If there is one thing you really get good at as you progress along the EWMBA road, it is multitasking; or rather, learning to switch between different tasks and make a lot of progress in short bursts. Fall B has proved to be more challenging than Fall A and things have also picked up quite a bit at my workplace. All of this has really brought out a need for thoughtful orchestration of my daily to-do list.
"Thanksgiving break has come and gone, but all we know is work goes on!"
It's been a rough semester all around. All in all, I am beginning to think second-year is just as tough as the first-year, but in a very different way. Having to deal with picking courses, class-hopping in the early weeks (if you're like me) and settling into your groove, all with keeping focused over a longer course haul (no more split semester). It has its difficulties. Then again, the actual class time reduction (at least for weekenders.. from 4 hrs/class to 3 hrs/class) does seem to help boost spirits. Then again, I'm sure third-years contend with "senioritis"-- and I can't take away from the first-year shuffle!
Entrepreneurship Now-a-days, my Entrepreneurship Team is toughing it out, trying to get our business plan ready and prepare for the VC pitch (for the class, but with real VCs, as you'd expect). Even during the Holiday break, we've been attempting to smooth out the rough edges. It's been a fun ride, though I am definitely looking forward to the Winter break. Funny thing is this step would normally just be the start to entering the start-up world. Nice learning lesson for the "next time around," right? :) I'm sure I'll get a chance to let you know how the class-version goes. The ol' saying is that if they don't grill you until you cry, you're not making an interesting pitch!
International Marketing Still a very interesting class with a very knowledgeable professor and solid guest speakers. Last week around, we actually had a non-profit company (Kick Start, formerly ApproTEC) come in and talk to us about their work in Africa and how they use technology to expand wealth and economy there in practical areas like irrigation. One more written analysis case ("WAC!") to do for a final..
Designing Financial Models That Work For my only 1-unit course this semester, we have already wrapped up, prior to Thanksgiving. It's a good thing too, with all the hustle and bustle of other classes. It's inspired me to further firm up some of my financial foundational skills. To that end, I've signed up for Financial Information Analysis next semester.
Beyond Class Definitely a lot of external activities going on, as Anlei had mentioned. At least I'm not having to travel for class like our buddy, Sonny (though she, in typical Sonny fashion, has enthusiastically handled it with super grace and is "working it"). Haas Holiday party is coming up this Saturday too, in fact. Work still has its own challenges, and backing up the bottle during holidays (and then returning to the flood) has its moments.
If that's not enough, some of my Haas buddies and I decided to get our feet wet with a case competition (just started), and I'm trying to plan around two personal trips next year-- they're keeping me looking forward.
Random tidbits again from me, but another "day in the life" so-to-speak.
Until next time.. Good luck with Finals, folks! - Tim
We had our second session of my "Marketing in Web 2.0" class this week. The class is taught by Andreas Weigend, formerly the chief scientist at Amazon.com and and a respected expert in data-driven marketing and what he calls the social data revolution.
Yesterday was the first day of YEAH (Young Entrepreneurs At Haas). I had a great morning (albeit a bit early) spent with two other mentors and 7 high school freshman. I was a bit unsure of what to expect when I showed up, but I am really glad I chose to be a part of YEAH.
In Professor Glazer's informal talk with a bunch of students he narrated his experience working with startups and his reputation as "Business Plan Doctor". When many of the startups whose business plans get rejected, turn to Glazer for help. He described how the typical call would go,
Founders: We heard you are the business plan doctor could you help us? Glazer: Let me ask you something about your business plan. You say in your plan you have a great product, you describe the founders as smart people from Berkeley and Stanford, in the market section you show hockey stick growth, and in your competitor section you have three words, There is none.
Founders: (very excited that they got the right guy), Yes on all, so would you help?
Glazer: I just told you what the problem is. Your market description and competitor section do not agree. Any market that is growing at the rate you describe is going to have competitors. Saying there is none convinces the VCs that either you did not do your work or that the market isn't really there. If you think it is indeed a new product with no competitors think about the substitutes. No one is going to believe you when you say there are no competitors. When there are no competitors there are no customers too.
Our Marketing Club Prezs hit two home runs this week. For Tuesday, they arranged a private reception with Professor Emeritus David Aaker. Professor Aaker was at Haas to do a session for the whole school, the reception was set before his school wide address and was exclusive for the due paying members of the marketing club.
During Days at Haas, a few new admits asked me whether I am currently going for any of the certificates (specializations) that Haas is offering. Unlike some other schools, Haas does not require students to declare an area of specialization, but we can chose to pursue a certificate in one of the following disciplines:
All these programs prepare students for roles in the respective industries and students can elect to enroll in one or two of these certificate programs or (like me) decide to take classes across the board to pursue a very broad education. All certificate programs offer recommended gateway classes for the spring semester and then suggest a list of electives that fulfill the requirements for a specific certificate. Of course, students enrolled in a certificate program still take the full set of core classes and can take a number of classes outside their specific program.
I am a boring person: I was a consultant before coming to Haas, I will spend my summer in consulting and plan to go back into consulting after graduation. so I felt like I would not benefit much from choosing a certificate program. Instead I am taking classes touching a number of different areas, including some that are recommended for the MOT and the Global Management certificate. Of course, not having a defined set of classes as in a certificate program actually makes picking the right classes much more difficult. To help students deal with course selection, in addition to all the official information channels most career focused clubs offer information sessions on second year electives this week. In these sessions second year students talk about their choice of classes, recommend sets of courses for specific career choices and offer advice on which classes to take to complement career specific class offerings. I haven't yet finalized my list of classes for the next year (and I am still considering taking another Italian class and possibly a class at the Goldman School of Public Policy). I have come up with a short-list of classes for my fall semester though:
I'm writing this from Seattle. A week or so ago, I got an offer from Amazon.com to be a product management intern this summer, and they flew a bunch of MBAs into town for a "sell" weekend. When I got to the hotel on Thursday night (late), the guy at the front desk told me he was going to upgrade my room to a suite. Having been through a similar process as an undergrad, it felt a little bit like the kiss of death when I opened the door and immediately saw a floor-to-ceiling view of the Space Needle. But whatever...I got over it when I saw the huge bed and the gigantic bathroom.