Evening/Weekend MBA: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly....

     
So there's been a lot of discussion on the blog lately about evening vs weekend and congrats/advice for the newly admitted Class of 2012 (I guess that officially makes me a third year - woohoo!). So I thought I'd add to it with my own 2 cents worth about life as EWMBA student.

The Good
Today is Thursday, and it is 1.52pm and I'm sitting in the Long Library on campus in a big, comfy arm chair updating this blog and I'm overlooking the fern garden in the Haas courtyard and the blue skies outside. I'm back on campus for Berkeley-Columbia classes and today at lunchtime Dean Edley from the Boalt Law School spoke on the transition for the Obama Administration (of which he was a member of the transition team), which was fascinating. I have to say, this is the first time I've stepped foot inside the Long Library, and having a break to just take it all in is pretty rare. Life on campus is very exciting! Its nice to be part of football games, speaker series', Dinner with the Dean, club events and all other kinds of goings-on on campus. The plus side of being on EWMBA student is that we still have an income at the same as enjoying some of the aspects of student life.

The other thing that I've been really impressed with is the calibre of the professors. Especially this semester, I've had three fabulous professors who are very knowledgeable, engaging, intellectual, understanding, flexible, fascinating and downright great people.

Classmates - now that I'm in third year (I can say that!), I feel like I have some strong ties with some really incredible people. Now that I've known my fellow classmates for a couple of years, I feel like I've really got to know them - what a fabulous bunch! I know I feel comfortable that if I ever needed anything, I could call on them, and that they would do the same with me.

The Bad
Div mentioned the parking in Berkeley. Its not as bad as he made out - I know most Evening students (especially the second/third years) all have a parking strategy. I know personally I found myself running into class at 6.02pm having struggled with the parking gods once again. But there are three or four (or even more) parking lots near Haas, and I never had an occasion when I couldn't get parking in any of these lots - the bad aspect of the parking just depends on how close you want to get to Haas. Several of my classmates had carpool groups (which were also very effective study-group, class comparison and networking opportunities) and others took BART and were kindly shuttled to/from Haas by classmates. Its really not that bad, don't let the parking situation turn you off evening classes (you do get a student parking permit).

Right now I'm breathing a sigh of relief after having just completed a mid-term exam in Financial Statement Analysis, and procrastinating about completing an Entrepreneurship marketing plan (that's why I'm in the Library for the first time!). Plus I also completed the Financial Statement Modeling final Quiz this week. As well its been a very busy time for me at work, and we've had family staying with us. There are times when there are just so many deadlines (they all seem to come at once!), and I feel like all I do is eat, sleep, work and study.

Some of my fellow bloggers have mentioned barbecues, summer fun and other social activities. That is one of the bad aspects - sometimes 'having a life' is what everyone else does, and to EWMBA'ers its a distant foggy memory. I know several people from my cohort are feeling pretty burnt out right now, and a few of us talked about the possibility of finishing our MBA a semester early. Many of us are trying to push through the pain and overload next semester for the prospect of getting our lives back 6 months earlier. Mmmm.... just the prospect of free time again.....

The Ugly
Sometimes life just gets ugly. Like the last few weeks when I had what felt like ten assignments due, huge deadlines at work plus the rest of life caving in on me - of course, I get infected with every single germ that ever decided to swarm around this place. I feel like I've had a flu of some kind every other month since I started at Haas. I'm looking forward to boosting my immune system again once I finish.

Div mentioned Saturday students who fly in from other places, and the ugly prospect of giving up every Saturday for the foreseeable future (I can't see very far into the future!). I'm about to join that group, even if its only a semester of Saturday's I'm looking at giving up, but its a daunting prospect. Today I took a 6am flight to get to Haas, and I'm really feeling it right now. I wonder how I'll feel by 7.30pm when my next class finishes....

Right, well on that note, I'd better start thinking about my marketing research before this comfy arm chair sucks me right in....

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