April 28, 2010

Pursuing a Legacy

[Posted by Betsy Stiles, MS·MBA in Public and Nonprofit Management, Class of 2011]Bookmark and Share

I gave my last presentation of the school year on Tuesday, for our team project this semester. It was actually a really fun project, studying Palm, which has a lot going on right now. My team this semester was a fabulous, laid back but still hardworking group. It was really easy to work with them. That was probably helped by having a semester under our belts and learning great lessons from our teams in the first semester. (Or they might just be fabulous…) And, I think the presentation went reasonably well. Actually, all the presentations were really good, and it was neat to see how far our first year class has come in a year. A lot has been accomplished and it went by really fast. It is kind of surreal. There are still two exams and an individual paper left, but little by little the semester is coming to a close.

We are also starting to make plans for next year already and getting excited about the incoming class of students. The 2012 class is mostly formed. Conversations are already buzzing on Facebook, and get togethers for admitted students are being planned all over the world. It has been great to see many of the new faces at the Open Houses, and the enthusiasm everyone has. I think the first years will really bring a lot to the program, and boy have we got plans for them. With all the lessons we have learned this year, I think many of the soon to be second years are really interested in finding ways to help incoming students and make their business school experience even better.

While we are making plans for next year, the second years are in the midst of “disorientation,” wrapping up classes, participating in their last Thirsty Thursday, singing at the last kareoke night, nailing down jobs, and getting in the facetime they can with all of their friends. I have had a chance to see some of the activities for the outgoing second years this year, including a celebration luncheon where professors and staff reminded students of the amazing contributions they made to the program and one another. It will be a hard act to follow. The outgoing second years really left an inspiring legacy and they will be sorely missed. I remember the first couple of weeks I was at school, and all the advice and encouragement that the second years gave me. Their words and comraderie were really helpful.

And though there is hardly any time to think about it with finals coming up, but here and there are momentary thoughts, questions, and reflections on the year. “Halfway through…” “Have I done what I wanted to?” “What’s left?” “What do I want to make sure I still do?” “How can I leave a legacy too?” Hopefully, the summer will give some time to regroup and we will all hit the ground running in Fall. At any rate, we will give it our best shot. Thank-you to the outgoing second years for setting the bar so high. I’m sure we will appreciate the challenge.

April 27, 2010

[Posted by Alicia May, MS·MBA in General Management, Class of 2011]

Bookmark and ShareI figured after first semester I could take on anything, so I decided that in addition to overloading on coursework that I would also train for the Boston Marathon. Training for a marathon is like a part time job, so on top of school priorities, team meetings and managing to have a little fun, 2nd semester has been very busy. For those of you who aren't from Boston, "Marathon Monday" is Patriots Day and all the surrounding schools have the day off. The marathon course runs right past several colleges: Wellesley at mile 13, Boston College at mile 20, and Boston University at mile 24. I may be a little bias, but comparing all the cheering sections, Boston University had an awesome turn out this year! As I approached Kenmore Square, I was looking for all my classmates that came to cheer me on and felt so lucky because I REALLY needed it at that point! I finished the marathon and celebrated with my friends and family. Now that the marathon is over and classes are winding down I am going to have to find another hobby to occupy my time....it looks like it might be sailing lessons over the summer. Gosh, I love this city.

April 26, 2010

3 Days From Now...

[Posted by Jesse Brooks, MS-MBA, Class of 2010]
3 days from now I will be done. Done with my MBA degree and done with my MSIS degree. Only one presentation and one final paper left before I can call myself a master.

These two years in Boston have gone by faster than I could have ever imagined. When I arrived in Boston in the summer of 2008, I was excited and anxious for what I was about to get myself into. Now, I am started to get those same feelings again.

It is a relief to think that any future team meetings or presentations I have to be involved with, will be rewarded with annual compensation. No longer are the days of SmartArt + Google Image Searches to create a presentation that will be deemed useless after given.

Though we were not compensated for our hard work with immediate monetary rewards, we will get the lifelong reward of being better businessmen/women. As MBAs, we are able to analyze problems in a way that the standard bachelor cannot compete with.

To all my classmates, I want to say that I have enjoyed these past two years and I look forward to keeping in touch. For me, I am off to California to enjoy some real weather and the flip flop wearing laid back lifestyle.

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The Farewell Tour

[Posted by Tyler Altrup, MBA in General Management, Class of 2010]
Finishing up an MBA program is, in many ways, not so different from the last few weeks of any undergraduate program or even high school. The same hallmarks are there---making sure you spend all of your free time with your friends, trying to setup the next big thing in your life, and enjoying every second.

Boston University has undoubtedly setup one great farewell tour for all of us. In the next few weeks, we will have a Fairwell Party for Dean Lataif, the Talent Show, a Second Year Party, a Graduation Reception, and a full week of awesome known as Disorientation. That list, of course, does not include all of the "informal" events I look forward to attending.

I have enjoyed every minute of my time here and am looking forward to enjoying every piece of the Farewell Tour.

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April 6, 2010

Team Learning at BU

[Posted by Fillip Saraiva, MBA in General Management, Class of 2011]

Everyone always told me that the first semester of business school would be the busiest, and it certainly seemed true when I started the program in August. In particular, our professors and the second-year MBA students were quick to point out just how much work was in front of me with the Integrated Project. As I started to spent more and more time with my team each week during the first semester as we raced to finish the project, it certainly felt like my work load was as busy as it could get!

Fast forward to the second semester. As I write this, I am now working on four different team projects due before the end of April. (Ok… I'll confess… I have one more than normal because I am taking an extra elective class.) While none of them are as complex as the Integrated Project, the combination of four different projects is keeping me just as busy as last semester. Yet, it just does not seem to feel as busy. I credit that to the team skills that we all developed working through the Integrated Project; it not only made us better communicators, but it also made us all much more effective in prioritizing and meeting tight deadlines.

The projects for this semester are varied and cover a wide range of topics. For Operations Management, we are working with a local Toyota dealer to help them identify methods to deal with the sudden surge in demand driven by the recent accelerator pedal recall. In our Strategy and Information Systems classes, we are analyzing a non-profit firm to see how they have used information technology to create a competitive advantage, as well as identifying opportunities to further leverage technology to expand their capabilities. I am also working with technology in my two Marketing electives-- one project is to conduct consumer research to determine what features are most important in their decision to buy a Tablet PC, and what combination of features would achieve the best combination of market share and profitability; in the other project, my team is working with IBM Cloud Computing to help them develop a web and social media marketing strategy to increase awareness of their offerings.

These projects all have several things in common. They are all related to real-world products or services that are of real importance to businesses and individual consumers today. They all offer the ability to put the management concepts that we have learned in the classroom into practice. Most important, however, is the fact that they have helped my various team mates and I become more effective managers and have helped us better understand how to work in diverse teams to identify and solve problems in a short period of time.

In reality, there is probably more work involved in these projects when compared to the Integrated Project, but learning how to effectively work in teams has made it manageable. Based on this experience, I can confidently say that improved team learning skills will be one of my biggest "take-aways" from the MBA program.

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