare the extra hour on the road going to and from Kirkland and attended remotely (this is an option for the review sessions, and many students in our cohort choose this option each week, although I’ve only attended remotely once previously). Tonight we had numerous technical difficulties with the sound which reinforced my belief that its better to attend in person whenever possible. Technical difficulties aside the reason for the review is that we have a big problem set due this weekend and a midterm coming next week, and our TA did a good job of reviewing the concepts we’ve learned and walking us through the types of problems we’re likely to encounter on the midterm. As with all things new, practice and repetition are the keys to getting this stuff. Next week we’ll find out how well we got it.

Too much to do to write more tonight, thanks for checking in & I’ll be back tomorrow with the next installment.

TMMBA Week in the Life: David Ginsberg, Day 3

David Ginsberg, TMMBA Student, Class of 2014

Today’s schedule makes the last 2 days look like a breeze. At work my calendar was filled with meetings for all but 30 minutes, including interviewing a new candidate for my team. Since this role will work closely with me I put some time and thought into devising a series of technical and behavioral questions to ascertain how the candidate might handle various likely scenarios and if there was a good cultural fit. I sent my analysis to my boss who said it was great feedback, very intuitive and in line with his own thoughts so I’m glad I’m able to add value to that process. I also had lunch with a former coworker who’s interested in Tableau. We went out for sushi & we had a chance to catch up, share experiences at our new companies and talk a bit about how he might fit in at Tableau. The buzz around my new employer is kind of blowing me away, I mean I knew I’d found a gem and made the right choice for me, but I have a fellow TMMBA classmate and former study group member who’s early in the process of interviewing for a role with us, another expressed interest tonight when I got to class and several others have also expressed interest. As I’ve become accustomed to at Tableau the day flew by and before I knew it I was on my way across the lake to the EEC.

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Arrived at the EEC and tonight we had a Tech at the Top guest speaker from Concur speaking on Fostering Innovation, so I grabbed a plate of Mexican food and headed into classroom 3 for the talk. Class started a little late tonight at 6:15 due to the guest speaker during dinner, and tonight we had a record 3 guests from Monday section join us (we’ve had Monday students join us for the last 4 weeks straight, but only one per night until tonight). Some of my classmates suggested they’re sending spies but I suspect word is just getting out that the Wednesday section is more fun. (As you can see we have a healthy friendly rivalry between the sections…in truth the whole cohort is made up of wonderful, smart, committed people and I like every one of them).

Tonight at the start of class we broke into 6 groups and were assigned positions to defend on the group case we’d turned in before class started tonight. My group was assigned the opposite position from the one my study group chose and wrote our paper on last night, so I had a chance to argue for the other position. Here’s a picture I took of us after we wrapped up our arguments in favor:

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I’m actually live-blogging (hear that CNN?) during class tonight, multi-tasking as we used to say in the 90s before everyone realized it was impossible due to the singular nature of attention. I better turn my attention back to the content of class…more in a bit.

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Tonight I took advantage of our break to reach out to a hiring manager about my classmate’s interest & got that ball rolling. I also noticed they also put up lights at the EEC:

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Class will end at 9:30 tonight, but I’m going to say goodnight now.

TMMBA Week in the Life: David Ginsberg, Day 2

David Ginsberg, TMMBA Student, Class of 2014

Tuesday morning I was awakened by a furry friend at 4:30…this was the night I was hoping to get closer to 8 hours sleep. So much for that.

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The workday again went quickly, and while I generally try to schedule my time so my studies don’t impinge on my time with my kids this week that’s been especially challenging. On Tuesdays they make dinner – they plan out the meal, we go to the store and get the items we don’t already have and then they prepare it. They’ve been doing this for nearly two years now and they’re getting pretty good at it. This week they chose comfort food: homemade tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches and Caesar salad. It really hit the spot and powered me through my individual case study for Strategic Management of Technological Innovation, which I completed about 20 minutes before my study group met via the UW’s new Lync service to flesh out our group case study for the same class, both of which are due before class starts Wednesday night. Only three of us were able to participate in the meeting, which is a little disappointing since it’s good to get everyone’s input, but the three of us worked together really well and quickly came to consensus on our solution and knocked it out together during the meeting. The learning teams are one of the most valuable parts of the TMMBA program, and we usually meet in person but when that doesn’t work out we’ll use Lync or Google Hangout to meet. Halfway through the program they mix us all up and we form new teams, and this was my new team’s first time meeting remotely. And for all of us it was our first time using the UW’s newly implemented Lync service. It worked pretty well…we had a few technical difficulties (my client crashed a couple of times, for example), but overall it worked pretty well.

Then the unthinkable happened…I was working on the document, sharing my screen and my computer completely froze. And for some inexplicable reason I hadn’t saved the changes I’d made to the document during the call. Fortunately the document was still visible on screen so I was able to take a picture of the screen and use that to recreate the document, but what a pain! I’m usually so good about frequently saving work, I can’t believe I did that. I’ll chalk it up to lack of sleep.

