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.
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.
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.
Sunday: Polish case write-up, collapse.
Just kidding, who has time to collapse? It all starts again tomorrow.
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…
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.
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.
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.
Welcome to the first installment of a new TMMBA series, “Week in the Life,” in which you can read about a typical week in the life of a TMMBA student. Today you’ll hear a little bit about me, Sarah McCaffrey, a former Marine Staff Sergeant currently in full-time pursuit of two degrees, the Technology Management MBA and the Master of Communication in Digital Media.
I’m writing this blog post during a break in the middle of our Macroeconomics class.
My TMMBA-related activities start early, checking my university e-mail account and a private Facebook group set up by my learning team over morning coffee, to see if we have any action items. Today I spent a little over two hours rehearsing my Professional Communications persuasive speech exercise. I was lucky enough to have an audience, however unenthusiastic they became after the first few run-throughs: my two daughters, aged three and five.
As a member of the Monday section, I headed to Macroeconomics for today’s session. Dinner is catered at 5:00 p.m., completely delicious and much appreciated in all of our busy schedules. I gave my persuasive speech at 6:00, which we can feature on the blog later this week. Several student presentations kicked off the class today, as well as introductions to today’s perspective student visitors.
I look forward to blogging daily this week, mixing it up with non-class activities and team meetings. Thanks for reading!
Guest post by Dina Vaccari and Kevin Croy, Class of 2012
It was amazing how relevant our TMMBA courses were during our visits to Singapore and Beijing, both during cultural tours and company visits. The Global Strategy course taught by Kevin Steensma was particularly relevant, especially during our visit to China. Many of the companies we met with spoke to the entry strategy options along with key points to consider when entering a new global marketplace; class discussions had previously exposed us to many of these factors. A trip to an Amazon fulfillment center located in China gave us unique insight into the company’s operations in addition to their global expansion strategy.
The representative from Godiva Chocolates discussed their decision making process and considerations regarding joint venture, direct investment, or partnership entrance strategy. Godiva benchmarked their entry against other luxury brand entries, such as Coach and Haagen Dazs, companies that had already entered the China market successfully. They studied these brands’ entry experience and weighed the pros and cons of each to determine which strategy would be the best for them. In the end, they determined that the challenges they anticipated with their supply chain, particularly associated with the proper refrigeration of their products during transport, would merit a direct investment and owning their supply chain throughout the whole process to ensure quality and reduce shrinkage.
In addition to Godiva, we also visited Amazon, which brought our Macroeconomics and Operations Management classes to mind. The population of China is urbanizing and becoming a more consumer-oriented culture, so companies are adapting to leverage this growing segment of potential customers. Our visit to an Amazon fulfillment center (FC) in China helped illustrate this point because the massive FC we visited primarily handled orders destined for Chinese consumers. Clearly, Amazon understands the potential of the Chinese market and has positioned themselves to capitalize on this trend. Operations at the FC were very efficient. Our tour began at the loading dock on one side of the warehouse where inventory entered the system. Items were catalogued and routed to holding locations. As orders were placed, pickers pulled inventory to assemble the appropriate products and prepare them for packaging. Once packaged, the orders proceeded to an area with workers who labeled them for shipping. Finally, orders were routed to holding areas until outbound shippers could collect them. The streamlined process was well choreographed and reminded us of the risk-pooling and queuing concepts we learned about in Operations Class.
Every company we visited or street vendor we encountered gave us a new opportunity to look at things through our new TMMBA lenses. It was an amazing trip!
– 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.