TMMBA Class 9 graduated earlier in the month and now Class 10 takes the helm as the senior group of students. Personally I consider them in their “Junior year” at this point as they are largely time management experts and widely knowledgeable about how the program runs, however I never feel that the group has 100% nailed down their study habits and figured out their team dynamic until Summer quarter is over.
With Class 9 gone, things have mellowed out a bit here from an operations standpoint at the Eastside Executive Center as we go from max student capacity during Winter through Spring to suddenly roughly half! Everything seems to be affected, from quieter hallways, one less classroom used, fewer teams and students using study spaces, less coffee being consumed, reduced course materials ordered, et cetera.
One of the great benefits this opportunity affords is the chance to get to know the newer group of students that much more. While Class 10 has been around for two full quarters, things can be quite chaotic at times with students relearning to be…well, students again, during the Winter (their first quarter) and Spring in addition to staff helping guide the veteran group to the finish line in the Spring. Summer eases up a bit on the gas-pedal and I feel that both staff and students interact more and make stronger connections in this simplified environment. I’m looking forward to some of the highlights the Summer quarter brings such as the leadership immersion (a student favorite) during the late Summer/early Autumn, the TMMBA Alumni Golf Classic (a very popular alumni/student event), and the legendary September break (also a student favorite – not pictured ).
As you can see, what’s not to like about the Summer?!
September in the TMMBA office is the period I like to call “The calm before the storm”. While the rest of the staff is frantically busy processing, reviewing and making decisions on admissions for the incoming class starting Winter 2010, the academic services side calms down quite a bit as I largely support the students (away on break) and the faculty (courses for summer are over). Every year I take this time to focus my energies on the gathering “storm” that is Winter quarter. While it may seem that I’m getting ahead of myself by prepping a quarter in advance, that’s the nature of the business, always at least a quarter ahead, if not more. The extra time is especially valuable to have before the frenzy that defines Winter quarter, and when I think of it, doesn’t really end until Spring quarter is complete, eeeks! Winter is wild for these main reasons:
A new cohort of students starts the program, Class 10 (they’re trying to learn how to be a student again while finding zen with a full-time job and family)
New course material distribution medium (Class 10 is receiving Kindle DX’s to receive their textbooks at the start of the program, this is a pilot for the Foster School of Business)
The veteran group of students, Class 9, is starting their 2nd to the last quarter (this puts the total number of courses between the two cohorts at 8; a lot is going on)
Planning begins to wrap-up Class 9′s MBA career, including their Capstone event and graduation in the Spring
Hopefully this entry doesn’t come across as complaining, because I’m not. Winter and Spring quarters for all their work and stress end up being some of the most exciting and rewarding times in the program! In the Winter I get to meet a brand new group of eager students, which I find is one of the neatest parts of my job. Over the years I’ve worked here I have developed quite a network both professionally and socially which turns out to be one of the most significant perks for students too (not necessarily meeting me, but meeting people across industries/disciplines/cultures). After Winter exits Spring arrives and we see the veteran group of students finishing their MBA careers. This experience is always very special as the staff gets to know many of the students on a personal level so it’s pretty neat to see them reach their goals. So I’m buckling in and holding on, it’s sure to be another doozy!
Last week was a whirlwind of activity at TMMBA! Over a three day period Class 8 students had their Technology Commercialization Capstone competition, celebration dinner, and graduation. The capstone was an opportunity for students to showcase their learnings from the past 18 months. Over the course of spring quarter they developed a commercialization plan for a University of Washington technology and then presented it to a panel of judges on June 6. We ended the day with a dinner to celebrate graduation and announce the winners of the competition. Two days later, students headed to the UW Edmundson Pavilion for graduation. This is always a great day for me. I enjoy hanging out with the students as they get ready for the ceremony and am proud to see how far they have come in 18 months. It’s an exciting moment and I’m glad that I get to share it with them. Congratulations Class 8!
- Students, staff and a few alumni blog about the experience of earning an MBA via the University of Washington Foster School of Business Technology Management MBA Program, covering events, learning-in-action, life after graduation, networking opportunities, and so much more.