Tag Archives: Transformative Experience

Perspectives from TMMBA

Author: Kengo Baba, TMMBA Class of 2013

TMMBA opened my eyes from the first month of school experience and every month has been a fresh learning opportunity although it can be tough and painful sometimes. We got exposed with a room full of energetic and experienced class mates to share their own perspectives and approaches to solve the problem or generate new idea.

We all knew to some level in our head that everyone sees the same object from different angles and have different opinions. But we do not often get to actually experience the formation of common team’s point of views from various view points from peers as we discuss wide range of business management subjects outside of work environment with a level of hierarchy structure.  Some discussions made us looked at other in disbelief of grossly different point of view. Who is right, who is wrong?

When our point of view significantly differs from others, the first reaction is to tie our own historical knowledge data point to justify your view to defend our point of view. But after exchanging and sharing various point of view and opinions from intelligent peers, each of us realize that other peers’ point of views also make sense and they are not necessary wrong.  The answer is not right  or wrong.  “It depends……”

Unlike engineering study where there is clear right or wrong answer, we learned soon learned that most  of MBA class answers are “It depends…..”.  Depends on what?  Well, it depends on so many things that one person cannot cover all angles. One individual may not effectively come up with the best answer from limited point of view of his or her knowledge from historical data point and intuition.  Realizing that there are so many ways of looking at the same thing and sharing various views would create refined collective team point of view which covers many more angles of dependencies.

Some of those lengthy and heated discussions that I recall were the greatest learning opportunities that I would remember for a long time, although I may not remember Modigliani and Miller Theorem. TMMBA provided me the practical learning lesson to effectively generate solutions and new ideas from peer’s different perspectives that I cannot possibly come up with by myself.

TMMBA – A Transformative Experience

Author: Ganesh, Editor-in-chief: Anu, TMMBA Class of 2013

I am passionate about building great technology products. After moving to the US in 2010, I started enquiring about b-schools in the area. TMMBA program stood out because it is fast-paced (18 month program) and the emphasis is on technology management. I signed up to visit couple of classes and after attending a Finance class and a Macroeconomics class, I decided this was the right program for me. However, I was really skeptical about my ability to manage the program and a highly demanding job at Amazon. It didn’t help when a few of the TMMBA alumni confirmed my skepticism. In order to convince myself that I could do it, I came up with a two week challenge for myself – getting a good score on GMAT with only two weeks of preparation. The fact that I am writing this post now might give you an idea whether I met my goal.

My wife, who works for Microsoft, shared similar career aspirations and felt TMMBA was the right program for her. After some thought we decided that it was smart to do the program together. Firstly, expectations were automatically set while we went through the same set of challenges together. One of us was not planning a vacation while the other crammed for an exam :-) Secondly, as the program progressed, we realized that learning was twice as much, mainly because we could discuss our points of view on topics ranging from personal finance to business strategy right at the dinner table. Some people might consider this extreme and they might be right. Our social life during the program was close to nil. Our close friends jokingly comment that we come out of our hibernation only once in 3 months (which is not completely untrue). However by doing the program together, we saved ourselves 18 more months of crazy hours. As our economics professor would put it, there is something to be said for opportunity cost of time.

Based on our first-hand experience, I would highly recommend TMMBA for couples who live and work in the Greater Seattle Area, and are brave enough to attempt it. Almost 17 months into the program, we think our decision to do TMMBA together was spot on. Although it was challenging to juggle personal, professional and student lives, career-wise, both of us are in a much better place.

The MBA program is so well structured that it has enabled me to build a mental map of approaching problems from various angles such as strategy, marketing, sales, accounting, finance, tax, legal and so on. At work, I am now able to contribute at a strategic level because my perspective has broadened significantly through interactions with amazing professors and smart classmates. In my opinion, TMMBA is creating a small but growing group of unique professionals who can analyze every article in the “Wall Street Journal”, talk “Blue Ocean Strategy” and at the same time create innovative technology products. The program has transformed my personal and professional lives forever in ways I never imagined possible!