Wednesday, January 26, 2011

And I am done

Finaly. Done and over with. Maybe in 10 years or so, I'll go back to school to get some sort of PhD. I remember dreading going back to school. I must say now, gruelling as it was, I've had a fair share of fun and met some amazinly smart people along the way.

I have taken 16 classes overall nd now I am going to list them all here and try to remember what I learned from them.

Executive Success Skills - this was a pure presentation and writing course, learning how to speak in front of people and assessing personal writing skills. One thing I remember is that I could be a heartless bastard. We've had a bad news presentation, and the topic was a faulty crib that killed a child. I was selected as the "CEO" of the company producing cribs. Someone asked a question of me how can the business continue when a child was killed, and I said something along the lines of "It's a horrible tragedy, but business is business." I have also converted half of the class into believing that Global Warming is a hoax.

Accounting For Decision Making - oh goodness me. I am always terrified of numbers (even though math was always one of my strongest subjects, thanks Dad). I remember little of the class, except that the instructor was an accounting drone, and liked to boast about his expertise at cost cutting. A true "mash potato MBA" course. I also learned the terms "knockdown furniture" and "pizza box furniture".

Effective Leadership - very abstract cloudy course about what it means to be a leader. The first course where we've taken a lot of self-assessment tests that forced me to look inside to see what kind of leader I could be, and what I can do with what I have. I remember registering as a high "I" in the disc assessment and it followed me through the programm. Yes, I do like to bullshit a lot, thank you very much.

Strategic Thinking - another excellent thinking course. A lot of work in this one. Again, to much delight of the others I have taken to blast the Global Warming. This course was about thinking and implementing a strategy. Take away "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there."

Strategic Business Writing - that was a short writing course. It was helpful as I needed to be able to learn how to put business ideas into writing.

Advanced Presentation Skills - learning how to improve my bullshitting skills. Takeaway "Elevator ride speech" - 30 seconds to present an idea. Six minutes is more than enough for any presentation.

Quantitative Analysis and Survey Methods - worst class ever. I can see the reason for it, but I can't help it. Probablity and Statistical analisys were always my cryptonite.

Global Business & Cultural Diversity - an interesting if a bit isoteric class. Being born and living in a different country first half of my life, gave me unique, if a bit cynical, perspective on international business. It's not that I learned that different cultures approach business negotiations and dealing differently, I knew that already, it's the ideas on HOW to approach internetional dealings.

Microeconomics for Managers and Macroeconomics for Managers - I seriously hardly remember these classes, I might remember some of the economic topics at the point when I need them, but unfortunately no lasting impression.

Financial Management - another truly "drone" class. Takeaway, understanding various financial statements and ratios, which is good. Another one, beta is the most important number when thinking about investments, returns, and risks.

Strategic Use of Information Technology - all I can say is easy A. The class was online, and let me tell you something, online courses ARE the worst way of teaching. When you teach HUMAN INTERACTION is required. No memories or impressions of this course because it was online learning.

Innovation & Risk - very very very intersting course. Lots of isight why some companies fail or trudge along and some companies soar. Maybe our instructor was a little unhinged but he was passionate. Lots of people didn't like this class, I did. It's something up my alley of thinking.

Marketing - dealing with Marketing people on the daily basis I needed to learn what drives them. I realized that there are very few people who actually understand marketing and how to add value to the product and the majority just like to believe surevys and numbers.

Leading Organizational Change - another esoteric course on how to become a good leader. But this one is based on the science of leadership, i guess there are people who study it for a living. The thing I learned is change is tough, and most people don't take to it. To drive change you have to be either insidious or like a hammer.

Negotiations and Conflict Management - fun course if anything else. I am not very good at negotiations, I dislike conflict, and rather cut my losses sooner than waste time. Couple of major takeaways: When negotiating don't defent position, the other party will defend the position to the end, without positive results for both parties. Always have a BATNA - Best Alternative To Non-Agreement, or in layman's terms - know when to quit.

Operations Management - very grueling course with Littlefield simulation, basically no sleep for two weeks. But understanding of Ops is important. Takeaway - I don't work well with people who have OCD.

Strategic Management - very interesting course made so by our instructor. BSG-Simulation is the most frustrating way to develop working strategies. The course is all about executing strategies and how the strategies and visions form to drive successful business.

Overall I am fairly satisfied with the program. Nice collection of drone courses with those to open up the mind.

The only question is "NOW WHAT?"


Ilya said...

Congrats, brother! I'm proud of you having done this!

mattw said...

Congratulations! That must be quite a relief.