I just attended the “Admitted Students Dinner” for my Weekend MBA program, and it has put a real and sudden feeling of reality into what I’m doing. Up until now, I’ve been doing everything via the web and e-mail — my application, acceptance letter, financial aid preparations…everything has been cyber-this and virtual that.
But having dinner in a room at the Henry Center in Lansing with 160 of my future best friends is a very grounding experience. Listening to a panel of alumni tell me just how much work they went through is a very grounding experience. Listening to professors say how much they expect to be done before class even starts is a very grounding experience. Getting a bag full of books, and a stack of syllabi and assignments due before my first class is a very grounding experience.
So to backtrack…I’m excited, with a large dash of terror-sauce.
In one 7-day residency session, I am going to complete three full college couses — 5.5 credit hours in seven days — and not fru-fru courses, no. Financial Accounting, Managerial Principles and Supply Chain Principles. I think I — right now — have a total of 26 chapters and nearly 50 questions/quizzes/exercises to complete in the next 2-1/2 months, not including the three on-line pre-courses in Statistics and Accounting.
Whew. Excited, with a large dash of terror-sauce, topped with “what-the-hell-did-I-get-myself-into?”
But I can do this. Other people have done this. Other people have done this around marriages and childbirth, and I have to go through neither. My wife is behind me on this, and says she’s excited for me…at least right now. We’ll see how excited she is after a year of dad-who’s-no-help-with-the-kids and husband-who-does-no-housework.
This program will last until March 2011. Two years; maybe a bit less. I survived five years in Indiana. I lived through six years of hellacious help desk duty. I can do two years of school — especially if I keep my eyes on the prize at the end: an expected doubling of my salary and a hope for more than that. Those other things — Indiana and help desk — had nothing at the end to look forward to other than just the cessation of hostilities. No prize for completion…nothing. “It’ll feel better when it stops hurting.” You get the idea.
This program? Two years of grueling school and 3-hour drives, and at the end of it I have an M.B.A. degree from a program ranked 18th among public universities and 40th overall? A program rated #1 for return on investment? A program with a career services department ranked #3 (IIRC) in the nation? Well, hell! I can do this!