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And speaking of sleep, I managed to get the case study completed and saved to the shared drive my study group uses for collaborating on these things and still get to bed at a decent hour, which is helpful since I’m in the Wednesday section and tomorrow is the longest day of my week. I have meetings scheduled all but 30 minutes of my day at work and then it’s off to the east side Executive Center for dinner with my classmates and Professor Boeker before class starts at 6PM.

TMMBA Week in the Life: David Ginsberg, Day 1

David Ginsberg, TMMBA Student, Class of 2014

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Hi, welcome to day one of A Week in the Life, which is designed to give a perspective on what it’s like to be a student in the University of Washington TMMBA Program. I suppose an introduction is in order: I’m David Ginsberg, I’m a member of Class 13 (which means I’m a member of the 13th class, we actually graduate in June 2014). I’m a single parent with 11 year-old twins, just started a new job at Tableau Software a month ago (through connections made at a TMMBA Career Mixer, how cool is that!?) and celebrated my 49th birthday at the end of October.

Monday started out beautiful, especially for November in Seattle. I started the day by taking a walk around the pond in my neighborhood as the sun rose:

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The morning commute was especially light due to Veterans Day (thank you once again Veterans!), and I was at work before 7AM. The days go quickly at Tableau, I started with coffee with my boss, met with our Senior Director for a high-level whiteboard session for a new initiative I’m taking on. Before I knew it the work day was over & I was on my way home to my kids and schoolwork.

Speaking of schoolwork, this turns out to be the busiest week in the quarter. On our plates for this week: a midterm for Managerial Accounting (this took me about 9 hours this weekend), two case studies also for Managerial Accounting, an individual case study and a group case study for Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation, a problem set for Operations & Supply Chain Management and oh some reading too – 5 textbook chapters and half a dozen articles from HBR and others sources.

So far I’ve completed the midterm and the 2 case studies for Managerial Accounting, and about half of the reading. Please stay tuned as we continue this experiment in sleep deprivation!

For dinner the kids and I went out to Chaco Canyon for some healthy food for busy people and then watched an episode of Once Upon a Time while I read a couple case studies.

Thanks for tuning in, more to come as the saga continues on Tuesday.

TMMBA Week in the Life: Sarah McCaffrey, Day Seven

Sarah McCaffrey, TMMBA Student, Class of 2014

My final post already. I’ve enjoyed blogging for the TMMBA this week. I hope my profile has been helpful to anyone considering the program. Despite the fast tempo, when you face down unfamiliar classes and turn in work that you’re proud of, you feel energized.

Team photo courtesy Pritam Das
Team photo courtesy Pritam Das

So for my week in review:

Monday: Persuasive presentation and a Macroeconomics session.

Tuesday: Review of presentation video and scheduled coaching call, Skype team meeting.

Wednesday: MCDM class session, read read read and spend quality time with my daughters before momentum carries the week away from us.

Thursday: *Birthday*

Friday: Prepare for Saturday class. I also expected to watch my nephew for the day, but my husband tricked me to keep me from making other plans — my sister actually agreed to watch our girls. We took our dogs for a walk at the local arboretum, had lunch, then went to ride go-karts as a late birthday surprise.

Saturday: Macrothon

Sunday: Polish case write-up, collapse.

Just kidding, who has time to collapse? It all starts again tomorrow.

TMMBA Week in the Life: Sarah McCaffrey, Day Six

Sarah McCaffrey, TMMBA Student, Class of 2014

Just a short post today: We had our Macropalooza, two four-hour macroeconomics session at Paccar Hall. A group of PhD candidates brought in a lottery-themed study for our participation, which was a lot of fun. I drove straight home at four for a family gathering and found out that my sister is expecting a baby boy, her second. After that, our team kept an updated e-mail chain going to put the final touches on our Marketing Management team write-up, which we will submit tomorrow. Just another relaxing weekend…

TMMBA Week in the Life: Sarah McCaffrey, Day Five

Sarah McCaffrey, TMMBA Student, Class of 2014

Early tomorrow, our cohort will meet on the Seattle campus for two straight sessions of Macroeconomics — Monday section was calling it “Macropalooza” and Wednesday came up with “Macropalypse.” Classes on the UW campus are fun (no joke, even though it’s class on a sunny Saturday) because the entire cohort, Monday and Wednesday sections, combine to take classes together. The Eastside Executive Center is our usual location, but Paccar Hall offers a great change of pace. The building is impressive, and we eat lunch on the terrace.

Image courtesy Foster School of Business
Image courtesy Foster School of Business

Today I finished all of my reading for the weekend to preempt a busy schedule coming up next week. The TMMBA requires a good amount of reading. Let me reassure you, though: most of the articles, case studies, and texts are written in an engaging style to hold our attention. The reading becomes more of a hobby than an obligation.

My books after two finished quarters.
My books after two finished quarters.

After classes on campus, the cohort usually meets on University Avenue for a drink, but unfortunately I will have to miss tomorrow’s gathering. My sister’s family and friends will get together to find out the gender of her baby on the way, by spraying each other with silly string that’s secretly blue or pink. It’s amazing how much can fit in a day.